Locals' Jamboree

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— For those who don't know, the Yampa Valley is packed with musicians.

Thanks to the transient nature of Steamboat Springs matching the general nature of musicians, they come from all over world. Still, some have lived here their entire lives. Either way, the result is a variety of musicians and bands playing various genres of music, all in this little valley.

You might have seen them in a bar, playing at a party, performing at a wedding or appearing in numerous community events.

On Saturday, three local bands will play an intimate show in the Strings in the Mountains Tent, volunteering their services to raise money for high school and middle school band instruments. Though the cause is no doubt a motivation for bands agreeing to perform for free, a venue that is purely dedicated to music also sweetened the deal.

The bands are the Celtic and bluegrass group the Shenanigans, the Steamboat Springs Jazz Quartet and rock group Flashback with Steamboat Horns.

"It's a wonderful opportunity," said Dan Isbell, a trumpet player in the Jazz Quartet and Flashback.

The Strings Music Tent allows those bands to play to a sitting audience that is focused on the music.

"It gives them a chance to perform at their best to show the community what they really could do," said Jessie Burns of Strings.

Burns also is the violin player for the Shenanigans, who have played in the tent before.

"They don't need a smoky bar. They need people sitting down and listening to them," she said. "As a musician, that's what you want."

What is hoped is that the people listening to the bands will be mostly locals. In an attempt to introduce the Strings venue to community members who haven't had the opportunity to see a show there, Strings is selling tickets to the event, known as the Locals' Jamboree, for $2.

"This is for the locals to see what we have to offer," Burns said.

However, she said folks in town for the Yampa River Festival and other events are welcomed to come by.

Strings usually pays for national and international acts to perform at the tent, charging a little below normal ticket prices to see the show. Officials hope that by having the Locals' Jamboree, community members will see that it is a great place to see music and will be willing to come back in the future.

They also are interested in helping out the school band programs.

Along with playing trumpet for the Jazz Quartet and Flashback, Isbell is the band teacher for Steamboat Springs' middle school and high school. In his four years at that job, the band programs have grown four times larger than they were. However, the instrument stock and the quality haven't changed in that time.

"There are some old, old stuff," Isbell said.

A thousand dollars raised at the Locals' Jamboree would be a good start to getting instruments repaired and replaced.

The Locals' Jamboree is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Strings Tent in Torian Plum Plaza.

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