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Carbondale to celebrate 111th Potato Day

Carbondale’s annual Potato Day on Oct. 3 may look different this year, but the 111th version of the festival will still include many of its most popular events.

This year’s theme: “Spuds and Suffragists — Women Voting Proudly for 100 Years” honors the centennial celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote.

An audio production by the Carbondale Historical Society called, “Historic Women of Carbondale” will feature the life stories of some of Carbondale’s most influential women from past to present. The stories can be accessed in their entirety at www.carbondalehistory.org, or you may listen to excerpts on KDNK’s Express Yourself at 4 p.m. today and on Oct. 2.

Potato Day will also feature an in-person Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the large grassy lot at the corner of Fifth and Main streets. The market will include:

• Produce and cottage food vendors including Wild Mt. Seeds, Shepard’s Bread, Erin’s Acres, Highwater Farm, Growing Tall LLC, Juno Farms, Sopris Farms, ACES Rock Bottom Ranch, and Ed Colby Honey;

• Potato giveaways provided by the Potato Day Committee. Register for the early time slots to get your hands on locally produced potato chips donated by Homestead Restaurant, or choose a sack of potatoes grown by Sustainable Settings;

• A KDNK CD and record sale booth;

• A Carbondale Historical Society booth where you can brush up on your Carbondale and Potato Day History and the significance of the passage of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago;

• A nonpartisan voter registration information booth;

Pre-registration is required, and patrons will be allowed to enter into the market area in groups of 50 every 30 minutes starting at 10 a.m. You may pre-register at https://carbondalerec.activityreg.com/selectactivity_t2.wcs or call 970-510-1290.

Masks will be required in the market area and the rules of social distancing apply.

A Potato Decorating contest, in which people may submit a photo of a decorated spud, is currently happening and runs through Oct. 1. The prize categories include:

•  Best Historical Female Figure;

•  Best Hollywood Actress;

•  Most Representative of Carbondale, Colorado;

• Most Creative;

•  Kids category for 12 and younger potato artists.

Submit your decorated or carved potato photos to the Carbondale Annual Potato Day Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CarbondaleAnnualPotatoDay or on the Potato Day Instagram at #CarbondalePotatoDay2020.

A Video Dance contest to the David Bowie song, “Suffragette City” is also currently happening with entries accepted until Oct. 1.

Contestants are asked to produce a home video of them dancing to Bowie’s classic tune, with bonus points awarded to those who incorporate a potato into their dance. Submit your video to the Carbondale Annual Potato Day Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CarbondaleAnnualPotatoDay or on the Potato Day Instagram at #CarbondalePotatoDay2020.

The Golden Potato Harvest Hunt is an event for kids 12 and younger from the same household group that will be held on Saturday. Oct. 3, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Farmer’s Market on the corner of Fifth and Main streets. 

The historical harvest hunt is a race to gather all of the pieces and parts of Mrs. Potato Head, with the winner being presented the fabled Golden Potato Trophy. The hunt is limited to 10 household groups and pre-registration is required at https://carbondalerec.activityreg.com/selectactivity_t2.wcs  

Contestants will be given clues that will lead them to each of Mrs. Potato Head’s six body parts, where they will also be given the next clue. The first team to return their completed Mrs. Potato Head will have their names engraved on the Potato Day Trophy and receive a Carbondale Chamber Gift Certificate for $50.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact either the Carbondale Historical Society at info@carbondalehistory.org or 970-414-1078, or the Carbondale Recreation and Community Center at www.carbondalerec.com or 970-510-1290.


Community profile: Mateo Sandate leans into the music

When Mateo Sandate says, “With improvisational music, sometimes you just don’t know where it’s going to go,” he is connecting the feeling of talking to a reporter about his life with the free-flowing, heart-felt music for which he is best known.

Sitting on the front of the stage at Sopris Park near a Tai Chi group wrapping up its morning routine and warblers flitting around on the freshly mowed grass, the soft-spoken Sandate muses on his early connection with a song.

“I remember sitting on the bed with my dad and him showing me a chord, then another chord and it turned out to be a song called ‘La Bamba,’” he says. “It was about the same time the movie came out about (Ritchie Valens), and that had a big impact on me.

