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April, 2012:

Leading American Singer-Songwriter Returns to Alamosa

Ellis Paul by Jack Looney Photography

Because of the recent tragic deaths of three area teenagers, ALMA is changing the venue for the Ellis Paul concert THIS FRIDAY, May 4, from Ortega Middle School to Milagros Coffeehouse on the corner of State and Main in Alamosa. We apologize for the inconvenience. Advance tickets are available at the Narrow Gauge Newsstand,  on the opposite corner of State and Main in Alamosa.

Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices in American songwriting and he’s long had a special place in his heart for the San Luis Valley, being one of the first artists to play a concert presented by the Alamosa Live Music Association. Now ALMA presents Paul’s return, in concert at MILAGROS COFFEEHOUSE on the corner of State Ave. and Main St. in Alamosaat the Ortega Middle School auditorium, on Victoria Ave. in Alamosa, Fri., May 4 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $13 for ALMA members, $15 for the general public, $5 for students, seniors, full-time volunteers and military.

Paul helped create a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk rock style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 90’s. Hee has won an unprecedented 14 Boston Music Awards, sung at Fenway Park for the Red Sox, the Boston Garden for the Celtics and even had the mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, proclaim it “Ellis Paul Day in Boston” on July 9th, 2010, when Ellis celebrated his 20th year in making music. His songs are heard in various commercials, documentaries, TV shows such as “Ed” and MTV’s “Real World”; and in the soundtracks of blockbuster films, including 3 Farrelly Brothers films: “Hall Pass,”starring Owen Wilson and Alyssa Milano, “Me, Myself, & Irene,” starring Jim Carrey, and “Shallow Hal,” with Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. Director Peter Farrelly has called Ellis Paul “a national treasure.”

For years, Paul has been among the folk circuit’s most popular and dependable headliners, with a charismatic, personally authentic performance style and a mailing list of over 20,000 fiercely loyal fans. He has released 14 CDs, and recently explored new media avenues with a documentary/concert DVD called “3,000 Miles,” and “Notes from the Road,” a critically acclaimed book of poems and stories.

Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and a thousand other American anthems, and his daughter, Nora, invited Paul to to perform at a tribute show held in 1996 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The show also included performances by Bruce Springsteen, Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg and others.

Paul grew up in a potato farming community in northern Maine. It was so remote that his exposure to music came almost entirely from the one top-40 station he could get on his radio, and his school band, where he played trumpet well enough to earn a summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.

As early as 1993, the Boston Globe was calling him a songwriter’s songwriter, adding that “no emerging songwriter in recent memory has been more highly touted and respected by songwriters.”

Jazzy Duo to Swing ASC’s Leon Memorial Auditorium

Mark Sloniker swingin' the piano.

From solo piano performances to jazz trios and quartets, to symphony orchestra concerts, Mark Sloniker has played and recorded in many different situations in the U.S. and abroad, and now he brings his jazz piano and bass duo with his son Myles in concert at 7:30 pm Sunday, April 29, in Adams State College’s Leon Memorial Hall. The Alamosa Live Music Association, ALMA, is helping the ASC Music Dept. and Grizzly Activities Board present the show.

I have been listening to Mark’s music for 20 years and his music was a great influence on my decision to become a musician,” said Dr. Matthew Schildt, Adams State associate professor of music, who helped organize the event.

Mark has played prestigious jazz festivals in Toronto , Telluride, Longmont, and Disneyland and Fort Collins. He has opened for Billy Taylor, Pat Metheny, Bob James, and Carmen McRae, among others.

As a producer,composer and recording artist, Mark has released six recordings of his own and contributed to numerous others. His own discs have reached the top six of three national radio airplay charts and spent time on Billboard magazine’s national sales charts. His music has been featured on ESPN, ABC Sports, nationally syndicated radio show “Music from the Hearts of Space,” and nationally aired radio shows such as “Jazz Tracks” and “Musical Starstream.”One of his discs was named best jazz recording of the year by KUNC radio.

Mark has a degree in Music Therapy from Colorado State University and has worked extensively using music as a therapeutic tool in achieving and maintaining wellness. He has worked with physicians, psychologists, and many practitioners in the healing fields, bringing music to many who wish to use music in their fields. He has recorded music as well as presented and taught in workshops and seminars for this purpose.

Bassist Myles Sloniker, a freshman at University of Northern Colorado in the jazz studies program is currently performing with two of UNC’s top jazz ensembles. He is already a sought after bassist along the Front Range. Primarily a jazz bassist, he also performs classically, as well as playing piano, guitar, and drums.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $1 for students, and free to ALMA members, AS&F, and Friends of Music. For more information contact the Adams State Music Department at 719-587-7621.

Talented Local Musicians to Help ALMA Raise Funds

Latin classical music, Celtic tunes, local singer-songwriters, acoustic folk, bluegrass, blues and more are on the agenda for the second annual ALMA and friends benefit concert after the Alamosa Artwalk this Sat., April 14, 7pm, at Milagros Coffeehouse, on the corner of State and Main in Alamosa.

Antonio Lopez, Rhonda Mouser, Lucas Salazar, Celtic Cross / Frank Scott and friends and Reverend and the Blues Pushers are confirmed performers, with a few surprises sure to come, too. Tickets are $10, and performers are donating their talents, so all proceeds will be used to support Sundays@Six and other Alamosa Live Music Association events.

Sundays@Six has long brought glorious summers of live music to Cole Park, including:

Music wafting through downtown Alamosa on Sunday evenings.

Sunsets peeking through the swaying figures of entertainers grooving onstage.

Dancers moving barefoot on the grass to the beat of some incredible drummer.

Children swinging on the swings as their parents enjoy an evening’s repose.

Potluck picnics with friends from near and far.

Sighs of relief when threatening clouds move from the Sangres to the West, saving us from Showers at Six!

The ALMA and friends concert is a chance to have a great time and help make sure those shows continue.