JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The 1,164th installment of the Jackson Hole Hootenanny is a summation of the spirit in which tradition began over sixty years ago. Hoot co-founder and local legend Bill Briggs instigated the “Teton Tea Parties” of the 1950s that ensued underneath the Snake River Bridge in Moose, inspiring the weekly Hoot sessions that eventually took residency at Dornan’s in the 90s. The Hootenanny will make its annual pilgrimage to the Center Theater on the evening of September 9.
While the curated lineup at this year’s Center performance might not look that different than the 1000th Hoot in 2015, it’s a testament to the dedicated folks that show up most weeks to perform at Dornan’s. Stats detailing the number of performances each musician accrues throughout the year decides the annual Center lineup. Though it’s a weekly social that extends beyond the music.
“It has literally has become a family,” said longtime Hoot regular Hank Phibbs, who has performed over 740 Hoot sessions. “The regular performers have a pretty tight bond.”
The performers for this year’s show will feature Bill Briggs, Adrienne Ward, Leelee Robert, Mike and Kate Swanson, Bill Robart, Andy Anderson, Jenny Landgraf & Sally McCullough, Paul Gorsuch, John Sidle, Hank Phibbs, Matt Montagne, Allan Morton, Jim Curran, Tasha Ghozali & Rob Sidle, and Byron Tomingas. Beyond the individual slots, collaborations and “sit-ins” are common occurrences, so expect the unexpected. And while traditional music may have been the impetus of the Hoot’s early days, inclusion is the spirit of today.
“I think there’s been a general acceptance at the Hootenanny that we try to combine two things—a love of traditional music and to support people’s artistry, both instrumental music and songs with words,” Phibbs said.
The distinctive vibe of the Hoot and the community surrounding it is derived from the community at large and Jackson Hole’s geography.
“We are lucky enough to live at the intersection between civilization and the ultimate wilderness. And interfaced, this sparks all sorts of creative stuff,” Phibbs added. “The same thing applies to the people that like the arts in this community—they are both engaged and open, in terms of their connections with the artists and art that takes place in this valley.”
The Hootenanny tends to sell out each year, so get your tickets while you can. A solid number of balcony seats still remain.
The Center presents The Hootenanny at 7 p.m. Monday at the Center Theater. Tickets are $15. JHCenterForTheArts.org.
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