Something for everyone at the Vilar
Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.BEAVER CREEK – We have quite a diverse line-up over the next week at the Vilar Center. I can truly say that there is a show for everyone – and each one is a show not to be missed.On Sunday, 17-time Grammy Award-winning jazz guitarist Pat Metheny will be joined by Brad Mehldau (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums) on the Vilar Center stage to promote their new record, “Quartet.” An international superstar, Metheny is known for his unique genre-bending fusion of jazz, rock and pop. Mehldau is first and foremost an improviser, and has taken rock standards from the likes of Radiohead, Paul Simon and The Beatles and transformed them in such a way they sound like they were written as jazz standards. This new collaboration between the Metheney/ Mehldau quartet promises to redefine the possibilities of jazz in the new millennium.
For those who missed the breathtaking performances last week by the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, you have another incredible opportunity this week to hear world-class orchestra music at the Vilar Center.On Thursday, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra will perform Samuel Barber’s beautiful “Adagio for Strings,” JS Bach’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra,” Tchiacovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” and Haydn’s “Cello Concerto” with special guest soloist William de Rosa. Another show I want to concentrate on is the Del McCoury Band playing next Friday. McCoury, one of the artists responsible for the recent renaissance in bluegrass music, has won 31 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards including Entertainer of the Year for nine out of the fourteen years and four wins as Best Male Vocalist. He has influenced many of the younger newgrass/jam bands including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times and who have covered McCoury’s songs. He has also performed with the String Cheese Incident, Steve Earle and Leftover Salmon.Lead vocalist and guitarist Del is joined by his sons Ronnie on mandolin, Rob on banjo, Mike Bub on bass and Jason Carter on fiddle. The skill and dexterity of each of these musicians is unbelievable, and together they create a sound and energy that is infectious to watch. One of the elements that makes their concert so special is their scaled-down approach to equipment – they perform the entire show in front of a single microphone. Half the fun of the evening is watching their free-form dance, as they move in and out of the microphone to mix the sound live from the stage. It is a rare treat to see musicians who listen to and play off of each other in a live situation without having a battery of onstage amps, monitors and other equipment which tend to manipulate many live performances these days. I can think of no better venue than the Vilar Center to take advantage of the simplicity and intimacy of this concert. I expect the evening to be a great mix of bluegrass and gospel music and encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to see one of the most talented and successful bluegrass bands performing today.