“My dad taught me the first few notes (he sings them) and then he told me, ‘now that you know that, play it in reverse.’ So I worked it out in reverse.”

Sandate describes himself as a late bloomer because he didn’t get serious about the guitar until he was in high school. A drummer named Mike Verdes had moved into Sandate’s hometown, and the two bonded over music.

“He heard that I played guitar, so we started playing,” Sandate said. “He opened my ears and got me exploring music.”

Guitarist Mateo Sandate plays with fellow musician and mentor Tim Fox.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Following the drumbeat

That started a progression, Sandate said of drummers he thought of not only as friends, but mentors — including former Let Them Roar drummer Aaron Taylor.

“There’s something about the groove, and drummers know that,” he said. “Musicians, the more mature they are, they get to know that, too.”

Sandate and Verdes formed a funk band in their high school, and by their senior year it had grown into a popular 12-piece band.

“We got nominated for the best funk band in Dallas, and (Verdes) and I got offered a record deal from Virgin Records, but it never materialized,” he said. “I didn’t even know how to pursue it. I was just really focused on the music — the joy of it.”

The popularity of the band did open up opportunities for Sandate, though, including an audition for a jazz band.

“I didn’t make it, but the band director said ‘you’ve got a summer to learn how to read music,’ so I did that,” Sandate said. “That opened up the possibility for me to study music.”

He ended up studying jazz at the University of North Texas where he fell in love with the big band sound.

But Sandate was also passionate about the rivers and wildlands of the West, and after college he and a partner worked as river guides. That led to an 11-year career with the U.S Forest Service where he worked on trail crews and then as an interpretive ranger and educator in the Roaring Fork Valley.

His love of music was always there, though, and it led Sandate to gradually transition away from the Forest Service and into his career as a musician.

“There used to be a great music store in Aspen called The Great Divide where Paul Buechler, a guitarist who had a master’s degree from Yale, worked,” Sandate said. “I used to go there after work (to jam). It would be like 10 o’clock at night and the store would be closed and we’d still be playing.”

Roaring forth

Sandate started playing in a band called The Hideout where he first met future Let Them Roar singer Olivia Pevec, and the two, along with singer Sophia Clark, bassist Ashton Taufer, and drummer Aaron Taylor, formed a band called All the Pretty Horses.

But they soon got a call from a band in Minnesota who said, “hey, that’s our band’s name.” So, they all gathered to come up with a new name — throwing suggestions into a hat. Two of them chose Let Them Roar.

“What the heck does that mean? Let Them Roar?” Sandate said. “We live by the Roaring Fork River, and when that river is at high water it’s mesmerizing, it’s a part of what makes this home. So let those rivers roar, let them run free.

“Rivers are a metaphor for living in the wild lands. Let our sense of home, our sense of wonder, the rivers and the mountains… let them roar.”

Let Them Roar guitarist Mateo Sandate.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The band started out with a sound rooted in country music, bluegrass, folk and Bob Dylan. But over time that sound has evolved, Sandate said.

“I think it’s important that those are the roots we’ve grown from. Just like a tree, it looks different now,” he said. “But the foundation of that music, from the rich culture of the mining era to the people of today, is still with us. And the basic sound, even though it sounds so different, is still rooted in that folk tradition.”

Like Dylan, Let Them Roar has used their music to call attention to social injustices.

The song, “I See My Light,” was inspired by women who’ve taken sanctuary in Colorado to keep their families from being torn apart by immigration policies, and it inspired the “I See My Light” campaign, in which the band has raised over $15,000.

“Bob Dylan was very big into community and the culture. His protest songs wake us up,” Sandate said. “I like to think that that tradition is still alive in our music, whether it’s focusing on people who might feel marginalized in our community, might not be represented, or even the immigrants who are on the front lines of hate.

“As offputting as that sense of us and them is, there is no them, there never was. For some reason we’re just polarized in a lot of ways with our culture. I like to lean into the music we write and (make it) a part of the community we’re a part of.

“So, let them roar. Let their voices be heard.”

Let Them Roar began recording a new album with Grammy-winning Producer Tom Wasinger in March, but the project is currently on hold due to the pandemic.

