Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shake it down in Festival Meadows

Sun Valley Shakedown presents award-winning live music

Express Staff Writer

Bela Fleck, second from the left, and The Original Flecktones will join Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers for the Sun Valley Shakedown on Thursday, July 28. The bands will play a set each and one set together for a festival evening. Courtesy photo

"In the spirit of musical evolution, I'm always trying to keep my band on their toes," said musician Bruce Hornsby. "I can be a slow learner, and sometimes it takes me a while to arrive at the most soulful way to play and sing one of my songs, or anyone's song for that matter."

Discover what makes Hornsby a celebrated multi Grammy Award-winning artist when he plays the first Sun Valley Shakedown on Thursday, July 28, on Sun Valley Road in Festival Meadows with his band The Noisemakers and Bela Fleck and The Original Flecktones. Hornsby and Fleck will play a set with their bands and then the two groups will combine for a final third set to end the show.

"I love Bruce's material, and I have played quite a bit of it with him over the years," Fleck said. "However, I also love his willingness to jump off into the unknown, so if he wants me to play something we've never done before, I'm into that."

Fleck said he is inspired by many types of music, and has recently played with musicians from many parts of the world, including Africa and India, as well as with several world-class jazz musicians. His band, the Flecktones, also influences his sound, contributing a good deal of American "roots" music.

"The banjo is the coolest instrument out there, and it's about time people started figuring it out," he said. "I'm all for it. The more folks we have playing, the more diverse the personal expression we all get to experience. It's good."

As a household name, Fleck always tries to improve upon his music and grow. He is concentrating on composing his first banjo concerto, which was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony.

"It's a 30-something-minute piece for banjo and full orchestra," he said. "It premieres in September."

With the original Flecktones line-up of Howard Levy, Victor Lemonte Wooten and Future Man, the band will be in full force, especially joining Hornsby and The Noisemakers, which consists of J.V. Collier, John "J.T." Thomas, Bobby Reas, Doug Derryberry and Sonny Emory. Both groups have new material and lots of old goodies to share with Sun Valley.

"This is a grassroots effort," said concert organizer Jason Fry. "Sun Valley Co., the city of Sun Valley, the city of Ketchum and the chamber all want to make this happen. This will be a show unlike any other in concert history in Sun Valley. It's a celebration."

Tickets are $48 for general admission seating, $125 for a limited number of VIP tickets, which includes 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 in Ketchum. The show will being at 5 p.m. with the Fox Street All Stars. No outside food is allowed at the venue. A variety of food vendors and beverages will be available, including a full bar service. Low-back chairs are allowed.

"Music here works only if the people want it," Fry said. "This is the first of many plans to bring great music to the valley."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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