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By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Join us for a world-class bluegrass concert when Jeff Scroggins and Colorado take the stage at the Ross Aragon Community Center, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 18.
Advance tickets for $12 are on sale at the community center. Tickets at the door are $15. Young people 18 and under will be admitted free of charge.
The doors and cash bar open at 7 p.m. For more information, call the community center at 264-4152.
Jeff Scroggins and Colorado is an electrifying band from the Rocky Mountains. Jeff is one of the world’s premier masters of the banjo and plays with a precision, drive and timing that are unequaled anywhere. Lead singer Greg Blake’s strong vocals are delivered with conviction, style and clarity. Add the talented Tristan Scroggs on mandolin, K.C. Groves’ solid bass fiddle and vocals, and the soulful fiddle of Annie Savage, and you have a world-class band.
Jeff Scroggins and Colorado is becoming prominent among the nation’s finest contemporary bluegrass bands.
“Jeff Scroggins and Colorado have a wonderful emotional intensity that immediately grabs the listener,” says bluegrass legend Tony Trischka. “Though well rooted in tradition, they can also stretch the boundaries without taking them to the breaking point. Taste and technical brilliance abound. The bands’ vocals are smooth and inviting and the arrangements are inventive. Give these guys and gals a listen and you’ll be amply rewarded with their rich musical tapestry.”
Jeff Scroggins grew up in rural Oklahoma listening to his grandfather, J.M. Cary, perform old-time country music and hearing the fiddling of his great uncle, Oklahoma fiddle legend Ace Sewell. Scroggins has performed and recorded with many of the top names in bluegrass and has won numerous awards including the prestigious National Bluegrass Banjo Championship and dozens of state, regional and local banjo contests. An internationally known performer and banjo teacher, Scroggins’ virtuosity has earned him many fans worldwide. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Russia.
Scroggins is proud of his son Tristan’s presence in the band.
“I just think it’s amazingly cool that my son Tristan is doing this. I never pushed him; he picked up a mandolin at the age of nine and just started playing. Six months later, he won his first contest and has won many since then. Tristan is consumed with music. He practices all the time. Tristan is a prolific composer and has written somewhere between one hundred and one hundred-fifty instrumentals.”
“Tristan is an exciting one to watch,” says fiddler Annie Savage. “Not only does he represent the authentic process of the passing of the music down from one generation to the next through his work with Jeff, but he is also a prodigy along the lines of Mark O’Connor and other bluegrass greats who started young and grew up inside the tradition. Tristan fully understands what defines traditional bluegrass and he is stretching its boundaries, without taking them to the breaking point. Concert goers love Tristan’s original compositions, which tend to give a nod to Bill Monroe while incorporating elements of jazz, funk and Afro-grass.”
“The fiddle has always been my language,” says Annie Savage. Annie’s vivaciousness and versatility have developed through 30 years of performing bluegrass, classical violin and concert harp. She began her career in the music business when she was only 8 years old.
“I started playing the fiddle when I was two,” she says. “I learned to play music kind of like I learned how to talk — through listening to a lot of other people around me do it.” Annie also has a strong background in music education, and, besides enjoying a rigorous performance schedule, she teaches orchestra at a school in Lafayette, Colo.
Lead singer Greg Blake was born in southern West Virginia and, from there, acquired his love for bluegrass and mountain music. Influenced by Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Doc Watson and others, Blake began playing guitar and singing at age 7. Blake was won numerous awards for both his singing and guitar playing.
K.C. Groves is a recording artist and founding member of the popular old-time band, Uncle Earl, which played major festivals in the U.S. and toured extensively abroad, gaining fans and musical cohorts such as Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, who produced one of the band’s CD’s.
Jeff Scroggins and Colorado are constantly touring on the bluegrass festival and fine arts concert circuits, so we’re very fortunate to have them performing in Pagosa. Because of its exceptional singing and virtuosic playing, this group is making a major contribution to keeping bluegrass music popular.
The Ross Aragon Community Center presents this concert in collaboration with Elation Center for the Arts. The Pagosa Springs SUN is the event sponsor.