In the mean time, the band has created workshops in partnership with Garfield County Libraries, and Sandate also has kept busy teaching in the Lead Guitar program at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and running a guitar academy inside Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale.

“He’s one of the best guitarists in Western Colorado, and I consider him one of the local saints of music,” said Steve’s Guitars owner Steve Standiford. “He’s got kind of a Buddhist approach — it’s very giving, nurturing and loving.”


Youth filmmakers dive into passion projects

YouthZone’s annual fundraiser, its Youth Film Fest, is going virtual this year. “An Inspired View of Today’s World” will feature five youth filmmakers focusing on their visions of the “upside-down world” they’re currently experiencing due to social isolation and social justice, according to YouthZone’s website.

The Film Fest will begin promptly at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, and an online auction that includes items ranging from tickets to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue to helicopter tours and golf outings will begin two days earlier on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

YouthZone reached out to Film Producer Hannah Pike to help mentor the youth filmmakers through the process of creating their films.

“At the very beginning I just met with them as a group and said ‘OK what’s your plan, or what’s your idea,’” Pike said. “I told them when the deadline is, when it’s due by, and I broke down a production schedule for them – ‘you should have your script written by then, and you should be shooting by here, and editing by this week,’ and then we went through it step by step throughout each week.”

Pike, who had previous experience teaching in the Aspen High School film program, said that teaching through Zoom meetings and email presented special challenges.

“It’s hard to hold people accountable when you can’t see them face to face, but we adapt and we overcome,” Pike said. “You have to be very flexible and open to adaptability and being able to roll with the punches.”

But Pike said the process of mentoring the youths has been insightful for her, and she’s enjoyed seeing their creativity and passions come through.

“What I’ve been amazed by is their vulnerability to be open, Pike said. “A lot of their films are personal essays of what it’s like for them, or their friends or their community throughout this pandemic.

“I think it’s beautiful that they’ve been able to use film to really express themselves and been open and vulnerable and it’s been a very beautiful process to witness.”

Youth filmmaker Belle Ebner said her YouthZone Ascent film details the death of a childhood friend who had died at the hands of her boyfriend near the end of her senior year in high school.

“I wanted to go in-depth on the horror and prevalence of domestic violence, and spread awareness of this serious issue,” Ebner said. “My video serves as both a memorialization of my friend and a source of education or realization for the public on what domestic violence really looks like and what is the best way to handle it.

“It ends with various resources for those who may be struggling with this issue.”

Filmmaker Katelin Labrum said her film is about connecting with nature in Colorado.

“Everyone’s experience is different,” Labrum said. “When you connect you’re supposed to feel this calming positive feeling. I played a piano piece: ‘Sound of Silence’ — Simon & Garfunkel covered by Disturbed. I used this because I thought it was perfect, because nature is silent.”

Jessica Kollar said her film is about the dissonance between how we live during these times vs. what’s going on in the world, and how we can feel disconnected from each other.

“Every clip I’ve used is from the same day, and takes the perspective of teens in this valley,” she said.

Kate Mitchell said she made her film is about the Class of 2020, and how they were impacted by COVID.

“It was a hard time for us, and there was definitely a lot of adapting, but we made the best of it,” Mitchell said. “It was hard to not experience the most memorable parts of high school such as senior prom, senior sports season, and even our high school graduation.

“We still made amazing and unforgettable memories that we will remember just as much as if COVID never happened,” she added.

Emily Walker said her film is based around the whole idea of what it feels like to be in the middle of a pandemic.

“I focus more on the emotional wellbeing of some people that could be having a tough time throughout quarantine,” she said.

Walker said she recruited a friend, McKenna Sweeney, to help with the project.

“We went through a lot of ideas, but settled with a music video style for our final product, that way we wouldn’t have to worry about microphones or background sound,” she said. “While editing the clips together, I wanted to make the beginning feel almost depressing to represent how most people feel in these uncertain times — alone or afraid. But then towards the end of the film, happier themes come into play to make the point that everybody is in the same position right now, and the only way to truly get though it is not giving up hope and having friends and family to talk to and support you.”

Tickets for the Film Fest are $35 and can be purchased at https://one.bidpal.net/youthzonefilmfest/ticketing.


