John Denver music in Breckenridge benefits Domus Pacis
If you go
What: John Denver Tribute
When: Friday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: General admission $30; VIP $40; children under 16 $10; Proceeds benefit Domus Pacis Family Respite
More information: To purchase tickets, call (970) 547-3100 or breckcreate.org
This week, Domus Pacis Family Respite is collaborating with the John Adams Band and photographer John Fielder to put on the eighth annual John Denver Tribute concert on Friday, July 22 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Domus Pacis is a nonprofit organization in Summit County that gives cancer patients and their families a chance to spend time together in the mountains. With the help of second- and third-home owners, donations and volunteers, the founders of Domus Pacis — Vince and Duck White-Petteruti — are able to host patients and their families to a getaway in Summit County.
Fielder said he was proud to be a part of this annual event.
“I moved to Summit County in 2007, and I appreciate Vince and Duck’s work that they do for families,” he said. “Every year, I teach a photography workshop and donate all the proceeds back to Pacis. There are a number of ways I’ve contributed, but I’ve been trying to help Vince for a number of years.”
Fielder has helped with the John Denver Tribute by donating and creating a slideshow of his pictures that will be displayed on the big screen at the Riverwalk Center during the music.
“There will be about 20 to 25 images that will fade in and out during each of the songs,” he said. “It’s a compilation of photos from 40 years of photography based on the theme of the song.”
Preparing a slideshow like the one for the John Denver Tribute comes easy to Fielder, who enjoys going back into his archives and seeing what he’s done over the years. It’s also not his first slideshow presentation.
“I do this sort of thing a lot,” he said. “Last year, I did four symphonies including the National Repertory Orchestra Live, where we married the photos with the specific classical pieces that were played. It’s exciting. People always seem to love it.”
John Denver and Fielder had always talked about performing with a slideshow, but Denver passed before it could become reality.
This Saturday, John Adams and his band will carry out the promises and perform live with Fielder’s pictures, just like Denver had always planned.
“John Adams carried on his tradition and his tribute band does a great job perpetuating John Denver’s life and work and music and great words,” Fielder said.
Adams and Fielder have worked together multiple times before and look forward to supporting Domus Pacis.
“We’re always very happy that we can work with Domus Pacis,” Adams said. “I think it’s awesome that Vince and Duck are doing this for people. That we can be part of it as well is just awesome.”
He and his band have been paying tribute to Denver and his music for more than 40 years. For Adams, it goes back even further.
“I was 12 years old, and I’m originally from Holland, from the Netherlands, and so I was very attracted to the song ‘Take Me Home Country Road’ for being something completely different that I ever heard before,” he said. “Ever since then, I followed his music.”
Adams and his band look forward to playing at the Riverwalk and for Domus Pacis. Being closer to Aspen and the mountains brings the band closer to Denver and what he was singing about. Every time the band performs, the show has been sold out or come close.
“Quite a few times, people are crying not only for the music, but also the combination of the words, music and songs,” Adams said. “It brings backs very good memories that people have. A lot of times, it’s ‘We played this song when we got married,’ and it brings a relationship to a lot of the songs.”
He explains that Denver’s songs are pretty emotional and remembers a time when he attended a concert where the audience was “at his feet,” and a pin drop could be heard in a venue that fit thousands of people.
For Adams and his band, it’s more than just strumming a few chords. They really try to focus on the music and the tribute to Denver.
“Every concert for us is a new challenge, and it’s more than just musicians playing notes — it’s more like a group of friends and family,” he said.
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