All That Jazz (Folk, Bluegrass, Country & Classical...)

Astute readers may have noticed that each month, Roaring Fork Lifestyle has a theme that is announced on its cover. I had been working with a “music and musicians” theme when some basic math convinced me to change that.

At the tail end of the Aspen Music Festival, I happened to duck into the Harris Concert Hall and was astonished to discover it stuffed with pianos, “long ones, tall ones, short ones, brown ones, black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones,” some even ornamented with gilt and paintings! I was told that an annual piano sale was offering up more than 180 Steinways used this season by the Aspen Music School’s students and faculty.

That equals a lot of practicing! I added 180 to a guesstimate of how many musicians perform at the summer concert series in Basalt’s two locations, then in Redstone, in Glenwood Springs at Music on the Mountain and in Two Rivers Park, at Carbondale’s Mountain Fair and at recitals in the Carbondale and Basalt Libraries. Plus at year-round venues like Heather’s Pies, the Glenwood Vaudeville and Steve’s Guitars. The exercise made me dizzy. My head was spinnin’ because, like a whirlpool, our local music never ends.

What’s more, math isn’t my strongest suit. As you’ll read in Parting Thoughts, my brain is organized like a rather eccentric library. Way too much space is devoted to decades of song lyrics. (I never forget those, but I’m convinced that the room devoted to numbers must be Teflon-lined because things like account numbers and dates just slide right out.)

In any case, I quickly decided that surveying the local music scene would require not a magazine, but a book, or maybe two! “Our hills are alive with the sound of music!”

This more-modestly titled “Musical Notes” issue includes a peek at a recording session for the ever-popular Let Them Roar, a look at Piano Man Jonathan Gorst’s plans for the reborn Riviera Supper Club and some photos from Jazz Aspen-Snowmass. In Parting Thoughts, you’ll find a list of not-to-be-missed local groups, courtesy of Matt Harrington, Olivia Pevec and Jim Hawkins, three musicians whose praises have been sung here before.

This issue reveals that the musical Olivia Pevec is also a talented metalsmith and that rock musicians can suffer from repetitive stress injuries. Here, you will learn why Tibetan monks were chanting at Third Street Center, and you’ll enjoy stories about dog-powered sports and local jewelry artist Emily Gustafson.

I don’t know much about algebra and I don’t claim to be an A student, but I do know that as long as we have these talented local musicians in our midst, what a wonderful world this will be!