2016 Free Summer Concert Series Lineup released
March 19, 2016
Steamboat Springs — During Friday’s Free Summer Concert Series annual fundraiser, organizers released the full schedule of concerts for the 2016 season.
"We are super excited about the 2016 lineup; it's a stellar lineup," said John Waldman, from Great Knight Productions, who helps organize the series. "As far as how we came about choosing the acts, a lot is based on acts we've talked about that were not available in the past, but are now, and who was going to be out touring this summer."
Booker T. Jones
Kicking off the series June 24, will be Booker T. Jones, one of the architects of the Memphis soul sound of the 1960s and four-time Grammy Award winner. Jones is also a producer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist who has worked and performed with a variety of artists, including Willie Nelson, John Lee Hooke, Neil Young and the Roots. Jones is also a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer and was honored with a Grammy Award Lifetime Achievement in 2007.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Fresh off the Rolling Stones "Zip Code Tour," Karl Denson's Tiny Universe will be in town July 2. Known as an American funk and jazz saxophonist, flutist and vocalist, Denson tours with his "Tiny Universe," comprised of members Chris Stillwell on bass, Chris Littlefield on trumpet, D.J. Williams on guitar, David Veith on keyboards and Alan Evans on drums. Denson is also known for recording with artists such as Slightly Stoopid, Stanton Moore, Dave Hollard and the rock band Switchfoot.
With a traditional bluegrass sound, the 1980s bluegrass legend Hot Rize will take the Howelsen stage July 16. Founded by Tim O'Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster and Charles Sawtelle, the group climbed its way to the top of the bluegrass scene and was honored as the International Bluegrass Music Association's first Entertainers of the Year in 1990, according to the group's bio. The band crafted six studio albums until it disbanded in 1990. After Sawtelle’s death in 1999, Hot Rize re-grouped in 2002.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Performing its distinctive mix of rock, funk, rhythm and blues, Robert Randolph and the Family Band will headline the concert series July 30. With a sound inspired by 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind and Fire and Sly and the Family Stone, the group gained national attention following the 2002 release of the album "Live at the Wetlands.” Since then, the group has toured and headlined performances at venues and festivals such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
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American singer and keyboardist Bruce Hornsby, who was known as an unofficial member of the Grateful Dead in the 1990s, in addition to winning multiple Grammy Awards, will headline the Aug. 7 concert. Tapping into genres of pop, jazz, bluegrass, country and modern classical, Hornsby's work exemplifies a creative iconoclasm, and according to his bio, the title track of his 1986 debut album "The Way It Is" became one of the most popular songs on the radio. He is also known for playing on a variety of albums with artists such as Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Stevie Nicks, Del McCoury and Willie Nelson.
"This year's budget for the series really helped raise the series to another level with acts like Hornsby and Jones, who traditionally, we would have loved to have here in the past, but couldn't afford until now," Waldman said. "The series is really growing and having the ability to bring stronger names, it is a staple of the summer for both locals and visitors."