Summit Right Brain: Local musician adds visual art to live shows |

Summit Right Brain: Local musician adds visual art to live shows

Breckenridge musician Cody Wayne first moved to the county in 1998.
Heather Jarvis / |


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When Cody Wayne was in high school in Idaho, he picked up a hitchhiker who eventually led him West. After meeting by chance, Wayne helped the man with a job at the company where he was employed, and after working together for a summer, the hitchhiker suggested the pair head to Breckenridge. It was 1998, and Wayne had just graduated high school and was looking for an adventure. After moving out to the mountains together, the two parted ways, but Wayne ended up staying in the area. He has moved around the country here and there since the initial migration, but always found himself returning to the High Country.

Wayne’s first job in the area was at Beaver Run Resort as a front desk attendant, followed by some odd jobs at the resorts and in the food service industry. He now plays music and works as a refrigeration technician.

As a youth, he was involved in choir and always loved to sing, which eventually led him to pick up a guitar and begin writing music in 2000.

“After I graduated high school and went off and did my thing, started traveling and came here, I knew there was something missing,” he said. “I figured I’d pick up the guitar because I loved to sing. That was the only reason why I picked up the guitar.”

In his 20s, he spent a lot of time making musical connections around the country and in Summit, and says by his 30s, he had developed a healthy tour schedule to keep him playing music full time. For his live shows, Wayne likes to bring in other locals to create visual art alongside his music, including painters and sculptors. He has played all over the county, most recently playing a benefit concert in support of the family of Lauren Hoover, a local who recently passed away after a car accident.

“Right now, I’m focusing on working and thinking about how to do bigger and better things in Summit County to bring art and music together and the community together as a whole,” he said. “I just want to be able to bring people together in our community to do something no one has done before and do it well so it’s memorable.”

Summit Daily News: Describe your music to someone who has never heard it before.

Cody Wayne: It’s hard to explain — Americana, folk roots, a lot of the influence through early country and reggae. Tom Waits is a huge factor in the way I try to write. If someone actually listens to it, I hope they can decipher something out of it, because everything I write is for a reason. Sometimes I don’t even know the reason. …

I’m a singer/songwriter. I prefer to play as much original music as possible. The whole thing for me is it’s all about the art. Every show I play I try to bring in a local artist, someone who can paint, or build or create live on-stage. So while we create our sounds, they create their art.

SDN: What is the most unique artist you’ve had at one of your shows?

CW: I had a girl do a painting on a sewing machine. She did a painting while sewing with thread and did a portrait on a piece of cloth. That was really unique. I’ve had people do sculpture with chainsaw art. … I think the highlight of having the artist on-stage is having an added dimension, a multimedia dimension to show. To where it’s not all about the music — people are stimulated by watching the creation of the art and watching the development of that and the music work together. It’s pretty amazing, pretty fascinating.

SDN: Do you feel like you have an agenda with your lyrics? What do you write about?

CW: I have an agenda, and it’s particular to each individual song. Each song is a matter of a motion situation in time. It depends on how I’m feeling that moment, that day, what I’m passionate about what I’m happy about, what I’m sad about.

SDN: What inspires you to create?

CW: Watching artists paint, they usually paint to a beautiful rhythm. To make a positive influence with people that observe it and listen to it. An impact in general — whether they don’t like it or like it, just making an impact on someone who is willing to listen to what you put your heart and soul into.

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