Lionel Young Band brings rock, blues, boogie to Two Rivers Park for Summer of Music |

Lionel Young Band brings rock, blues, boogie to Two Rivers Park for Summer of Music

Christina Brusig
Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts
The Lionel Young Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Two Rivers Park for the Glenwood Springs Center for the Art's Summer of Music concert series.
Courtesy photo |

The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is four for four since it launched this year’s Summer of Music. First, the Afro-Cuban Jazz Project raised the bar. Then Under A Blood Red Sky, Humming House and last week’s Otis Taylor Band changed the game.

Boogie ‘n’ blues are up next with the Lionel Young Band. When you visit Young’s website you understand why, like Otis Taylor, another Colorado band has national and international recognition and has redefined the genre.

“Lionel Young is a high-energy performer with a bent for the blues. Two-time winner at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) band competition made Lionel Young the first double champion in the 31-year history of the IBC.

“Born in Rochester, New York, Lionel Young began taking violin lessons at the age of 6 with Anastasia Jempelis at the renowned Eastman School of Music. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Opera-Ballet Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra, who commissioned him to play bluegrass and blues for their summer festival and on a tour of Japan, Taiwan and Korea during the 1988 Summer Olympic Music Festival.

“Throughout his career, Mr. Young has won numerous awards, including: The Young Artist Award (Pittsburgh Symphony); The Concerto Contest (Carnegie-Mellon); The Passamenic Award (Branchwood String Quartet); and the award for the Best Blues Band in Westword’s Best of Denver. He’s also won a position with The Denver Chamber Orchestra and premiered a solo piece by William Hill.

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“Lionel has worked with such music legends Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Doc Severenson, Linda Ronstadt, Living Colour, Billy Taylor, Woody Herman, Stanley Turrentine, Homesick James, Homer Brown, Hamlet Bluiett, Chief Bae and Johnny Long.”

Opening for Lionel Young is Glenwood’s own Rich Ganson. A regular at Aspen hotels, clubs and regional music festivals, Rich has had the opportunity to sit in with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Patti Austin, Amy Grant and Vince Gill on guitar, banjo and harmonica. Rich and his Crystal River Band made country music a vibrant part of the musical fabric in the Roaring Fork Valley for more than 30 years. But country isn’t all of it when he picks up his banjo and puts a twist on a Rolling Stones standard. Audiences love the moment when they recognize the song.

Making music is just part of Rich’s impact on the area. He has been a PSIA Level III skiing instructor for the last 25 years with much of his time involved with Challenge Aspen working with kids and adults with physical challenges. Find out more at

Get there early and enjoy some of the best eats around: Gandhi’s Restaurant from Carbondale, the New Castle Diner, Marble’s famous Slo Groovin’ BBQ, Glenwood’s Sweet Coloradough, and top it all off with Jeffreeze award-winning Italian sorbetto.

Remember! No pets, no smokes and no glass. These are city of Glenwood Springs public safety regulations.

See you tonight at Two Rivers Park at 6:30 p.m. for a night of rock, blues and the full-tilt boogie!

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