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Crested Butte Music Festival Kicks Off Season with Fiddler Mark O'Connor, NYC DJ Johnny Dynell, and Vocal Concerts

The Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) in the picturesque mountains of Colorado kicks off its 21st season with the first performances of the summer. CBMF's season, entitled "Identity Unmasked," will explore identity and its revelation or masking. The Crested Butte Opera Studio vocalists showcase their artistry in a recital on June 23; Famed NYC DJ and club impresario Johnny Dynell leads a night of masked dancing on June 24; Members of the Crested Butte Opera Studio will present Cabaret Bleu, an evening of music from the American Songbook on June 27; Mark O'Connor - perhaps the greatest fiddler of all time - offers two concerts with his family on June 28 and 29; and the Swallow Hill Bluegrass Kids Camp offers five days of immersive music instruction.

An Evening of Song with The Crested Butte Opera Studio

Friday, June 23, 2017 | 7:00 PM

Quigley Hall, Western State Colorado University | Gunnison, CO

General Admission Tickets: $20 | Purchase online at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org or call 970.349.0619

Art song conjures a union of singer and pianist - a conversation marrying poetry and music. This happy marriage touches not just the mind and soul of the listener, but evokes the whole of human experience. Join the Crested Butte Opera Studio Artists and faculty as they showcase their artistry in recital, in the newly renovated Kincaid Concert Hall at Western State Colorado University.

Masked Rave (featuring Johnny Dynell)
Saturday, June 24, 2017 | 8:00 PM | Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace

General Admission Tickets: $20 | Purchase online at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org or call 970.349.0619

Famed NYC DJ and club impresario Johnny Dynell (Elton John's Oscar Party DJ) leads a night of masked dancing. Dynell has been practicing his art and craft for more than three decades, getting his start in the 1980s in all of NYC's hottest clubs, from the seminal Mudd Club, to Area, Boy Bar, Susanne Bartsch's Copacabana parties, the Limelight, and the original Tunnel.

Johnny's first single "Jam Hot," was sampled in Fatboy Slim's no. 1 hit, "Dub be good to me," and in 2009, the term "jam hot" made it into Urban Dictionary. Throughout the 1980s Johnny continued to DJ around the world and record on Atlantic Records. Dynell ended the decade in London recording "Elements Of Vogue," a cult classic that set the standard for all "Voguing" records to come. A longtime member of the House of Xtravaganza, JD continues to spin and write for the Voguing subculture in New York City.

In 2010, a new generation discovered Johnny with the release of a Jam Hot/ Big Throwdown remix project on Smash Hit Records. The summer of 2011 saw the launch of Dynell's own label, Endless Night Music.

Cabaret Bleu

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | 8:00 PM | Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace

General Admission Tickets: $30 | Purchase online at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org or call 970.349.0619

Cabaret has been a timeless and eloquent form of expression, bridging artistic worlds since its beginnings in 19th-century Paris. Members of the Crested Butte Opera Studio will present Cabaret Bleu, an evening of music from the American Songbook and beyond.

Sound Hearth: Mark & Maggie O'Connor

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | 6:00 PM

Private Residence | Crested Butte, CO

General Admission Tickets: $160 (includes a $110 tax deduction) | Purchase online at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org or call 970.349.0619

Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear Mark O'Connor - perhaps the greatest fiddler of all time - up close in a beautiful, intimate setting as he performs with his wife, violinist and singer Maggie.

A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O'Connor's body of work including 45 feature albums of mostly his own compositions, Mark O'Connor has melded and shaped his influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.

Maggie's ability to blend tonally with her husband is startling; indeed, it literally sounds like they are one violinist sometimes. Fortunately, given Mark's command as an arranger, the two are able to harness the beauty of their blend.

Mark O'Connor Featuring the O'Connor Band

Thursday, June 29, 2017 | 7:30 PM | Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace

General Admission Tickets: $25 | Purchase online at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org or call 970.349.0619

Iconic fiddler Mark O'Connor joins his family to create the O'Connor Band. Grammy-nominated for Bluegrass Album of the Year, the O'Connor Band performs smoking solos, perfect vocal harmonies, and touching arrangements.

The O'Connor Band is the product of Mark O'Connor's imagination - one that has served him well over the course of his four-decade professional career. A former child prodigy and national champion on the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin, Mark has won numerous GRAMMYs and CMA Awards, appeared on hundreds of commercial country albums, collaborated with the likes of Johnny Cash, Wynton Marsalis, Dolly Parton, and Yo-Yo Ma, and performed everything from original violin concertos to swing and jazz.

In addition to Mark, the band features his son Forrest, (Harvard graduate and former Tennessee State Mandolin Champion), daughter-in-law Kate (frequent performer on the CMA Awards and CMA Country Christmas shows), and wife Maggie (graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University).

All six band members possess charisma that, when combined onstage, ensnares audiences from start to finish.

CBMF and Swallow Hill Bluegrass Kids Camp | June 26-30

A fun, 5-day music camp in Crested Butte that provides kids (ages 7-14) an amazing experience in bluegrass music education. Students learn to play in a bluegrass band with other students, write songs, and advance their individual skills through instrument break-out sessions. The day camp offers training for first-timers as well as intermediate players, provided by faculty from the esteemed Swallow Hill Music School in Denver. This camp is a collaboration between the Crested Butte Music Festival and Swallow Hill Music School.

Kids Go Free

Enjoy the Crested Butte Music Festival with the whole family with Kids Go Free! CBMF is offering a number of free fun music and art events for children throughout the season for everyone to enjoy. Youths under 18 can also enjoy free entry to select Festival performances with the purchase of one regularly priced adult ticket. Enjoy classical music, opera, dance, jazz, and bluegrass with some of today's most exciting performing artists. Kids Go Free is part of the Festival's commitment to developing the performers of tomorrow and inspiring future generations to appreciate the arts.

(Kids Go Free excludes fundraising events).

More about the Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace:

One of only four such structures in the U.S., the Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace is a semi-permanent Spiegeltent that will house all of the CBMF mainstage concerts. Flemish for "mirror tents," Spiegeltents were built around 1900 in Belgium for use as traveling dance halls and town fairs. The Mt. Crested Butte Mirror Palace is nicknamed "Victoria" and was originally built in the 1930s by the Klessens family. The numerous spiegels, or mirrors, in the tent allowed for discreet eye contact between visitors and became a legendary symbol of the wild fin-de-siècle nightlife. This tent has traveled around the world and most recently spent ten years in South Africa. In addition to housing the Festival events, the Tent is available for special events and rentals.

About the Crested Butte Music Festival:

The 2017 season offers an array of performances over seven weeks from June to August in classical music, Gypsy jazz, dance, opera, and more. Through CBMF's guest artists, residents and visitors of Gunnison County have access to performances and educational opportunities that would typically only be available in a major metropolitan area. CBMF offers educational programming and events for all ages, many of which are free or presented with a voluntary donation. Tickets are now on sale at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org.



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