Nahko Bear, Nicki Bluhm come to Snowmass

Andrew Travers
Special to the Snowmass Sun
Nahko and Medicine for the People photographed at Belly Up last summer.
Lewis Cooper/Aspen Times file |

What else is coming up

Nahko and Medicine for the People’s set is just one of several free outdoor concerts on tap in the Bud Light Hi-Fi concert series. The series started with Jamestown Revival on opening weekend in November and continued with a Feb. 13th performance by Ra Ra Riot.

Up next is Big Gigantic at the Aspen CORE Party on March 25 and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers back in Snowmass on March 26.

The three concerts also overlap with Skico’s Bud Light Spring Jam, a spring break lineup of events at the company’s ski areas from March 18-27. Other highlights include:

March 18: KickAspen Big Air Invitational, Aspen

A big air competition at Aspen Mountain that is free to watch and includes a DJ and Bud Light beer garden.

March 19-20: Colorado Collegiate Freeride Championships, Snowmass

A sanctioned freeride world qualifier for skiers and snowboarders ages 18 to 24.

March 19-20 and March 26-27: Terrain Park Boot Camp, Snowmass

A free opportunity for beginner park riders to learn rails, boxes and jumps from professional coaches and athletes.

March 26: Banked Slalom, Buttermilk

A friendly competition for local snowboarders on two banked slalom courses on the footprint of the Winter X Games snowboardcross course. Free to watch.

March 26-27: Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, Aspen to Crested Butte

A 40-mile backcountry ski race spanning an old mail route from Aspen to Crested Butte.

For more information on Spring Jam events, visit

— Jill Beathard

Playing a self-styled blend of folk, rap and world music dubbed “thump-hop,” Nahko and Medicine for the People have built a worldwide community around their sound and their message.

A Portland native, frontman Nahko Bear surrounds himself with a rotating band of musicians known as Medicine for the People. Formed in 2008, and incorporated as a nonprofit, the musical collective travels the globe in the Michael Franti tradition, playing progressive folk music with a positive message, charming storytelling and catchy guitar licks.

The globe-trotting band comes to Snowmass Base Village on March 19 as part of the winter-long Hi-Fi Concert Series, presented by the Aspen Skiing Co. The five-concert Hi-Fi series kicked off Thanksgiving weekend with a performance by Jamestown Revival at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Given their itinerant, inclusive approach, it’s no surprise to find Nahko and Medicine for the People playing a free show on a Colorado mountainside.

“You’ll find us in the most unique places on Earth because it’s real, raw, and honest storytelling about what we’ve been through and what we believe in,” Nahko Bear said in 2013. “And that’s why people connect with it. I think that’s the most important thing you can do with music.”

The collective has two proper studio albums — “On the Verge” (2010) and “Dark as Night” (2013) — while also regularly releasing one-offs online. But the band’s sound and reputation has been built on its enthralling live shows over the last few years at festivals and clubs (including stops at Belly Up in Aspen).

Nahko has been praised for his rare ability to turn a show of any size into an intimate affair, drawing the audience in while preaching equality, respect, and social justice.

“Part of what we try to convey is accountability and empowerment,” he says. “These songs direct us to look at ourselves, whether it’s about a social issue, environmental or a personal issue. They embrace Bob Marley’s idea of world-bridging, bringing people together to resolve differences. For us, music is a tool to create healing and activate people to change things.”