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Free Music Series: Deaf Camp Benefit


Thursday, July 16 & Saturday, July 18
Featuring The Motet, Starwood, Rich Ganson, Jaden Carlson Band
and a special Tribute to John Denver!


The Deaf Camp Benefit is a Free Event
Donations encouraged to benefit the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Donate Now!

2015 brings the third year of the return of the legendary Deaf Camp Benefit: Summer Festival featuring live music. Our exciting headliner is a Denver based funk band, The Motet. Other acts include Rich Ganson, Starwood, and a tribute to John Denver.

At Deaf Camp Benefit, guests come from around the nation for some fun under the sun on the slopes of Snowmass. Great music, delicious food, and beautiful scenery add up to an amazing weekend one will never forget. The best part of the event? Feeling right at home with the friendly folks you will meet and dance with. And all for a great cause.

Deaf Camp Benefit, originally known as the Deaf Camp Picnic, was established in the 60’s with the help of John Denver, Jimmy Buffet, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the likes to support the great things Aspen Camp does for Deaf and hard of hearing kids. We brought this legendary event back in 2013 and included a John Denver Tribute. Read more about the history of Deaf Camp Picnic in the History tab.

All proceeds from this event goes to Aspen Camp, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose focus is on honoring and supporting the Deaf and hard of hearing community through education, experiences, and networking. Learn more about Aspen Camp, Deaf Culture, and/or American Sign Language at www.aspencamp.org.

Presented by JAS Aspen Snowmass.



^Click to view/download 2015 poster.


Here’s the story behind Deaf Camp Picnic/Benefit

“In 1967 Reed Harris, a close family friend, came to my Mother to see if she would help him start a camp for children with hearing disabilities or total deafness.  Reed had a son who was deaf and he was very passionate about helping the deaf community.  The foundation was based out of Reed’s El Jebel home with most of the administrative tasks performed by my mom from our home office.  They immediately set out to establish the foundation with the necessary funds to make it successful.

In the early years Summer Picnics were established to raise the money to operate the camp.  Local businesses donated items for raffles and the tickets were sold all over town, mainly by family members and friends.   In the second year of Picnic a GMC Truck was the main raffle attraction which was donated by the local Glenwood Springs GMC dealership.

Each year the picnics doubled in size.  The first picnic was held in the backyard of one of the volunteers.  By the second year, the picnic already needed a new home.  The Cattleman’s Association offered up their picnic area up Castle Creek where it remained for the next few years.

Over the years my father had done work for John Denver and he had become a family friend.  Waterhen my mom approached John to see if he and his band would volunteer to play at the picnic, he was more than enthusiastic and offered to invite other bands to play as well.  With John headlining, a larger place for the picnic was needed.  There was a large tract of land at the base of the Campground Chair Lift in the Snowmass Valley made available.  This new location had a lot of room for the picnic as well as plenty of parking.  John secured a bandstand which was large enough to accommodate plenty of musicians and their required equipment.

By John’s second year he started inviting members of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jimmy Buffett and some of the Eagles as well as other big names.  The crowds grew exponentially each year and the “Camp” was in good hands financially.  These picnics were my mom’s contribution to the camp and they eventually took their toll.  The work required her full time and she still had a family to take care of and a home based business that she and my father ran.  By the mid-1970 my mother had to step down and pass the picnic on to others to manage.

These picnics provided a lot of entertaining stories to tell but those will have to wait for now.  Reed and my mother are both gone from the camp and each has passed away.  They started something wonderful and their legacy lives on today.”

To learn more about Aspen Camp and how it came to be, visit www.aspencamp.org/history.

Source: http://doogerbeck.com/2011/09/10/deaf-camp-picnics-where-it-all-began-2/

Thursday, July 16 (Fanny Hill)

6:00pm   Jaden Carlson Band
Click For More Info^


Saturday, July 18 (Base Village)

1:00pm  Gates Open
2:00pm – 3:00pm   Rich Ganson
3:15pm – 4:30pm   Tribute to John Denver
5:00pm – 6:30pm   Starwood
7:00pm – 9:00pm   The Motet


The Motet

Photo by Brian Spady © Spady Photography

Hailing from Colorado, The Motet is a world-class improvisational funk band that has dedicated more than a decade to the healing powers of funky dance music. Although the early years of the band saw a constantly revolving cast of musicians, the most recent incarnation has been touring the country for the last several years developing a new and unique style of music with roots in funk, afrobeat, disco, electronic music, and soul. This new Motet has quickly gained a reputation for throwing infectious dance parties everywhere they go, creating a deep rapport between band and audience.

With the recent release of their 7th album, The Motet has once again showcased their commitment to pushing the sonic envelope while remaining dedicated to the musical traditions that have defined their sound. The band’s decision to call the album The Motet is a reflection that the group has finally fully manifested. The album is a truly collaborative effort, with each member contributing equally to the writing process. In addition, the band spent hundreds of hours in the studio meticulously crafting vintage tones that hearken back to the glory days of funk music. The result is an organic collection of strong interlocking parts and melodies that could only be The Motet.

All bands have their influences, and The Motet is no different. The band has a long-standing tradition of putting on a musical costume each Halloween, playing consistently sold out shows along the Front Range of Colorado while performing the music of groups like Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, Tower of Power, and Jamiroquai. The careful study of the music of these bands has had an undeniable effect on the creative direction of The Motet. As bandleader and drummer Dave Watts explains, “By studying and playing music from all these incredible funk bands, we realized how effective a great song is on a crowd. In addition to striving to of- fer a stellar live experience, we’ve also con- sciously decided to focus on tunes, because we understand how powerful a great song is.”