Steve’s Guitars celebrates 1,000th Friday concert

Steve’s Guitars will present its 1,000th consecutive live music Friday starting tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Grassroots TV. Owner Steve Standiford has put together a special lineup of performers for the show, including luthier Wally Bacon, who owned the “shop” as Wally’s Music before Standiford bought it from him in 1993. Other performers will include Wes and Jay Engstrom, The Currys, and Valle Musico.

Standiford said he held on to the Friday streak through a pair of going-out-of-business sales, and more recently through COVID restrictions that prompted him to start live-stream broadcasts on Grassroots TV called Streamin’ Steve’s.

“We’ve kept the streak going thanks to the crew we’ve got with Ralph Pitt, Jeremy Isenhart and Grassroots TV,” Standiford said.

Although the current streak stretches back to 2001, Steve’s Guitars hosted hundreds of live shows before the Friday streak began.

“It started with T.Ray Becker playing his cool original songs opening for Angel, a neo-hippie songwriter from Hawaii, Standiford said. “Since then, we have continued to host our talented local musicians along with some truly amazing touring acts like The Band of Heathens, John Oates, Lake Street Dive, Mandolin Orange and so many more.”

The show Friday will start with a taped segment with Standiford, his wife Mary Margaret and daughter Shannon talking about the history of the old shop and the Friday night streak.

Then Bacon will provide some unique background on the music business and talk about his musical life in Carbondale dating back to the 1970s.

“Wally was the origin of my getting into the music business when I bought Wally’s Music back in 1993,” Standiford said. “So he’s a pivotal figure in what’s happened over the past 1,000 weeks and more.”

Wes and Jay Engstrom represent the new generation of talented kids who grew up in the valley and are now young adults, Standiford said.

“They play some really cool original music, and that’s kind of why we started the whole thing was to get a space for original music made by our friends and neighbors.”

The show will end with The Currys and Valle Musico — two of Standiford’s favorite local acts.

“The Currys have been playing the shop since the start and are true musical ambassadors for the valley’s vibrant music scene,” Standiford said. “They have a great love of music and community spirit. They even brought their parents to the shows in the early days.”

Valle Musico is another band that has been around since the beginning, and in fact, guitarist Pat Winger was one of Standiford’s original roommates who helped him pay the rent in the early days of the shop.  

“He’s also a supreme talent, so that was an easy pick to make with Valle Musico, because they have some of the most beautiful instrumental songs,” Standiford said.

The livestream for the show can be found at grassroots TV.org.


5Point Film Fest releases tickets and details for virtual events

The 5Point Adventure Film Festival began selling passes for its virtual 2020 festival on Thursday and released new details about the online event running Oct. 14 to 18.

The popular Carbondale-based festival rescheduled its flagship in-person event to October from April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and is now taking that event online. It will include a program of more than 55 short adventure films, feature-length film programs, close-up conversation with filmmakers and special guests.

Like the in-person event, emcee hosts will guide viewers through five evening programs and two matinee shows bringing filmmakers and guests to the audience for behind the scenes stories and insight. New for 2020 is a Wednesday night film program, expanding the festival to five nights.

The regular Family Film Program will be available on-demand throughout the festival, and the Changemakers program and 5Point Film Awards continue to take place Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, with an opportunity for the audience to vote virtually for its favorite film.

Programming highlights include films by several 5Point filmmaker alumni: “The Mystery” by Forest Woodward, “Concrete Solitude” by Perry Gershkow; “TranSending” by Lindsey Hagen, and “Games of Survival” by Nicolas Natale. Each program is hosted by some of 5Point’s favorite hosts including Wade Newsom and Paddy O’Connell, along with new faces including Russ Chapman, Jen Zeuner, and Anne Keller.

“Though these are challenging and unprecedented times, great storytelling can offer inspiration, hope, and a way to fill the well on the journeys we undertake, even while things we cannot control shift around us,” said 5Point Film executive director Regna Jones.

Tickets are $20 for individual programs, $25 for the Awards Program, $55 for an individual all-access pass and $75 for a household all-access pass. They are on-sale at 5pointfilm.org.

Oran Mor to play Steve’s 999th Friday

Steve’s Guitars will host local band Oran Mor tonight for its 999th consecutive Friday night of live music in the intimate Carbondale venue.

