Grand Valley music scene bustling & alive | PostIndependent.com

Grand Valley music scene bustling & alive

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com

Cash Kiser, Grand Junction's newest music promoter, has big goals for Colorado's Grand Valley — to attract and book musical talent from across the state and beyond, from places like Denver or Seattle.

"I'm being more proactive with bands," Kiser, of Skylark Music Productions, said. "I'm reaching out to bands that are coming through, between Denver and Salt Lake City, to play a show here, too."

After working for KAFM 88.1, Grand Junction's public radio station, as its booking and promotions manager, Kiser recently struck out on his own.

"My job is to bridge that gap between Denver and our side," Kiser said. "I want to create a niche destination for area musicians."

According to promoters like Kiser and Ron Wilson of Sandstone Productions, Grand Valley's music scene continues to expand thanks to its variety of local bands and venues.

With a new promoter in town and a recently upgraded Avalon Theatre (with expanded seating and an improved facility), Grand Valley's music scene continues to grow.

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"It's nice to go to your hometown theater and see world-class acts," Wilson explained.

WHAT BRINGS BANDS IN

For Wilson, a Grand Junction resident, the biggest challenge of his job as an event promoter is finding affordable acts that can sell tickets throughout the region. And when it comes to securing bigger-name acts, like say Michael Bublé or Katy Perry, ticket pricing and venue options can be limiting.

"I look for quality and if the market will support the show," said Wilson, who has worked as a music promoter for more than three decades. "It's about money and the number of people. We are doing really well with our offerings at the present in that we are getting solid, quality acts at an affordable price."

Many concerts offer discounted tickets in certain sections of the Avalon Theatre, he added.

Both Wilson and Kiser both aim to attract nationally acclaimed acts that are appealing to western Colorado's residents and visitors, which include a variety of styles — punk, indie rock, and folk to name a few.

Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra is also working to attract a variety of performers spanning the classical music genre.

"We are encouraged by a boost in season ticket sales this season, two sold-out concerts (so far) at the new Avalon Theatre, and what the future holds for us as the largest arts organization on the Western Slope," said Jeremy Herigstad, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra's spokesman.

As musicians flood the scene, more venues are needed as well. That's why Fruita's Cavalcade opened in 2011. They hoped to fill a void for touring artists — as both a stopping point and another place for local artists to play.

"Even in Fruita, the quality of local talent and interest helps draw in the crowds," said Jeannine Purser, co-owner of Cavalcade. "The local scene is equally important and is thriving."

LOCAL MUSICIANS SATURATE

Colorado's Grand Valley is currently home to more than 150,000 people — and it's growing thanks to the younger crowd Colorado Mesa University brings. Within that, more than 30 bands and solo artists have ventured to create a name for themselves locally as well as regionally.

"All the bands here love helping each other out," said Aaron Seibert, vocalist and guitarist for JACK + JILL, a Grand Junction-based band.

If artists want to make a living playing in the Grand Valley, the potential is there, he added.

"The scene has been awesome and people are just coming around," said Jessica Seibert, another vocalist and violinist for JACK + JILL,

According to the Seiberts, other outlets aiding the local music scene includes radio stations like 88.1 KAFM, 91.3 KMSA and 106.9 KMZK. Plus, many venues, like Mesa Theater, that bring out-of-town talent invite locals to play with the traveling bands.

"Every band should try to get out there to other cities," Jessica said. "But it's always great to start local."

For more information about Cavalcade, visit http://www.cavalcadefruita.com. To learn more about JACK + JILL, visit http://www.jackplusjill.com. For upcoming shows presented by Sandstone and Skylark, visit http://www.sandstoneconcerts.com or find Skylark on Facebook.

UPCOMING SHOWS NOT TO MISS

BELA FLECK & ABIGAIL WASHBURN

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St., Grand Junction

COST: $20-35

INFO: http://www.sandstoneconcerts.com

LES CLAYPOOL’S DUO DE TWANG

WHEN: Feb. 20, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St., Grand Junction

COST: $25-35

INFO: “>http://www.sandstoneconcerts.com

JACK + JILL

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m.

WHERE: The Rockslide Brewery & Restaurant

COST: Free

INFO: http://www.jackplusjill.com

RUBEDO, SHOTGUN HODOWN, RICHARD & LLOYD

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 p.m.

WHERE: Sabroasa, 122 S. Fifth St., Grand Junction

COST: Free, 21 years old and above

INFO: Find Skylark on Facebook

WANTED

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Cavalcade, 201 E. Aspen Ave., Fruita

COST: $5

INFO: http://www.cavalcadefruita.com