Precocious Boulder talent Jaden Carlson performs with her band on Saturday at a free Valentine's Day concert at Alma's Only Bar. Only 11 years old, Carlson has the experience of a veteran session player, sharing the stage with bands such as Michael Franti & Spearhead. In fact, Franti could take credit for starting Carlson's musical career. When attending Franti's band's performance at Copper Mountain Resort's Sunsation festival at the early age of six, she decided to be a musician. Carlson then started to take guitar lessons and things progressed from there. "While watching the lead guitarist and bass player rip it up, I decided that playing guitar was going to be mine too," she said on her website. Just one year later, a few days after turning 7 years old, she was called to go up on stage at Vail and played a song with the band that inspired her to be a musician. "That's how I started to get people to notice me," she said. At such young age, Carlson has the confidence of a professional. According to her, she wasn't nervous to share the stage with Franti & Spearhead. She said she never gets butterflies in her stomach during her performances. "Just when I ski race." The musician has performed at venues all over the country such as the Fox and Boulder theaters, House of Blues in San Diego, The Gothic and Cervantes in Denver, and at festivals such as Telluride Blues & Brews, Power To The Peaceful, Desert Rocks, Telluride Jazz, Nedfest and Blues From The Top.Carlson's band plays a mix of rock, jam and reggae, including original songs and covers from Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Franti & Spearhead, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, U2, Eminem and Led Zeppelin.Carlson is currently on tour, with upcoming dates in March. On Saturday, concertgoers should expect a "pretty rockin' (concert), with some great covers and my originals," she said. While she dreams on playing one day at big stages such as Red Rocks, she seems to be having fun in the meantime. "I just love to play, totally enjoy my bandmates, and love to tour. I'm looking forward to meeting the people in Alma and South Park.
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