Vail Soul Music Fest kicks off Friday
VAIL, Colorado – Vail Soul Music Fest introduces a weekend-long showcase of up-and-coming independent soul music artists, as well as popular, award-winning soul music headliners. The Fest brings R&B, conscious hip hop, alternative rock, blues, and neo soul musicians to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Friday and Saturday, including three-time Grammy nominee and iTunes favorite, Raphael Saadiq, Grammy nominee Chrisette Michele, emerging star Liv Warfield, singer, songwriter and producer Dwele, 1980s funk masters The Dazz Band, Denver’s budding talent Jonathan B. hip hop violinist Lee England Jr., and the winner of the Indie Contest, Vail’s own T’Leon. There are also late evening “Soul Strolls” at restaurants and music hot spots throughout Vail. As Colorado’s first-ever, multi-day, soul music-themed event, the Vail Soul Music Fest focuses on the preservation of traditional soul music, while also cultivating the growth and exposure of new independent soul artists. “Soul music has the unique ability to tell stories of the black experience in a creative fashion,” says Rhonda Jackson, president of event producer, Legacy Entertainment, Inc. “It celebrates jazz, gospel and the blues while embracing new art forms conscious hip, hop, neo soul and R&B. Our goal is to showcase artists who are authentic to their craft. By doing so, we help preserve soul music and its rich story.”Music lovers across Colorado cast their votes to choose the local musician most deserving of an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The winner of the “Show Your Love” Independent Artist contest is Vail’s own Terry Leon Smith (T’Leon). T’Leon will perform on the main stage Friday at 5 p.m. T’Leon competed against seven semifinalists to win a spot at the Fest and emerged as a force to be reckoned with early on. “His fans rallied and literally launched him onto our stage,” says Shontell Perkins, Vail Soul Music Fest events manager.
For the younger souls, VSMF organizers will bring together up to 100 students in grades 6th – 9th from metro Denver and Vail on Saturday for a full day of workshops, music and wellness activities with established and emerging music performers. Hip hop violinist Lee England Jr. will perform during lunch. Youth Day will take place on the top of Vail Mountain at Eagles Nest. Students need to be pre-registered. “The Youth Foundation is delighted to support and partner with the Vail Soul Music Festival Youth Day,” says Katie Santambrogio, event and marketing director of the Youth Foundation in Eagle County. “We believe in positive mentorship and community engagement so our involvement with the Music & Mentoring Youth Day is a perfect opportunity to further fulfill our mission as an organization and extend cultural enrichment to children in our community.” During the festival, attendees can visit the Soul Village Expo, which is a designated space allocated for vendors and exhibitors to showcase and sell their merchandise. Official, commemorative VSMF merchandise, including T-shirts and caps for men, women and kids, will also be available for purchase.