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Current Events

Contributed photoChicago acoustic quintet Cornmeal makes its Aspen debut, Wednesday, May 6 at Belly Up.

The valleys festival season opens with Dandelion Day, Carbondales annual recognition of the undervalued, often scorned weed. The dandelion isnt merely the scourge of allergy sufferers and groundskeepers; it is rich with medicinal value, its roots can be made into a rich, coffee-like tea, and the flower is used to make beer and wine. Dandelion Day, set for Saturday, May 9 and centered around Sopris Park, features a community flea market, the 5K Dandelion Dash, the Parade of the Species and a series of musical performances, culminating with a headlining set by the Frying Pan Bluegrass Band.

Symphony in the Valleys annual Mothers Day Concerts take a step up in the first year under artistic director Carlos Elias. The performances Thursday, May 7 at Carbondales Roaring Fork High School, and May 10 at Glenwood Springs High School still spotlight the winners of the Young Artists Concerto Competition. But the young artists arent as young as they used to be, nor do they all come from the Roaring Fork region. Violinist Alexander Raab, who will play Saint-Sans Rondo Capriccioso, is a 19-year-old at Denver University. Soprano Emily Murdock, 26, who sings Mozarts Exsultate, jubilate, is a graduate of the University of Colorados music program. Pianist Kevin Ahfat, the soloist for Chopins Concerto in F minor, is just 14, but he hails from Centennials Grand View High. Also on the program: Suite No. 1 from the Bizet opera Carmen, and the Julie Spencer percussion piece, Tribeca Sunflower.

The Chicago quintet Cornmeal takes its cues from such progressive string bands as Old & In the Way and New Grass Revival. Plus, they have a drummer to give the beat a kick in the grass. Sounds like they should fit in perfectly in Colorado, birthplace of such broad-minded acoustic acts as Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident. Cornmeal and its shaggy, jam-heavy style of bluegrass make their Aspen debut at Belly Up on Wednesday, May 6.


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