Denver/Boulder / Music

2016 Chautauqua summer concert season announced

boulder-chautauquaCelebrating more than a century of performances, the historic auditorium welcomes returning crowd favorites and artist debuts

BOULDER – The Colorado Chautauqua Association, steward of Boulder’s cultural and historical gem the Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark, announces its 2016 Summer Concert Series. From Ziggy Marley and Keb’ Mo’ to Melissa Etheridge, jazz artist Gregory Porter and child protégé Joey Alexander, this year’s lineup presents a diverse mix of performers across genres that will appeal to every music fan. Laughter also returns to the stage with comedian Paula Poundstone, the star of the popular NPR radio show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”

In addition to the concert line up, the Chautauqua summer series features something for everyone, including six weeks of classical music with the Colorado Music Festival, the 31st annual silent film series with live musical accompaniment, dance performances with Murmuration and the Cleo Parker Dance Ensemble, the 69th annual Barbershop Harmony Festival, hiking plays and much more. For a complete list of upcoming events, please visit

2016 Chautauqua Summer Concert Series

Thursday, June 9. 7:30 PM.
$40.50 – $58.00 ($37.50 – $55.00 Concert Member)
An eight-time Grammy Award winner, Emmy winner, humanitarian, singer, songwriter and producer, Ziggy Marley has released 12 albums to much critical acclaim. His early immersion into music came at age 10 when he sat in on recording sessions with his father, Bob Marley. Ziggy will release his sixth solo studio album on May 20th. The new self-titled album marks his first release in two years, following 2014’s critically acclaimed “Fly Rasta,” which took home the 2015 Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

Friday, June 10. 7:30 PM
$30.50 – $38.00 ($27.50 – $35.00 Concert Member)
Trevor Hall’s music is an eclectic mix of acoustic rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting that echoes with the names and teachings of divinities, while maintaining an incredibly and refreshingly universal message. Hall’s “Chapter of the Forest” (2014) debuted at #3 on the iTunes Singer/songwriter Chart and #17 on the iTunes Top Albums Chart. His newest album, “KALA” was released in August 2015.


Saturday, June 11. 7:30 PM
$28.00 – $45.50 ($25.00 – $42.50 Concert Member)
Armed with nothing but a stool, a microphone and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula’s ability to create humor on the spot has become the stuff of legends. Paula was recently inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame and has been recognized as one of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. Her razor-sharp wit makes her a perfect fit as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” and her commentaries have been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

GREGORY PORTER with Special Guests
Sunday, June 12. 7:30 PM
$30.50 – $45.50 ($27.50 – $42.50 Concert Member)

2015 Jazz FM International Jazz Artist of the Year and winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, “Liquid Spirit,” Gregory Porter is an artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time. Gregory Porter solidifies his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter with the May 6 release of “Take Me to the Alley,” the much-anticipated follow-up to his million-selling Grammy-winning debut. Venus Cruz will open this show

Featuring Victor Wooten, Roy “Futureman” Wooten & Howard Levy
Wednesday, June 15. 7:30 PM
$43.00 – $58.00 ($40.00 – $55.00 Concert Member)
Groundbreaking banjoist, composer and bandleader Béla Fleck has reconvened the original Béla Fleck & The Flecktones. “Rocket Science” marks the first recording by the first fab four Flecktones in almost two decades with pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy back in the fold alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten, and percussionist and Drumitarist Roy “Futureman” Wooten. With the exception of a performance in Telluride this will be the only Colorado appearance of the Flecktones.

Friday, June 17. 7:00 PM
$38.00 – $58.00 ($35.00 – $55.00 Concert Member
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams recently announced the debut of “Shut the Folk Up and Listen” with flat-picking guitarist Leo Kottke. This very special evening of music, which will feature a solo set by each artist, finds Keller performing a rare loop-less acoustic show. Attendees can also expect spontaneous collaborations between Williams and Kottke.

Keller Williams is best known as a one-man band for his exciting and unpredictable live stage show singing his compositions and choice cover songs while playing accompaniment on acoustic guitar and creating samples on the fly – a technique called live phrase sampling or looping.

Famed acoustic player Leo Kottke is known for a fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies.

25TH anniversary show featuring special guests The Blind Boys of Alabama
Saturday, July 23. 7:00 PM
$33.00 – $48.00 ($30.00 – $45.00 Concert Member)
After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. He’s a natural storyteller, balancing the exuberant with the poignant, and able to distill universal truth out of his often romantic, drawn-from-life tales. To celebrate his silver year, Chautauqua fan favorite Marc Cohn will perform his 1991, self-titled debut album and will be joined by special guests The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Friday, July 29. 7:30 PM
$38.00 – $63.00 ($35.00 – $60.00 Concert Member)
Summer at Chautauqua wouldn’t be complete without the perennial crowd favorite Indigo Girls. Decades into their career, the Grammy-winning folk-rock duo still amazes conventional pundits with their ability to grow and thrive no matter the direction of the music industry. Their sixteenth studio album “One Lost Day” (June 2015) has a feeling of music composed across time, not just in time. The duo’s constant touring, as well as staunch dedication to a number of social and environmental causes, has earned them a fervidly devoted following over the years.

