Concert to benefit musician Vid Weatherwax

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times
Heather's in Basalt will host a benefit concert for keyboardist Vid Weatherwax on Sunday. The local musician has fallen ill this winter.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Vid Weatherwax benefit concert

Where: Heather’s Savory Pies and Tapas Bar, Basalt

When: Sunday, Feb. 28, 4-8 p.m.

How much: $25 suggested contribution

More info: Donations can also be made online here or at any Alpine Bank.

The Roaring Fork Valley’s working musicians are coming together for one of their own this weekend.

Keyboardist Vid Weatherwax, who has been a fixture of the local music scene in recent years, fell ill last month with influenza and bacterial pneumonia complicated by his Type 2 diabetes. As Weatherwax has received medical care and been unable to perform, hospital bills have mounted for the full-time musician.

The tight-knit, local musical community is lending a helping hand with an online crowdfunding campaign and a benefit concert this evening at Heather’s in Basalt, where Weatherwax performed regularly before his illness.

The GoFundMe campaign, organized by frequent Weatherwax collaborator Roberta Lewis, has raised more than $4,000 to date. Its goal is $10,000.

Weatherwax settled locally after a career as a studio and club musician in Detroit.

Singer-guitarist Bobby Mason, known as “Aspen’s Mayor of Music,” first met Weatherwax playing the Carbondale Mountain Fair five years ago, and has collaborated with him often since then. He said the jazz keyboardist came to town eager to contribute to the community.

“He’s a phenomenal player and came in with such a beautiful attitude,” said Mason. “A lot of people come here with the attitude that they’re the hottest thing. He just wanted to play with everybody and that got around.”

Along with Lewis and Mason, the benefit lineup is a who’s who of local players. Among them are the trios of Suzzanne Paris, John Michel and Michael Jude; Steve Skinner, Louie Giradot and Captain X; and Hayden Gregg, Hap Harriman and Dana Underwood; along with David Harding and Amy Hawes, J.D. Martin and Jan Garrett, Bo Hale, Steve Cole and Jimmy Dykkan.

“We’re family,” Mason said. “A lot of these local people are studio musicians from Nashville, New York, L.A., Chicago. It’s some of the best musicians in the world. And Vid fit right in with that.”

Mason noted that most Aspen full-time musicians can make ends meet on tips and modest payments for local gigs, but that a complication like a medical emergency can quickly thrust them into dire financial straits.

Lewis wrote on the GoFundMe page that Weatherwax’s condition worsened as he pushed himself to continue playing gigs to generate income for his medical bills.

“His overwhelming concern about expenses pushed him to perform too soon,” she wrote.

Mason himself got help from fans and the musical community in recent years as he underwent heart surgery that saved his life.

“Vid was making ends meet until this happened,” Mason siad. “And we’re all sticking together to say, ‘Let’s support our musicians.’”