Arts / Theater

Museum presents ‘Cousin Estes: A Musical Docudrama,’ July 22

Joel Estes will introduce you to Estes family members as they contribute in the building of the nation in this American experience. “Cousin Estes” is a musical docudrama that explores the roots and historic contribution of the Estes family from Italy and Scotland through 1875, and then beyond the grave by the ghost of Joel Estes performed by his cousin Michael Estes Dixon (left).

Joel will present the Marquis Niccolo III d’este in Italy; Thomas Dixon in Scotland; Abraham Estes, the first Estes to come to America; Joel’s Grandfather and namesake Joel, who fought in the revolutionary war; Peter Estes, who followed Daniel Boone over “The Wilderness Trail;” and Joel’s interesting life with his family as they discover gold in the California Gold Rush of 1849, and settle in what would become Estes Park, Colorado.

Michael Estes Dixon is currently performing in the rock group “Trip Wire.” In addition to performing in rock and bluegrass bands, he has also pursued a theater career in productions such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and he wrote and performed the music for the production of “The Astral Plane.” He is a versatile musician that plays guitar, banjo, bass, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, lap steel, keyboards, harmonica, flute, saxophone, drums, and other percussion instruments.

For 20 years, Dixon researched his Estes genealogy. Every time he found an interesting character, he wrote a song. This inspired Dixon to execute a three-phase plan: create a new album about Estes Family members, make videos of all of the songs, and ultimately write a play to present the Estes family history.

The album “Cousin Estes” was released in October 2015. Dixon plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals. The play of the same title will debut in Estes Park on Saturday, July 22.

Tickets are on sale at the Estes Park Museum. The cost to attend is $15 for Museum members and $18 for non-members in advance, or $20 the night of the production. The performance is a Centennial event highlighting the history of Estes Park. The play is appropriate for all ages. To access videos by Dixon, visit

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