Oran Mor’s name is a Scots Gaelic term meaning “big song.” Their repertoire features Scottish and Irish music, some of which dates back to the 1700s, as well as current Celtic music and Americana tunes, with a few original songs as well.

Tom and Karen Cochran formed Oran Mor after 12 years of playing music together in various configurations. Their son, Brendan Cochran, eventually joined the group on percussion, and Jonathan Satz was added on bass.

“With instrumentation that includes recorders, Irish whistles, guitars, hand drums, bass and beautiful harmonies, this group’s music can transport its listeners to an earlier time or to a happy place,” states the band’s website.

The show will once again be presented virtually starting at 7:30 p.m. at www.grassrootstv.org  or www.youtube.com/stevesguitarspresents.

Rally the Valley fundraiser goes virtual

Music, testimonials and more will be featured at Valley View Hospital’s annual Rally the Valley fundraiser.

The fundraiser benefits the Calaway-Young Cancer Center will this year feature videos of cancer survivors telling their stories, interviews with doctors, and musical performances by Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms, members of Leftover Salmon, and Let Them Roar.

The virtual offering begins at 5 p.m Saturday and will be emceed by radio personality David Bach from the Ute Theater in Rifle. Go to www.rallythevalley.org to register and for details about how to tune in.

Community Relations Officer Stacey Gavrell of Valley View said the idea for the event has always been not only to raise money but to celebrate cancer survivors and to capture the community spirit of coming together to help those facing a cancer diagnosis.

“It’s a pretty festive affair, but this year like so many other organizations we had to change,” she said. “And that’s fine because what we’re experiencing is just people coming together and continuing to rally, even though we’re not able to get together in person.”

Funds raised through the event enable patients to receive a whole host of complimentary services and resources including acupuncture, massage therapy, healing touch, grocery and gas cards, lodging, and support groups.

“We’re so fortunate to have this regional world-class cancer center, and these services and resources do really support our patients through their cancer treatment journey,” Gavrell said.

Like everything else, Rally the Valley was forcibly changed this year from an event that drew scores of supporters for the Peyton’s Parade walk two years ago and a rafting float last year to this year’s virtual event.

“Because we haven’t been able to get together in-person, people have been rallying on their own — doing their own walks, their own bike rides, hula-hooping and what have you,” Gavrell said. “So, we’re going to show some of those videos that have been submitted.”

Gavrell also said that local philanthropist Marlane Miller has pledged a matching donation of up to $100,000.

“Marlane Miller is not only an incredible philanthropist but also a cancer survivor who has benefitted from the care at Calaway-Young,” Gavrell said. “Her generosity during this time when so many people are struggling is really an example of how this community comes together.”


How Jazz Aspen Snowmass made a summer season happen without its Labor Day Experience

Snowmass Town Park is quiet this Labor Day weekend, rather than hosting the Aspen area’s biggest annual pop music festival.

This year’s would-be headliners Stevie Nicks, Eric Church and Kings of Leon have rescheduled for a 2021 Jazz Aspen Labor Day Experience. Jazz Aspen founder Jim Horowitz left town for a vacation this weekend, opting not to face the quiet of a holiday weekend when he’d normally be hosting 10,000-plus daily concertgoers.

But while the novel coronavirus pandemic canceled Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s annual end-of-season concerts, the proverbial band played on for Jazz Aspen this summer.

Looking back on the season, which also saw the cancellation of Jazz Aspen’s June Experience, Horowitz was proud of how much his team was able to safely continue the nonprofit’s work despite the world historical circumstances, massive disruptions and moving two signature events back a full year.

Jazz Aspen did safely host the first post-outbreak ticketed concert in the Aspen area in July, with vocalist Niki Haris and Horowitz himself performing and reminiscing about the 30th anniversary of Jazz Aspen. It launched a five-artist, 16-concert JAS Café series at the Aspen Art Museum, which ran through mid-August and hosted a sold-out crowd capped at 50 for each performance.

They also hosted the annual JAS Academy for two midsummer weeks, bringing 21 jazz students from across the U.S. to Aspen for jazz residencies and instruction. They pulled it off while keeping students, teachers, crews and audiences healthy. The nonprofit’s music education programs for local students also continued through the summer with virtual lessons.

