The Beyond Bluegrass Festival of Acoustic Music doesn’t have the history or the size of that other bluegrass festival over in Telluride. But Beyond Bluegrass has something even the Telluride Bluegrass Festival can’t match – the Wheeler Opera House. While the 10,000-person venue at Telluride’s Town Park is an unwieldy number for acoustic music, the Wheeler is perhaps the ideal space to actually listen to the music. And Beyond Bluegrass, presented by the Wheeler, has consistently attracted top acts, including in past years the Del McCoury Band, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Ralph Stanley. This year’s fifth annual festival, Wednesday through Saturday, March 16-19, features supergroups Psychograss and Blue Highway, French-speaking Canadian group Vishten, and roots-rockers Donna the Buffalo.
A viewer walking downstairs and around a corner at the Baldwin Gallery will be stunned by the beauty, color and light of Milton Rosa-Ortiz’s “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Examining the sculptural installation further, the viewer is bound to be impressed by the conceptual underpinnings of the piece, with seven separate suspended sculptings depicting St. Thomas Aquinas’ roster of sins. Those most taken with the exhibit, however, should be those who knew Rosa-Ortiz during his Aspen years, when he was a waiter and architect. After moving to Brooklyn six years ago, Rosa-Ortiz picked up sculpture and hasn’t stopped. “The Seven Deadly Sins” confirms he is headed in the right direction.
Snowmass Village isn’t exactly party central. But give it a good drinking-oriented holiday, and watch Snowmass tear off its family-friendly face. For years, the Village has been the place for Mardi Gras, and now it is embracing St. Paddy’s Day – Thursday, March 17, for those who need reminding – like a good son of Erin. Events like the Lucky Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt and the Big Air competition will play out to a steady beat of music. Among the holiday-appropriate acts: the Isle of Mull St. Andrews Pipe & Drum band, parading the mall at 2 p.m., and Irish rock band the Prodigals at 3 p.m. The Motet, which plays its Afro-Cuban grooves on the mall at 4 p.m. and at the Blue Door that night, doesn’t quite fit the theme. But after a beer or nine, who’s going to notice?
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