A great song needs a great band to play it, and The Motet has proven to be much more than adequate in that regard. In addition to Watts, Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass) and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) form the core rhythm section Playing together for more than a decade has led to their characteristic deep rhythmic pocket, and has created the musical bonds that allow them to take their collective improvisation to heights bordering on precognition. The Motet horns are Matt Pitts (sax) and Gabriel Mervine (trumpet). Although deeply rooted in jazz, their time with The Motet has made them into one of the funkiest horn sections on the scene. Front man Jans Ingber rounds out the lineup with his soulful singing, welcoming stage presence, and “Soul Train” dance moves which inspire concert goers to boogie like no one is watching.

These seven musicians form what is undoubtedly the strongest, most cohesive incarnation of The Motet to date. Whether you’ve loved The Motet for years or you’re just tuning in, listen up. You haven’t heard The Motet like this, and you won’t be disappointed.




Bobby Mason collaborated with Bob Carpenter, now keyboardist for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to form a band called Homebrew. At that same time, John Denver was putting together a new record label called Windsong Records, a subsidiary of RCA. John asked Bobby and Homebrew to be among the initially signed groups who were recording all original material. Their work was covered in the 1970’s by a number of other successful groups, including Three Dog Night, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and John Denver himself.

Homebrew’s manager, Bill McEuen, booked them at the Roxy in Los Angeles, where they were showcased for all the major labels in the L.A. music scene and signed with Columbia Records. Shortly thereafter, the group was renamed Starwood by their new manager, Jerry Weintraub. Their next record was produced by Bruce Bodnick at the famous (and sometimes infamous) Caribou Ranch in Nederland, Colorado; the home of many of that era’s greatest hits. They toured extensively with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Santana, Journey and Eddie Money, playing such places as The Cow Palace in San Francisco, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. They appeared on several television shows including The Merv Griffin Show with John Denver and the Starland Vocal Band. More Info.


Tribute To John Denver

maxresdefaultBandmates, friends, and colleagues gather to play the timeless songs of John Denver, featuring Chris Nole, Mollie Weaver, Mack Bailey, Tom Paxton, Rachel Levy, and Hap Harriman. Find yourself singing along or just drifting back to a favorite memory as you listen to the music of one of our greatest singer/songwriters.


Rich Ganson

Rich started playing the banjo first when he was 15 years old. The movie, Deliverance, turned him to the rippin bluegrass pickin of Earl Scruggs. Rich later started on the guitar when he was about 18 And on from there, he began to perform with guitar, banjo, harmonica and singing. He loves to tinker so you may see him with washtub bass and spoons.

Over the years he played most of the clubs and hotels in Aspen/Snowmass including the Hotel Jerome, the Little Nell, The St. Regis, The Ritz Carlton as well as many events for the Aspen Skiing Company. He also enjoys traveling the country from Sante Fe to Atlanta to wherever. More Info.

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Volunteer at Deaf Camp Benefit: Summer Festival and you’ll get the best of both worlds: helping and being a part of community while enjoying the festivities! Volunteers will get a shirt to show your pride for the event and Aspen Camp.

All volunteer shift combinations are predetermined to ensure everyone has equal time on the clock. This means no one is ever forced to miss the entire show or working to exhaustion. We want all our volunteers to be able to enjoy their weekends too! Volunteer opportunities are separated into the categories below:

– Set up/take down
– Stage support
– Collecting donations
– Selling merchandise
– Photography/cinematography

Please be prepared to check in at the main volunteer tent ONE hour prior to your shift start time. This way you’ll get the training and resources you need to feel good about your important role.

Interested? Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Want your organization to bring a group of volunteers and be recognized for your contribution to the community? Please email volunteer @ aspencamp.org.

Your Name (required):

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City & State:

Areas of Interest:
 Set up/take down Stage support Collecting donations Selling merchandise Photography/cinematography

Shifts Available:


We’re collecting silent auction items and will be posting them as we confirm the gifts. Here’s what we have so far:

– 2 day passes to Loveland Ski Resort ($130 value)
– $50 Gift card to Hamilton Sports ($50 value)
– Signed concert t-shirt ($100 value)
– Use of low-ropes/challenge course with lunch for up to 10 people at Aspen Camp ($250 value)
– Private ASL classes (6 one-hour classes) from Aspen Camp ($180 value)

Want your business to be recognized at Deaf Camp Benefit with a donation towards the silent auction? Please contact katie @ aspencamp.org.

Deaf Camp Benefit is free to everyone. Enjoy the event and bring a friend!
Since we rely on the support of communtiy members like you, donations are greatly appreciated and can be made at www.aspencamp.org/donate.

Want to get your name out to our fans while helping a great cause? Great! We have partnership opportunities to fit your needs.

Platinum Partner ($10,000)

Signage near stage and around venue*, logo on www.deafcampbenefit.org, up to five (5) minutes stage time during event, logo on concert shirt*, large exhibit in venue.

Gold Partner ($5,000)

Signage around venue*, logo on www.deafcampbenefit.org, up to two (2) minutes stage time during event, logo on concert shirt*, small exhibit in venue.

Silver Partner ($2,500)

Limited signage around venue*, logo on www.deafcampbenefit.org and sponsor banners*, small exhibit in venue.

Silent Auction Partner (In-Kind)

Donate an item for the silent auction and get recognized on www.deafcampbenefit.org and at the venue. It’s a great way to connect with your market since they will be able to see and use your services and/or products.


All benefits are negotiable. We have other advertising opportunities outside of Deaf Camp Benefit. Please ask us for more information or if interested in partnering at katie @ aspencamp.org or call (970) 315-0513.

*Deadline to have logo on shirts are May 30, 2015.

*Deadline to have logo on event banners are June 30, 2015.

*Signage to be provided by the partner except for sponsor banner.