The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘arts and culture’ tag

Streetmosphere is Just Around the Corner

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Even though there is still snow on the ground, here at Beet Street, we’ve got Streetmosphere on our minds. This year’s season begins on Mother’s Day weekend, and May 10 will be here before we know it. We will be back in Old Town every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day weekend. We will also be back at Front Range Village in South Fort Collins July 5 – August 3, with Friday night performances and a NEW Saturday evening concert series!

We are very pleased to announce that we will bring over 90 acts to the streets of Fort Collins this season! That is a 48% increase from last year, allowing us to support more performers and provide a greater variety of entertainment. It was wonderful to see over 120 talented acts apply this year – thanks to all of you.

These increases say a lot about the program. First, that the word about Streetmosphere is spreading, not only in Fort Collins, but throughout Colorado. We are proud to see how far Streetmosphere has come in just three years, helping to put Fort Collins on the map as an arts and culture destination. There are also several cities that are  interested in starting a similar program, and we are working with them to discover how they might bring Streetmosphere to their own communities.

You can keep up to date with with Streetmosphere by liking Beet Street and Streetmosphere on Facebook, and following Beet Street on Twitter. We’ll keep you posted!

The end is near…

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting in the grass, listening to music on a warm weekend afternoon. I had the opportunity to do this three times this past weekend—twice listening to the jazzy beats of the Steve Johnson Group and once enjoying the softer melodies of the Seers. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

The Steve Johnson Group is a Streetmosphere regular. They wedge themselves into the back corner of Oak Street Plaza, fitting at least five people and more than five instruments, plus a water cooler, amps and speakers, and all sorts of other equipment under a big, blue tent. They may be located way in the back, but their music can be heard from all around the plaza and beyond. They play old favorites, such as Steely Dan, as well as non-lyrical jazz tunes.

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Community Members Join In

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dAccordian plays with a community member Sunday at Front Range Village

This past weekend, New West Fest brought crowds into Downtown Fort Collins, spilling out over the festival area, enjoying music, art, and the wonderful atmosphere. There was a true sense of community this week, with people coming together to celebrate and enjoy the festivities together. But not just Downtown! At Front Range Village, Streetmosphere was building community as well, encouraging patrons of the shopping center to stop and have a listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Con Brio

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Despite construction closures and tremendous traffic jams, people came out to the streets Friday night to hear a variety of Streetmosphere musicians. This was the first weekend of the summer where the majority of performers have been musical, with Susan K. Dailey being the only visual artist on the lineup.

People loved the unique sounds of the four musical groups: MDT 3, the Steve Johnson Group, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet, and the String Quartet Con Brio.

I’ve already written about the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet and the Steve Johnson Group, but MDT 3 and the String Quartet Con Brio deserve some attention.

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Streetmosphere gathers momentum

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Are you new to town? Are you frantically searching for things to do on your Friday evenings? Well, the search ends here. Streetmosphere enters its fifth weekend this coming weekend, and things are heating up.

Last Friday, artists and musicians alike performed under the blazing sun. The Steve Johnson Group played outside Ingredient for a steady stream of adoring fans. The quartet, headed by pianist, guitarist, and vocalist, Steve Johnson, also included Pat Moorhead on bass, Mark Manges on trumpet and flugelhorn, and James Richards on drums. The group performed vocal jazz as well as classic pop songs, and people sang along to the words as they sat on the benches to watch.

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Streetmosphere’s Spotlight

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Rocky Mountain High School Spotlight and Syrens performs at Oak St. Plaza on Friday

Nothing kicks off your summer like a Streetmosphere performance! At least, it did for Rocky Mountain High Schools Spotlight and Syrens Jazz group. These very talented youg musicians kicked off their performances right in Downtown under a big blue banner, welcoming all ages to sit and listen. Though the temperature approached the low 90’s and Taste of Fort Collins called visitors on, people were more than willing to stop and listen.

Crowds also gathered by Moe’s Barbeque to listen to the catchy tunes of the Honey Gitters, a bluegrass band with attitude. Although there are only four band members, they create a monstruous sound, and it’s something you can’t help but stamp your feet to!

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The show goes on!

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Despite the smoke caused by the High Park Fire, many people were about Old Town this weekend to enjoy many Streetmosphere performances. Chris Bates, a local artist, set up just outside of Austin’s on Saturday evening and mesmerized many community members with his unique artwork.

Bates specializes in pen and ink portraits, acrylic paint, mixed media, and murals.

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A Family Affair

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Amber Waves BandIt has been said that talent runs in the family and that is especially true for the Amber Waves Band. The six-piece band consists of parents, Michael and Cheryl Costello; twins, Alexandra and Kaitlin; son, Sean; and youngest daughter, Mary.

A definite crowd favorite, the local band drew in families and individuals of all ages who stopped to watch and clap along to the music. They engrossed the crowd outside of Cache Bank this Saturday with their alluring strings and haunting melodies.

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Peter and the Wolves Captivate at Ingredient

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Peter and the Wolves

What do you get when you take a two-part harmony, a mandolin, a banjo, a guitar and some drums? The folk-rock band, Peter and the Wolves, that’s what! The local Fort Collins band graced the streets of Old Town this Sunday with their acoustic set in their first show of this Streetmosphere season.

Doing a mix of covers and originals, the group entertained onlookers with their smooth sounds. People sat in the shade provided by the trees of Mountain Avenue to avoid the heat and listen to the soothing music. With a mesmerizing folksy twang, Peter and the Wolves drew people in, causing them to stop and watch the trio. One person even made it a point to stop at tell us how much she enjoyed the performance, stating that the group was “definitely a great choice” for the event.

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Carolyn Lattenbach brings crowds to Oak Street

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Carolyn Lattenbach wows the crowd at Oak Street Plaza

“So, do you think Carolyn Lattenbach is cool?”

This was the question posed to a young boy, about the age of 5, at Oak Street Plaza on Saturday, as people found a seat or a place to dance and listened to the musical stylings of singer/songwriter Carolyn Lattenbach. Hailing from Tampa Bay, Florida, the young artist brought both her guitar and ukulele as well as an impressive voice out on the town. Performing covers as diverse as Gary Jules’ Mad World and Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, as well as original compositions, she gathered a large crowd that stuck around for most of the afternoon. Easy going and friendly, Lattenbach not only impressed with her music but also her familiarity, actively talking to the audience and cracking jokes during her set. At one point, she told the crowd, “Now this is an original, and it’s not a very nice song. But it’s played on a ukulele, and whatever you play on a ukulele sounds happy!”

So when asked if he thought Lattenbach was cool, the boy’s answer, with a giant smile spread across his face, was a strong and resounding, “Yeah!”