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By Bob Hemenger
Special to The PREVIEW
The Americana Project class at Pagosa Springs High School is proud to have Victor Wooten perform at their spring concert series, May 7.
Not only is Wooten one of the most respected innovators of the electric bass, but is also the author of “The Music Lesson”. The book is required reading for all freshman at Berklee School of Music in Boston and tells the story of music and how it relates to life. He has been a keynote speaker at Stanford University and has done clinics all over the world. He is also a featured composer on several movie soundtracks and has played on countless recording.
A few years ago, Wooten purchased 150 acres outside of Nashville, Tenn., and turned it into a beautiful music camp. People come from all over the world to study music and nature. The camp not only helps people become better musicians, but also helps them become more connected with the natural world. Victor has spent many years studying how indigenous people lived with the land and has found a great way of connecting those skills with music. PBS featured the camp on the Tennessee Crossroads TV series. The show can be found on YouTube by searching Tennessee Crossroads Victor Wooten.
Since the show was announced, a couple of questions keep coming up.
The first question is, “How did you get Victor Wooten to come to Pagosa Springs?” First of all, the reason Victor Wooten is coming to Pagosa Springs High School is because he is a really nice guy. We have known each other for the past 20 years, and when he heard about the Americana Project class he offered to come out and help us with a fund-raiser. Other than covering his travel expenses, he will not accept any money for his time or performance. Victor will also be doing an assembly for the entire high school student body the morning of May 7. Last month, we did an interactive skype session with him on the big screen in the auditorium. About 100 students were involved, as well as members of the school board. People left the auditorium feeling like they had heard an amazing musician but also had a chance to meet a very kind, humble and fascinating person. One student was overheard saying he thought Victor had “Jedi” skills.
Another question is whether Wooten is bringing a band. The answer is no; this will be a solo show. Victor is one of the first to promote the bass as a solo instrument and continues to expand all known boundaries for the instrument. The evening will also include conversations on music as a language and a question-and-answer section. Victor is such a creative person and great improviser that there is no telling in what direction the evening will go. One thing is for sure: Pagosa is in for a real treat.
The show starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, at the high school auditorium. Doors will open at 6:30 and it’s general seating, so please come early for a good seat. Another reason to come early is there is a good chance the show will be sold out. Tickets are only $10 for students and $15 for adults and are available at the door the evening of the show.
Thanks to The Pagosa Springs SUN for being one of the sponsors of the show and promoting the Americana Project activities.