“Nothing about it was easy,” Horowitz said. “But in the end the effort was worth it.”

The Jazz Aspen team worked closely with Pitkin County and public health officials to make the JAS Café series happen in the open-air rooftop venue at the museum. The parameters for hosting the performances included keeping tables spaced more than 6 feet apart and 25 feet from the stage, with temperature checks at the door and masks required when leaving your table.

“Once they came out with the 50-person limit (in May), we were very confident that the roof of the art museum would work,” Horowitz said.

From the first night, Horowitz said, it was clear the series was a welcome dose of live performance both for audiences and artists. Every one of the five artist combos who performed in the series — pianist Shelly Berg led two different groups — were performing live for the first time in front of an audience since the pandemic hit in March. For professional musicians, facing an audience for the first time in four-plus months proved emotional and gratifying, evident in moments like Haris’s poignant set-closing rendition of Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here With You.”

Normally these jazz shows pack roughly 150 people into an intimate space with patrons at small tables around a small stage and tiny dance floor.

“Everything about the music experience we’ve created at the JAS Café has always fed on close contact and intimacy,” Horowitz said.

The public health restrictions inverted all of that and added the element of live-streaming for several of the shows. Still, it took time to get used to so much open space and so few people in audiences.

“There was a surreal element to it. Normally, it would be a feeling of ‘What went wrong here?’” Horowitz said. “But it was the opposite. After months of no live music, people were grateful to be in a live music environment that was safe.”

Cutting two-thirds of seats for the series meant losing that much earned revenue. So to pull off the series, Horowitz and his team needed to raise money — a focused campaign completed in the month after the county upped its crowd size limit.

That was the only dedicated fundraising push from Jazz Aspen this summer. Additionally, a wide demonstration of support emerged this summer after the Labor Day Experience postponed to 2021. Jazz Aspen offered ticketholders full refunds, of course, but also offered people the chance to hold onto their tickets and convert into a “Survive & Thrive” pass for next year. Most people did not ask for refunds, which buoyed the nonprofit financially and perhaps reflected community support for the organization.

“That came down to thousands of people’s individual decisions,” Horowitz said of the embrace of the “Survive & Thrive” option. “If everybody had asked for a refund, this would be a different conversation.”

The JAS Academy was able to proceed largely because of its small scale and the program partnership with the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, which had developed testing, health screening and performance protocols to open for in-person instruction. The JAS Academy in Aspen was one of the few in-person music residencies in the U.S. this summer.

“We have a relatively small group, unlike the Aspen Music Festival with 650 students,” Horowitz said, referring to the classical music program that canceled its in-person 2020 season. “This is 21 attendees. We realized, ‘OK, we can manage this.’”

Even the JAS Academy Big Band was able to perform and practice, with all 21 students playing at a socially distanced 6 feet apart in a massive semi-circle at their rehearsal room at the Gant Conference Center and in their actual concert — a powerful two-hour event, performed to an empty Benedict Music Tent and streamed online.

JAS Academy instructors and administrators asked students to lead by example and follow the rules.

“We made sure they understood how much we were going out on a limb this summer, when most programs were going into some form of hibernation,” Horowitz said. “We said, ‘We really need you to play by the rules and wear your mask except when you are blowing through your horn.”

Running July 27 to Aug. 9, the program ran without COVID-19 infections spreading among any participants.

“The JAS Academy was inspiring and well run,” student Anton Kot, a drummer and pianist, said afterward. “Since my departure, I feel as if I have grown as a person and musician. Feeling grateful for this opportunity, I am looking forward to what I will be able to do with what was learned.”

The director of the program, bassist Christian McBride, chose not to come to Aspen for the program. He led his master classes and rehearsals through video conferencing, while the Frost School’s Chuck Bergeron conducted the big band. McBride gave notes and direction from multiple large video screens in the room.

It worked well enough that the JAS Academy — slated to expand to four weeks next summer — may integrate more virtual instruction in the future.

“We were encouraged by what we saw and we think it will open up some new opportunities for the JAS Academy moving forward,” Horowitz said.

