Strings Music Festival offers classical, bluegrass and more |

Strings Music Festival offers classical, bluegrass and more

Bearfoot, a bluegrass band from Alaska, performs Saturday at Strings Music Pavilion.

This week at Strings features eight diverse events, sure to offer something to please everyone.

Hot Peas 'N Butter entertains children and adults Tuesday with shows at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The duo are winners of the 2006, 2008 and 2009 Parent's Choice Awards and combine traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, folk and rock to make a sound all their own. This is something the whole family will love.

Wednesday evening marks the return to Strings Music Festival of 20-year-old pianist Haochen Zhang. He was a co-gold medalist in the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which is arguably the most competitive piano contest in the world and occurs only once every four years. Zhang will perform four Ballades of Chopin, a group of pieces by Brahms — Klavierstücke, Op. 118 — and three tuneful and lively dance selections by Stravinsky.

At 12:15 p.m. Thursday, come see the Meridian Quartet in its final Yampa River Botanic Park appearance of the season. The quartet will be performing works by Pachelbel, Mozart, Debussy, Vivaldi and more in a program titled "Music and Mother Nature." Children from the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs will join the quartet. They've designed and made their own instruments specifically for this performance.

On Friday, singer/songwriter Paula Cole performs old favorites and new songs from her latest album, "Ithaca." You may remember Paula Cole from "Dawson's Creek" fame — her song, "I Don't Want to Wait," was the show's theme song — or perhaps you recall "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone." During that time, Paula Cole won a Grammy for Best New Artist, and today, she continues to perform for sold-out audiences. Her new album is considered her finest yet. On Thursday, Paula Cole performs for a Strings fundraiser at a beautiful home on Mount Werner.

Saturday morning features the annual Kitchen and Garden Tour. This year, we have added a new component to the event — a bike tour. This moderate ride visits the same homes as the traditional self-guided and VIP tours and gives participants a chance to get some exercise along the way.

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After the tour in the morning is a performance by Bearfoot, a young bluegrass band from Alaska. They are full of energy and talent and were the Telluride Bluegrass Band Champions in 2001, joining the ranks of the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek. This concert is open seating and promises to be a rockin' good time.

Tickets for Paula Cole, Bearfoot and the Kitchen and Garden Tour increase in cost on the day of the event, so buy your tickets early. Visit the Strings website at for concert details, or call the box office at 970-879-5056.

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