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Americana Music Series returns to Justice Snow’s

Brooklyn-based songwriter Trevor Wilson is serving this winter as Justice Snow's first composer-in-residence.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Jazz Brunch

Where: Justice Snow’s

When: Sunday, Feb. 8, Noon to 2 p.m.

Cost: Free (tips for musicians welcome)

More info: http://www.justicesnows.com; 970-429-8192

What: Americana Music Series (Old time, country and bluegrass)

Where: Justice Snow’s

When: Sunday, Feb. 8, 9 p.m. to midnight

Cost: Free (tips for musicians welcome)

More info: http://www.justicesnows.com; 970-429-8192

Complete American Music Series Lineup

All performances at Justice Snow’s, except Feb. 24

Feb 11 Sam Moss, Live in the Parlor. 5 p.m.

Feb 14 New Music Brunch. Noon – 2 p.m.

Feb 15 String Band Brunch. Noon – 2 p.m.

Feb 15 Americana Music Series (Pop, rock and Motown). 9 p.m. – midnight

Feb 18 Composer in Residence: Trevor Wilson, Live in the Parlor. 5 p.m.

Feb 21 New Music Brunch. Noon – 2 p.m.

Feb 21 Americana Music Saturday (Blues, jazz and R&B). 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Feb 22. Jazz Brunch. Noon – 2 p.m.

Feb 22. Jazz Workshop 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Feb 24. Composer in Residence: Trevor Wilson at Woody Creek Community Center. 7 p.m.

Feb 25. Alison May, Live in the Parlor. 5 p.m.

Feb 26. Jackson Emmer & Sam Moss, Noon – 2 p.m.

March 1. String Band Brunch. Noon – 2 p.m.

March 1. String Band Workshop 3 – 4:30 p.m.

March 1. Americana Music Series Finale. 9 p.m.

March 4. Songwriters in the Parlor. 5 p.m.

March 8. Composer in Residence: Trevor Wilson’ Live in the Parlor. 5 p.m.

In its third outing at Justice Snow’s, the Americana Music Series is expanding to add workshops, singer-songwriter showcases and a composer residency in a 20-event lineup.

The downtown bar and restaurant hosted the first Americana series last winter, and returned for a late summer, nine-show run featuring the varied talents of Hot Eagle, a four-piece featuring Massachusetts-based troubadour Sam Moss (lead vocals, fiddle, guitar, banjo), Oakland’s Alison May (guitar, vocals) and Aspenites Jackson Emmer (mandolin, guitars, banjo, vocals, harmonica) and Ross Kribbs (fiddle, vocals) alongside guest musicians.

Along with five Hot Eagle shows, the winter lineup — which launches Sunday and continues through March 8 — includes showcases for the artists in intimate acoustic shows and three performances by Brooklyn’s Trevor Wilson, Justice Snow’s first composer-in-residence.

The composer program is the latest in what’s been a surprising and expanding arts program at the bar and restaurant. Along with the Americana series, running events include its “Poetry Brothel,” “Salon at Justice Snow’s” and the bi-monthly storytelling program “Writ Large,” which launched in January.

“It’s quieter and more intimate. In the past, it’s been all these late-night jam sessions.”Musician Jackson Emmer,on the new Americana songwriter series

Emmer credited the restaurant and bar’s proprietress Michele Kiley for keeping the arts at the top of its menu and nurturing artists in the process.

“It’s weird for a restaurant to subsidize an artist to come here and create on their behalf,” Emmer, who curates the series, said of the composer-in-residence initiative. “I don’t think writing a new song cycle is going to help her sell any more drinks.”

But having the talented songwriter perform here may bring music fans to the bar, and promises to add the space’s already rich creative spirit.

Wilson was a classmate of Emmer and Moss at Bennington College in Vermont. A member of the group Anawan, his previous projects have included a cycle of smart, sad, sometimes funny piano songs in the Rufus Wainwright tradition on the album “Rudder Songs” for New Amsterdam Records. He also displayed his complex songcraft and unique, envelope-pushing spin on the folk tradition on the album “All Material” with a vocal ensemble.

There are no strings attached to the residency for Wilson other than working on new music in Aspen during his time here. He’ll be traveling around the valley and Colorado writing and recording new songs about the experience and will make them available free online. Wilson will perform Feb. 18 and March 8 at Justice Snow’s, and Feb. 24 at the Woody Creek Community Center.

The Hot Eagle shows will focus on a different style in each outing — country and bluegrass onSunday, rock the following weekend, blues and jazz the next. It poses a challenge for these talented young musicians, forcing them to put on a different musical mask each time they perform. But, as Emmer and Moss noted, that’s the reality of being a working musician.

“In order to make a living as an artist, or as a player, you need to do a lot of different things,” Emmer said.

To get ready for each themed evening, the band has to practice and hop between Americana’s many hues. In doing so, they’ll get better at their craft and — ideally — make some creative discoveries together.

In its third Americana series outing, Justice Snow’s has added a songwriter series on Wednesdays in the back parlor at the restaurant. It will showcase individual performers like Moss, Wilson and Alison May in a more laid-back environment than the late shows.

“It’s quieter and more intimate,” Emmer said. “In the past, it’s been all these late-night jam sessions.”

This time around, the series also includes free workshops for local musicians and aspiring musicians, with sessions devoted to jazz and string bands Feb. 22 and March 1. The hands-on workshops will follow Sunday brunch performances and participants will be invited to stick around and play together in the bar afterward.

atravers@aspentimes.com


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