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By Bob Hemenger
Special to The PREVIEW
The class was originally added to the course offerings after a two-day work session with Brad Tisdel (Creative Educational Resources LLC) back in August 2009. Brad is the originator of The Americana Project class at Sisters High School in Sisters, Ore. The class has students actively performing, writing and recording original and cover music. They also study the connection between American Roots music and culture and history. Ultimately, they explore creativity through music using self-expression and building self-confidence.
The support of the Archuleta School District Board, along with Mark DeVoti, Linda Reed, David Hamilton, Sean O’Donnel, and Mark Thompson allowed us to move forward and make it all happen. We are fortunate to be in a school district that believes in the arts.
Each semester the class is required to book, promote and produce a concert with a professional musician. This assignment helps the students understand the business side of music, as well as the gift of learning and performing with professionals. Guest artists over the years include: Joe Craven, Pete Kartsounes Trio, Gary Morris, Caravan of Thieves, Sarah Siskind and Travis Book, Caleb Hawley, Victor Wooten and KJ Denhert. This semester’s very special guest is The Jaden Carlson Trio.
The Jaden Carlson Band is a high-energy power trio based out of Boulder that melds funk, soul, jazz, fusion and rock. Led by the young guitar phenomenon (she is only 13), they expertly perform a unique and expansive repertoire of infectious originals and carefully selected covers.
Carlson is a young woman with an old soul, her pragmatic attitude allows for unforced, organic, personal lyrics that complement her distinguished guitar riffs. Her repertoire includes ethereal and touching originals and covers by Trevor Hall, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, The Meters, Dave Brubeck, Jaco Pastorius, Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz, John Mayer, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, The Beatles, U2, Eminem, Led Zeppelin and many more.
To date, Jaden has independently released three CDs, the most recent being a live acoustic titled “Born To Fly.” Her band is comprised of herself on lead guitar and vocals, Will Trask on drums, percussion and backing vocals, and Eric Luba on left-hand bass, keys and backing vocals.
Jaden has shared the stage with many notable artists, including Umphrey’s McGee, Michael Franti and Spearhead, John Popper and Blues Traveler, Trevor Hall, Groundation and many others. She has the honor of being the youngest artist to legitimately perform at Red Rocks Amphitheater … twice. She has played the 1stBank Center, the Fox and Boulder theaters, the Odgen, Fillmore, Gothic and Bluebird theaters in Denver and the House of Blues in San Diego, among many others. Jaden also performs frequently at the some of the nation’s biggest festivals, including Telluride Jazz Celebration, Telluride Blues and Brews, Power To The Peaceful, ARISE Festival, Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, The Werkout and more.
Tickets for the May 1 show are $10 for adults and $7 for students and are available only at the door the evening of the show.
A select group of students from the Americana Project will open the show with original songs starting at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is unassigned, so please come early to guarantee the best seat.
We will also be displaying the “Musical Chairs” that local artists have created and generously donated to the 2014 Americana Project Fundraiser. That event will be held Sunday, May 4, from 1-3 p.m. at the new gazebo on Reservoir Hill. Local musician and school board member Brooks Lindner will be hosting the event. Tyller Gummersall and his band, as well as the Americana students, will provide music.
Money from the previous fundraisers has helped the program purchase a recording studio and quality PA system. This year’s donations will be used to purchase a portable 88-key piano, update some recording gear, pay for musical guest artists and support students attending the Songwriting Academy for Youth in Sisters, Ore.
No tickets are needed for the fundraiser this year. Snacks and sweets will be provided. A shuttle van will pick folks up at trailhead area starting at 12:45 p.m.
None of this would be possible without the hard work and organizational skills of Christine Funk and the numerous local artists who donate their time.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make the Americana Project a success: The Pagosa Springs SUN, Riff Raff Brewing Company, Kip’s Grill and Cantina, High Country Lodge, The Chivalrous Shark, Christine Funk and Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum.