J e f f H a e s s l e r
Pearl Street BrewGrassfestival kicks offsummertime twin bill
I 10 hours o guitar picking isn’t enough toleave you grinning, you’ve been out on the back porch way too long.Come noontime June 12, tie up Ol’ Blue,slap on that tattered Red Man cap and wander down to the 1200 block o South Pearl Street atBuchtel Boulevard. For ve bucks, you can toe- tap, knee-slap and nger-pop to some o the bestbluegrass tunes this side o West Virginia. Maybeeven buy yoursel a beer or two.It’s BrewGrass time, the annual transorma- tion o South Pearl’s concrete and curbs into aneight-band gathering o down-home musical tal-ent that will do their best to knock your socks o until well ater the cows come home.Headlining the street estival is Great American Taxi, an oshoot o celebrated Boulder band Letover Salmon that the group’s websitecalls “a swinging concoction o swampy blues,progressive bluegrass, unky New Orleans strut,Southern boogie, honky-tonk country, gospeland good ol’ ashioned rock ’n’ roll.”Other bands on the bill include Fort Collins-based Head or the Hills, the Jim LauderdaleBluegrass Trio, Nation Beat, Hoots andHellmouth, the Grant Gordy Quartet, Oakhurstand Loose Cannon.BrewGrass is sponsored by the Old SouthPearl Association, which uses proceeds or variousimprovement projects. The estival site is abouta block west o the Louisiana-Pearl RTD station.Show your validated light-rail ticket or RTD passand get $1 o the $5 admission (kids under 12are ree). Since there’s no RTD garage at the siteand parking in the neighborhood is limited, public transportation may be the best way o getting to the estival, says organizer Nicole Jarman. Also, since the street can get hot, patronsare asked to keep their pets at home, she says.Some shade tents will be available, but since8,000 or more people are expected over thecourse o the day, it’s best to wear a hat andsunscreen. Chairs and blankets are welcome andplenty o ood and retail booths will be availablein addition to 11 crat brewers and wine andlemonade stands. About a month ater BrewGrass, its summer twin will take center stage. Blues & Brews, aneight-band blues bash eaturing headliner JanivaMagness, is scheduled or July 10 at the SouthPearl Street location.>>www.oldsouthpearlstreet.com
Student given violin for use during school at Lamont
Royce Lassley calls it a git rom God.Lassley, a reshman violin perormance major, had been playing an instrument given tohim by a previous teacher.Then his teacher at Lamont, Yumi Hwang-Williams, told him the instrument was holdinghim back. A quality violin, Hwang-Williams explains, “has the right overtone, so students canlearn to play in tune and produce and project a beautiul sound.”There was one problem. Lassley didn’t have the money to buy a quality violin. So, hestarted writing to violin makers in all 2009.“I come rom a not wealthy background,” Lassley explains. “We never had enoughmoney to aord an instrument.” And then Charles Runo, o Runo Violins, stepped in. A violin maker since 1974, Runosays he gets many requests or help rom deserving people, but cannot help everyone. Yet,something about Lassley touched him.He called Hwang-Williams to hear her thoughts and was impressed that a prominentmusician had such a connection with her student. He decided Lassley deserved a break andhas loaned Lassley a violin indenitely.Hwang-Williams says she can identiy with Lassley. He was introduced to the violin in 6thgrade but wasn’t able to play regularly until 8th grade. Hwang-Williams got a later start playing the violin as well, using an instrument provided by a public school in Philadelphia.She met Lassley in September 2008 as a resident instructor at Fort Hays State Universityin Hays, Kan. When Lassley showed up a year later to audition or Lamont, she was impressedby the improvements he had made.The violin loan even includes servicing; Lassley will send the violin back to Runo eachyear to make sure the instrument is in good condition.Lassley got his ngers on the instrument during an April 23 presentation at DU’s HamiltonRecital Hall. Joe Docksey, director o DU’s Lamont School o Music, also took the opportunity to trumpet Runo’s kindness.“[Runo] is a wonderul person and [violin] maker,” Docksey said.