Music weaves in and around Cherry Days

By Tamie Meck


For the fourth consecutive year, Skip Naft has lined up an eclectic mix of musical talent for Cherry Days. From classical to funk and jazz, rock 'n' roll and folk, more than a dozen local and regional acts will be presented. In addition to the July 3- 4 music at Paonia Town Park, venues include the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, Delicious Orchards, Poulos Park, and local dining and drinking establishments. The celebration officially begins Monday, but you won't want to miss the wide range of music happening downtown beginning Friday, June 30.

For a complete Cherry Days schedule, including performers, refer to the Cherry Days schedule in this edition of the DCI, or visit www.paoniacherry days.com.

From 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, the Blue Sage Center for the Arts presents "The Lyrical Clarinet: Music for Clari- net, Cello and Piano." The Aspen Music Festival's artist-faculty will fill the Blue Sage with music by Beethoven, Faure and modernist film composer Nino Rota. Tickets are $18-23 for adults, $13-$18 for ages 18 and under, and avail- able at the Blue Sage, at BlueSage.org, or by call- ing 527-7243.

Ellen Stapenhorst will kick off live music at Poulos Park during the July 3 Downtown Day. For more than five decades Stapenhorst has brought original and uplifting fold music to the stage. Her strong guitar playing and insightful songs go right to the heart. Stapenhorst has shared the stage with John Denver, Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Stewart, Shawn Colvin and Frankie Valli.

A Paonia original and up and coming musician, Sam Stech follows Stapenhorst. "This is a great place to showcase this up-and-coming Paonia talent," says Naft.

The David Snider & Mike Gwinn Duo opens the official Cherry Days music lineup at 3 p.m. Monday, at the Howard Berkman Memorial Stage. Gwinn first appeared on stage in 1959 and has performed professionally ever since. His band the North Fork Flyers has entertained local audiences for more than a decade. He has recorded with a long list of jazz greats including Richie Cole, Bruce Forman and Bobby McFerrin. A multi- instrumentalist, Snider composes in both jazz and pop styles. He has toured extensively with Sonny Sharrock and Gato Barbiera.

Joalan Meador and the International Cloudkickers will jam from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday. Multi-instrumentalist, Meador 's style is uniquely acoustic and electric, simple and refined. Naft calls Joalan "An awesome soul and creative force to be reckoned with... I don't quite know what he's going to do, but it's going to be entertaining."

The Scones will bring classic 1960s music to Cherry Days Monday from 7-9 p.m. with "The Scones Summer of Love Show." The show features Stockton on guitar and vocals, Highwater on bass, percussion and vocals, Harry Knipe on drums and vocals, Melanie Jean on flute, bass, percussion and vocals, and Beth Williams on guitar and vocals. In addition to music from "The Summer of Love," the performance will include a selection of Stockton's original songs.

On July 4, Bobby Walker & the Paonia Cherry Days All Stars kick off the music at 2:30 p.m., at Paonia Town Park. A blues performer from Grand Junction, Walker "will perform an all-blues review with local all-stars Harry Harpoon, Justin Hess and David Snyder," explained Naft.

Jericho takes the stage from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A Paonia band featured this summer at the Delicious Orchards free summer concert series, Jericho is an improvisational rock band with a style "as eclectic as our little family and a heart as big as our sound."

Closing out the festival from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday is "Let Them Roar," a folk/Americana band from Carbondale. The band includes Olivia Pevec on vocals, Sophia Clark and Mateo Sandate on vocals and guitar, and Ashton Taufer on vocals and bass. "Their music reflects their home...in the heart of the Elk Mountains," according to their website. They have recorded studio EPs and a live album and have opened for Tab Benoit, Hit and Run Bluegrass, Paper Bird and others.