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Grand Lake: Snowshoe your way to jazz

by Cyndi PalmerSky-Hi Daily News

The annual Grand Lake Snowshoe Festival starts at 10 a.m. with the Grand Lake Metro. Rec. District 5K snowshoe race in the town square. Entry is $20. There’s also a free kids race and a challenge race scheduled. Registration may be made early or at the town park from 8 to 9:30 a.m. before the race.Participants are also invited to enjoy free tours through the famous 1892 Kauffman House Museum 1 to 4 p.m. across from Grand Lake’s shore, snowshoeing and free sleigh rides out at Winding River Resort at 1 and 2 p.m., G.L. Rec. District’s Full Moon ski and snowshoe at the Touring Center 5 to 9 p.m. (trail fee) and a free geo cache challenge throughout the day. Bring your own snowshoes or rent from Grand Lake Sports (970-627-8124) or Never Summer Mountain Products (970-627-3642).One of the biggest highlights of the day is the next Grand Arts Council Concert in the Pines, featuring local musicians Peggy Mann, Mark Daniels and the Colorado Highlander Band, as well as the Walter Holland Quartet (with Holland, Patrick Brower, Brad Pregeant and Warren Ward).Pregeant, a jazz pianist who hails from New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, is said to be a musical tour guide through a variety of sounds. Brower, Ward and modest frontman, Holland, join him as one of several acts set to perform Saturday evening. They not only bring good tunes and a myriad of musical experience with them to the stage, but a lot of history and friendship playing together.Holland studied under Alvin Battiste at Southern University in Louisiana and has written several award-winning advertising jingles. He plays many instruments for a variety of bands, including the alto and tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet and the oboe.He’s an excellent composer, obviously, but he can also improvise with the best, Brower said.Ward, a freelance bass and saxophone player who named the quartet some 15 years ago, has also played for bands Mango Chutney, Special Blend, the Sofa Kings and Tight Like That. As a young musician in high school, he had the opportunity to play sax in a concert band that recorded in Carnegie Hall and toured Europe. Since then, he’s learned to play bass and he has played on stage with Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Throughout all this, I enjoyed the diversity of playing different styles, from the reading of music in formal concert bands to ‘jamming’ in rock bands, he said.Ward said he enjoys playing for the Walter Holland Quartet because the informal band plays some very serious, talented jazz. Those guys are monster musicians. They play the greatest jazz and fusion tunes, plus many originals, without breaking a sweat. He said he feels pretty lucky to play with so many local musicians who have big-city talent.As a time-keeper and groove-player, not to mention a creative soloist, he really brings a lot to the music, Pregeant said of Brower. Patrick also has a great personality on stage and engages the listeners.The show, simply titled Pregeant and friends, will play everything from light jazz to contemporary, starting at 7:30 p.m. Wine will be available for purchase. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.The 2008 Concert in the Pines and Concert in the Park series are sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado. The wine sponsor for the February concert is Elk Horn Art Gallery.


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