Special Salestrom concert will raise funds for education
Editors note: Directors Chair 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.Id like to talk this week about a very special concert we have coming to the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Beneficial Tracks is a charity concert benefiting Eagle County educational initiatives. The July 11 concert features Jim Salestrom and Friends with special guest Suzy Bogguss and members of John Denvers band for a tribute set. Its a wonderful opportunity to support our youth, all while being entertained by award-winning and celebrated musicians. The evening is a joint effort between the Vail Valley Foundation and The Colorado Ski History Museum. Proceeds from the ticket sales will directly benefit educational initiatives of these two organizations. So how did we come up with the bill for the evening? It seemed a natural fit for our audience. The musicians also generously jumped at the chance to be part of such a special fundraiser, which was also a key factor.Jim Salestrom, a young protg of John Denver and a Grammy-winning artist, provided background music for the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museums Then and Now exhibit at Denver International Airport. The music resonated with the Colorado skiers, airline passengers and ski history buffs. Jim has also been actively involved with childrens educational programs throughout Colorado, so when he offered to pull together a benefit concert we were thrilled. Being a member of the John Denver Tribute band and well-connected throughout the music world, Jim was able to pull together a fantastic line up including John Denver Tribute band members and country superstar Suzy Bogguss.One of the most acclaimed female country singers of the late 80s and 90s, Bogguss was able to balance country tradition with a contemporary mainstream sensibility, thereby satisfying both audiences and critics. While ingenuity is the hallmark of a musical career that spans 16 years, nine studio albums and countless miles on the road, the hypnotic potency of her latest release, Swing, truly brings her talent and versatility as an artist to the forefront. The Vail Valley Foundation programs receiving funding from Beneficial Tracks include Success at Six (Magic Bus and Kindergarten Scholarships) and the Gold Star Giving Grants, which awards grants to qualified Vail Valley non-profits providing educational programs and services. Grant recipients in 2007 included Eagle County Early Childhood programs, tuition scholarships for child care at the Family Learning Center, Youth to Youth Mentoring offered by The Resource Center of Eagle County & The Youth Foundations After School Literacy Program.The Colorado Ski History Museum programs receiving funding from the evening include Camp Hale Informational Programs, Ski through History interactive programming, Guided Museum tours and hands-on activities and a collaboration with the statewide 5th grade free pass program for at-risk youth.As you can see, the funds raised by this wonderful show will translate to real-life results for many young people in this community. Tickets for Beneficial Tracks are $95 for adults and $40 for children and are available at http://www.vilarpac.org or by calling the box office at 888-920-ARTS. The show gets under way at 7:30 p.m., and Villa Montane offers limited free summer parking, so come early. One more note look for the Rocky Mountain High Bernese Mountain Dog Club marching today in the Vail America Days Parade. The club is one of the proud sponsors of this concert. Look for the Beneficial Tracks banner and a whole herd of these lovable big dogs to learn more about the concert.