RYAN BINGHAM with Special Guests
Monday, August 1. 7:30 PM
$28.00 – $43.00 ($25.00 – $28.00 Concert Member)
Singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham has made the unlikely journey from rodeo circuit rider to Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winner for the soundtrack to “Crazy Heart,” a 2009 Jeff Bridges film featuring Bingham’s original song, “The Weary Kind.” He was also named the Americana Music Association’s 2010 Artist of the Year. In early 2015, Bingham released his fifth studio album “Fear and Saturday Night,” recorded mostly live with a brand new backing band. The Americans will open this show.

Wednesday, August 10. 7:30 PM
$43.00 – $60.50 ($40.00 – $57.50 Concert Member)
As a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer, actor, mentor and consistently excellent performer, three-time Grammy Award-winner Keb’ Mo’ is a true American idol. Over the past two decades Keb has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. His songs have been recorded by B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks, Joe Cocker and Robert Palmer, and his playing inspired leading instrument maker Gibson Brands to issue the Keb’ Mo’ Signature Bluesmaster acoustic guitar. His new hot pink double live album represents a brilliantly chosen collection from the song catalog that has made Keb’ Mo’ an industry icon. Five percent of the proceeds from sales of “Keb’ Mo’ LIVE” will benefit the Playing For Change Foundation.

Friday, August 12. 7:30 PM
$28.00 – $43.00 ($25.00 – $40.00 Concert Member)
David Grisman’s 50+ years of playing, composing and producing attest to his indomitable creative spirit. David followed acoustic roots music from his native New Jersey to Appalachia, playing with The Even Dozen Jug Band, Red Allen and the Kentuckians and others. A disciple of folklorist Ralph Rinzler, David contributed to the vibrant 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene and later moved to the Bay Area, recording on “American Beauty” with the Grateful Dead and forming bluegrass super group Old & in the Way with Jerry Garcia. Playing his original “Dawg” compositions, the Sextet includes Jim Kerwin (bass), Matt Eakle (flute and bass flute), George Marsh (drums and percussion), Chad Manning (violin, viola and mandolin) and George Cole (guitar).

Tuesday, August 16. 7:30 PMa
$63.00 – $ 78.00 ($60.00 – $75.00 Concert Member)
Known for her mixture of confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations throughout her career, winning two, in 1993 and 1995, respectively. In 2007, she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “I Need to Wake Up” from the film “An Inconvenient Truth.” Etheridge is scheduled to release a new album in fall 2016 which will be her first album since 2014’s critically lauded “This Is M.E.”

Tuesday, August 30. 7:30 PM
$38.00 – $ 53.00 ($35.00 – $50.00 Concert Member)
More than two decades ago, Shawn Colvin recorded a cover of Steve Earle’s “Someday,” softening the song’s country-rock punch and turning its narrator into a female gas station employee. At the time, she was a folksinger on the rise, with a Grammy award under her belt and a Number One single — “Sunny Came Home.” Meanwhile, Earle was a pioneer who’d briefly lost his way, still reeling from a stint in jail while working his way toward a comeback.

The two find themselves on more equal ground with this summer’s release of “Colvin & Earle,” an album that introduces the songwriters as a proper folk duo. Colvin & Earle’s first single, “You’re Right (I’m Wrong),” premiered March 31 on Rolling Stone Country.

JOEY ALEXANDER with Special Guests
Friday, September 9. 7:30 PM
$30.00 – $ 45.00 ($27.00 – $42.00 Concert Member)
An extraordinary and uniquely gifted pianist from Bali, Joey Alexander’s recording debut “My Favorite Things” was nominated as Best Instrumental Jazz Album for the 2016 Grammy Awards. His track “Giant Steps” also earned a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo making Joey, at 12 years old, one of the youngest Grammy nominees in history.

Joey Alexander taught himself to play piano by listening with his father to classic jazz albums and due to the lack of jazz education where he lives, Alexander began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. Through festival appearances and awards for his improvisational brilliance, the world has taken notice of this phenomenal and exciting pianist with the astonishing technique and soulful sound.

THE STEELDRIVERS with Special Guests
Saturday, September 24. 7:30 PM
$23.00 – $40.00 ($20.00 – $37.00 Concert Member)
Winners of the 2016 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, The SteelDrivers’ innovative, soulful brand of bluegrass has made them one of the most successful bands on the contemporary bluegrass scene. The band, which has earned three Grammy nominations and garnered tremendous critical acclaim, has announced their fourth album for Rounder, “The Muscle Shoals Recordings,” co-produced with Jason Isbell and to be released on June 16, 2016. The Railsplitters will open this show.


  • All events take place in the historic Chautauqua Auditorium (b.1898)
  • Member Presale and General Public on sale info:
    • Chautauqua Concert Member Presale begins April 18 at 10:00 a.m. online only at
    • General Public: April 22 at 10:00 a.m. online only at
  • The Chautauqua Box Office Kiosk opens May 9 for phone and walk-up sales. Hours: 12 – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 12 – 8 p.m. on Auditorium event days. 303.440.7666.
  • Chautauqua Concert Members receive a discount on select tickets and advance purchase privileges.
    • The public is welcome to join as members at any time to take advantage of early purchase privileges and discounts.
  • All tickets are subject to a service fee.

The free HOP 2 Chautauqua shuttle is available for all Auditorium concerts. See individual event listing at for schedule details.

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