By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
FolkWest is gearing up for another terrific festival season in Pagosa Springs!
We’ll be kicking things off with the sixth annual Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival, June 7-9 on Reservoir Hill Park.
The 16 festival bands making up this year’s musical lineup will play more than 20 sets on the festival’s main stage and late-night stage over the three-day event. We’re excited about the variety and quality of this year’s artists: The Band of Heathens, The Duhks, The Iguanas, Della Mae, The Black Lillies, Matt Flinner Trio, the Warren Hood Band, Taarka, The Defibulators, Haunted Windchimes, Paper Bird, Front Country, Finnders and Youngberg, Corn Yeti, The Expedition Quintet and The New Shoots Trio. You can find links to festival artists on our website.
Once again, the week leading up to the festival will bring two bluegrass camps to Pagosa Springs: the Pagosa Bluegrass Camp for Kids and the Pagosa Bluegrass Jam Camp, taking place June 4-6. The kid’s camp is for students age 8-16 and is conducted by highly qualified music teachers from around the nation. Students will take three instrument classes and one band class each day during the three days of camp.
Jam Camp is an excellent opportunity for intermediate level pickers to take a big step forward in their bluegrass understanding and pickin’ proficiency. Built on the idea that playing with and for other musicians is a powerful tool for learning, campers are afforded supported opportunities to study and practice the foundations of bluegrass music on their guitars, fiddles, banjos, basses and mandolins. The camp uses a quick-paced variety of different teaching styles and formats including large group instruction, small like-instrument workshops, one-on-one lessons and a band scramble that is coached by each of the staff members from the band Finnders and Youngberg. In the small group ensembles, campers learn to play in balance, build solos, sing harmony and perform in front of a single microphone.
Both camps conclude with an end of camp concert on Thursday, June 6, on the festival stage on Reservoir Hill. Registration is still open, but both camps are expected to fill soon.
Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass is supported in part with funding from Colorado Creative Industries.
The 18th annual Four Corners Folk Festival takes place Aug. 30-Sept. 1. The lineup is getting more complete each day, but it’s already exciting with headliner John Hiatt and the Combo along with The Wood Brothers, Darrell Scott Band, Jimmy LaFave, John Fullbright, Elephant Revival, Sarah Siskind and Travis Book, Rose’s Pawn Shop, New Country Rehab, Aoife O’Donovan Band, Slaid Cleaves, The Giving Tree Band and Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams. Stay tuned for a few more lineup announcements in the coming weeks.
For more information on the festivals or bluegrass camps, or to purchase tickets, visit www.folkwest.com or call 731-5582. Early Bird tickets for Folk ‘N Bluegrass are available through March 31 and for Four Corners through April 30. After those dates, prices on tickets increase $10 on multi-day passes and $5 on single day passes. You can also find and like both festivals on Facebook, which is a great way to keep up to date on the latest announcements.