The JAS In-Schools and Roaring Fork Valley education efforts, run by Aspen jazz stalwart Chris Bank, marched through the pandemic as well. Annual jazz summer camps went virtual, for middle and high school musicians working from home. Since the springtime, JAS instructors have been giving private lessons virtually, and a student-led project completed a recording studio at Roaring Fork High School.

Looking ahead, there are many question marks surrounding the winter season for Jazz Aspen as there are for all other Americans. However, Horowitz said, they are planning to host a winter JAS Café series. Crowd size, venue and parameters will be dependent on the bigger public health picture, the COVID-19 infection rate and local guidelines regarding gathering indoors. But Horowitz hopes to host something like the season-long series of years past, like last winter’s eight-artist series.

“We intend to do it if we are allowed to,” he said.

Summer performances from the JAS Academy and JAS Cafe, he said, underscored the power of music in times of crisis and strengthened Jazz Aspen’s resolve to keep the music playing. As Horowitz put it: “The music really rose to the occasion. It was special for everyone.”


Carbondale Comeback Passport to spur local purchasing, support for businesses

Carbondale Arts has created a special Love Local project that is aimed at supporting economic recovery in the Roaring Fork Valley.  

The Carbondale Comeback Passport is a pocket-sized flipbook that includes deals and discounts at 30 local businesses including craft breweries, restaurants, coffee, retail, jewelry, chocolate and much more.

Sale proceeds from the Carbondale Comeback Passport will benefit Carbondale Arts in lieu of funding received from the Mountain Fair raffle. Your purchase of the Carbondale Comeback Passport supports the arts community and culture as well as providing incentives to help sustain local small businesses that are owned and run by family, friends and neighbors.

The Carbondale Comeback Passport may be purchased on the Carbondale Arts website at: https://www.carbondalearts.com/

The power of mistakes: Bruell and Tarlow see ‘everything’ as a ‘creative process’

Mistakes can become avenues to a higher level of creation, and an artist’s process includes and incorporates everything that transpires in their lives.

Those are two of the concepts artist Philip Tarlow and musician Marc Bruell will present during their talk, “Everything is a Creative Process,” which they will present to the public at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the open courtyard next to the Launchpad in Carbondale.

Bruell said the concept that everything is a creative process begins with seeing creation in our daily, mundane activities.

“We’re constantly creating all the time. We’re constantly improvising all the time. Even when we’re going through our daily routines, we’re adjusting based on the way things are,” he said. “It’s about seeing creation in everything we do, whether we’re super-mindful about it and trying to actively create, or whether we’re just living our lives.”

Tarlow gave the example of making coffee every morning — roasting the beans, grinding them, and all the variables in that process.

“I don’t really make a distinction between [making coffee] and making a painting. Obviously they’re very different, but during the process of making coffee, something is happening that’s out of my control,” he said. “If you start looking at everything as a creative process, life gets a lot more interesting and fulfilling, and a lot more fun.”

In addition, Tarlow said there are no mistakes if you’re paying attention and seeing what you’re doing as a process.

“There are things that happen along the way you wish you could have changed, but you can’t because they’re in the past — you either learn from them or you don’t,” he said. “You can say, ‘I did or said that yesterday, but now I can say or do it differently and make it better.’

“I understand that the word ‘mistake’ means something, but if you take it as something bad or something wrong with you or your thought process, it stops you along the way to taking the next step,” he added.

Tarlow used the example of someone insulting you in your childhood, and holding onto the hurt from that insult for the rest of your life.

“If you learn to take those things, digest them and use them for what they’re worth, then move on, you’ll have a much more interesting and creative life,” he said.

Tarlow and Bruell met just recently at a talk Tarlow gave on Aug. 7 at the opening of his exhibition, “Motion” at the R2 Gallery inside the Launchpad.

“When I talked about space in my work his whole face lit up — he was nodding and there was a look of recognition,” Tarlow said. “Afterwards we talked and there was so much we had in common in our process of creating art and music that we decided ‘why not get together and talk about our processes?’”

While the presentation will include dialogue from Tarlow and music from Bruell, Tarlow said he prefers to think of it as one intertwined event.

“Just like in jazz where you riff on a tune — it might end up looking more like that than Philip talking about art and Marc playing his instrument,” Tarlow said.

“It’s like a conversation, but the mediums aren’t just voices,” added Bruell.