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Shane and Toni Tuller to perform at Art in the Garden

Shane Tuller, and his mother, Toni Tuller, will wrap up the musical entertainment at this year’s Art in the Garden on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3-7 p.m at Chris Mountain Ranches.

Shane and Toni will provide our guests with traditional fiddle tunes such as “The Arkansas Traveler,” “Old Joe Clark,” “Little Rabbit” and “The Devil’s Dream” — all in celebration of this year’s theme of Memories of the Old West.

When only 5 years old, Shane told his mother, Toni, that he would like to play the violin. He relates that his mother, who was a piano teacher, told him that if he would take piano lessons for three years and show her that he would work hard and stick with it, she would provide him with a violin and lessons.

Needless to say, Shane kept his end of the deal and began playing the violin at age 8, starting with classical lessons at a music conservatory in California where the family lived at the time. Around the age of 11 or 12, though, he was exposed to the great bluegrass fiddle player Richard Greene who performed at his music school. Shane was taken with both Greene and traditional fiddle tunes. He began traveling to Los Angeles to take lessons from Greene and did so for three years until his family moved to Pagosa Springs. Once in Pagosa, Shane says he was on his own and became self taught.

Shane’s mother, Toni, who will join him at Art in the Garden ,playing banjo and guitar, was a strong musical influence. As mentioned, she was a piano teacher, but has also played banjo and guitar in bands featuring traditional American music and has a beautiful voice. When he was a youngster, Shane and his family would take month-long vacations annually and during those drives his mother played Kingston Trio and Limeliter’s tapes along with old Irish music. Toni is of Irish descent — one parent a Hinton, the other a Carrick — so Shane says it is only natural that he enjoys playing traditional bluegrass, and, more recently, the Irish music, which bluegrass is steeped in.

At the beginning of 2010, Shane became a member of the Irish band Big’ns, which in addition to his fiddle, has a guitar, mandolin and upright bass. Big’ns has played at Pagosa Pubworks and The Buffalo Inn here in Pagosa, but travels throughout the Four Corners area playing a variety of venues weekly. The band does such notable Irish favorites as “Finnigan’s Wake,” “Black Velvet Band” and “Dirty Old Town.” The band is currently working on a CD, which they hope to release soon and from which you can hear a tune from on our local station KWUF now and again.

To hear Shane and Toni Tuller, plan to attend Art in the Garden, Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3-7 p.m. Tickets are $40 each and are now available at Nello’s, the Chamber of Commerce and online at pagosaartinthegarden.com. Your admission ticket will provide you with an opportunity to visit with all of the artists and to view and purchase their work. In addition to the Tullers, there will be a variety of musical acts featuring noted western artist Tim Sullivan, keyboardist Michael Thomas, Native American Flute Player Charles Martinez, The Jason Rose Trio, The Community Choir Jazz Ensemble and Pagosa Brass. We will also enjoy a fine exhibition of square dancing provided by the High Country Squares. There will be gourmet appetizers, roasted cabrito, brisket, watermelon pickles and cobblers all in the style of the old west. As always, proceeds from this event will benefit the local Community Assistance Fund. Please join us for a few hours of wonderful food, music and art in support of an important local charity.

If you have questions, contact Creative Outreach Charitable Organization at cococharities@gmail.com.

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