Jill Beathard

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January 29, 2013
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8K offers something different for aprs

SNOWMASS VILLAGE -Live music and aprs-ski go hand in hand. Most aprs-ski music seems to involve a guitar and some vocals, with maybe a bass or other instrument thrown in. But from 4 to 7 five nights a week at the 8K Restaurant at Viceroy Snowmass, guests can hear some jazz, a little blues - even some bossa nova. Local music coordinator Tom Hills has teamed up with 8K manager Emily Albers and food and beverage director David Bodette to develop an entertainment schedule centered around jazz and jazz-influenced genres. Calling it the "Five Shades of Jazz," Hills has enlisted Vid Weatherwax, of Detroit, to play keyboard and arrange music for the venue on Wednesdays through Sundays. "It takes a combined effort to make entertainment more than just a corporate gesture of necessity," Hills said. "Music should complement a venue like a perfect glass of wine would a meal." The team agreed they wanted both consistency and variety in the 8K's entertainment, which is why guest artists will pair up with Vid Weatherwax on certain nights. "This provided variety along with the consistency of Vid's full yet controlled sound," Hills said. The music sticks within that sound, although its influences come from all over. "Since the term 'jazz' can mean many things to many people, we were careful not to stick to a strict style, such as traditional jazz," Hills said. "Instead, we sought to bring the most accessible styles of jazz and jazz-influenced genres, such as contemporary and New Orleans-style jazz. Along with that, we decided to bring R&B and blues to the mix, being that they are not only highly influenced by jazz but also complement it seamlessly."Weatherwax also said that the music doesn't all fit under jazz, even though the name of the gig implies that. "You'll hear a big variety. ... You look at the list of influential music in Detroit, and it's the longest" in the country, said Weatherwax, who performed music in the city for many years before making the move here in June. Weatherwax said the music is more for adult taste and that he tries to keep it at a volume people can listen to or talk over. But he does encourage people to listen. "We put a lot into the details of the arrangements," he said. "We're not just killing time."That doesn't mean their set list is inflexible. Weatherwax works hard to have music in all the varieties ready, so if someone requests bossa nova, they can play it. Multi-instrumentalist and longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident Chris Bank joins Weatherwax on saxophone and bass on Friday nights. Both men do some singing, too. Roberta Lewis joins the scene on Saturday nights. Bank, like a lot of Roaring Fork Valley locals, moved to Old Snowmass right after college. Weatherwax has arrived later in life but used to play music with Hills in Detroit. Hills invited him to play out here, and after experiencing the music in the area, including Wednesday night concerts in Glenwood Springs, he decided he wanted to be here. "I realized I could do OK out here but be around the mountains and the rivers," he said. Although the team might add more guest musicians eventually, Weatherwax said they're still "feeling it out" as it is right now. Hills hopes "Five Shades of Jazz" will translate into returning customers for the restaurant and hotel. When music complements a venue, guests "remember their hotel stay as an ensemble of satisfaction," he said. jbeathard@snowmasssun.com

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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 29, 2013 05:59PM Published Jan 29, 2013 05:54PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.