Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck to play Sun Valley

Sun Valley Shakedown concert to rock Festival Meadows

Express Staff Writer

Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers will play Sun Valley Festival Meadows for the Sun Valley Shakedown on Thursday, July 28. Photo by Sean Smith Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones will also play for the Sun Valley Shakedown in Sun Valley Festival Meadows on Thursday, July 28. Courtesy photo

This summer live music is taking center stage with Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers in Sun Valley. Fleck and Hornsby are touring for the summer for a limited one-month tour. Each band will play a full set.

Jason Fry of Peak Productions in Hailey, along with several valley supporters including the underground promotional organization BoPaT—Board of Powder and Tourism—will present the first Sun Valley Shakedown with Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers to the Wood River Valley on Thursday, July 28.

"This is the start of something that will bump up Sun Valley's profile on the musical map," Fry said.

Hornsby and Fleck are expected to "do something special," he said, in collaboration to end the night at the Sun Valley Festival Meadows.

"I think people have been craving a festival like this for quite some time," he said. "To have legendary artists like Bela Fleck and Bruce Hornsby as the 'founding' festival artists is incredible."

Grammy Award-winning Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' new album, "Rocket Science" is set to release in early May. For the first time since 1991, pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy has returned to the band alongside bassist Victor Wooten, percussionist and drummer Roy "Futureman" Wooten and banjoist bandleader Fleck to create some of the most forward-thinking music of their long, storied career.

Many genres come into play with Fleck and the Flecktones, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, African, electric blues and Eastern European folk dances. The original sound is a meeting of musical minds.

Grammy Award-winning Hornsby is also releasing a new album, "Bride of the Noisemakers," a two-CD collection of 25 handpicked songs chosen from his multifaceted 20-year career. "Bride of the Noisemakers" was recorded live on tour between 2007 and 2009. The live setting captures the band's spirit of spontaneous creativity.

For Hornsby, the magic of live performance is paramount in his search for the perfect musical moment, especially when he plays with the Noisemakers. Hornsby seamlessly combines elements of rock, jazz, R&B and modern classical music to create a distinctive style.

"You won't get the chance to see these two together very often—especially in such a beautiful setting as Sun Valley," Fry said.

The Noisemakers consist of bassist J.V. Collier, who has played with Hornsby for 17 years, keyboardist and organist John "J.T." Thomas, who has played with Hornsby for 21 years, reed player Bobby Read, who has been with Hornsby for 18 years, guitarist and mandolin player Doug Derryberry, who has been with Hornsby for 13 years, and drummer Sonny Emory, who has been with Hornsby for nine years.

Fry said Sun Valley's Festival Meadows will transform into a festive concert grounds with food and beverage vendors, merchandise vendors and "other uniquities." Toni's Ice Cream will host an ice cream eating competition, and will award a year's supply of ice cream to the winner.

"I want people to come to the valley, stay in hotels and condos, visit the great restaurants and stores, and see some stellar music," he said. "This will be a huge economic boost for the valley."

Fry said he estimates the economic impact of this year's festival to be about $300,000. He said he expects the Shakedown to grow in future years, and hopes to add a second night next summer.

"Everyone has been supportive," he said. "The community as a whole knows we have to be a destination that shows our guests a time they'll never forget. What happens in Sun Valley shouldn't stay in Sun Valley."

Whiskey Jacques' in Ketchum will hold an "Official Shakedown Après Party" with the Fox Street All Stars immediately following the concert. Shakedown ticket holders will receive a special discount into Whiskey's to see the band from Denver, which will also open at the Shakedown for Hornsby and Fleck.

Tickets for the Sun Valley Shakedown with Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers will go on sale on Wednesday, April 27, at 9 a.m. Tickets are $48 for general admission seating, $125 for a limited number of VIP tickets, which include reserved parking, reserved seating, VIP restroom access and a commemorative poster. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online at or at several local ticket outlets, including Atkinsons' Markets and Java.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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