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Boulder Chautauqua Summer Concerts

Visit Boulder's Chautauqua For These Stellar Performances Before Summer's Over

With summer past its halfway point, it’s time to catch as many shows as possible before the leaves start to fall. On the heels of the Boulder Chautauqua’s 125th anniversary, here is a list of unforgettable performances across a variety of genres that are sure to help you celebrate the harmony of music (or stand-up comedy) and nature at the base of Boulder’s foothills.

8/18 Leo Kottke + Julian Lage

A tale of two guitarists, both Leo Kottke and Julian Lage are known for their prodigious handiwork. Leo Kottke was raised in 12 different states growing up and took on several influences as a child, including Mississippi John Hurt and American composer John Philip Sousa. Kottke was signed to guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma label and released 6 and 12 String Guitar, in 1969, which has come to be known as the Armadillo record due to the animal gracing its cover. Phish fans took note in the 2000s when Kottke started his collaborations with Phish bassist Mike Gordon.

View With A Room, Julian Lage’s latest full-length release on Blue Note shows his improvisational talent alongside bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King. The legendary guitarist Bill Frisell also complements Lage’s guitar on this ethereal album.

8/30 Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) with Bella White

Watchhouse is an Americana/folk duo, consisting of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Formerly known as Mandolin Orange, they chose to change their name to Watchhouse in 2021 and soon after released their self-titled LP. In 2022, the pair released a surprise self-produced, stripped-down version of their subsequent album called Watchhouse (Duo), in which all 9 songs are broken down to their fundamentals with the two of them playing their own arrangements at their most primordial. Expect this show to give attention to their earliest days of performing.

9/2 Rising Appalachia

Founded by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, Rising Appalachia has been on the road for two decades. Their eclectic blend of folk, world, and urban music has been part of their sound since their inception. Special guests on their 2019 release Leylines include folk icon Ani DiFranco, songwriter Trevor Hall and jazz trumpeter Maurice Turner.

“We’re folk singers and we consider this a folk album, so there’s a lot in there. There’s word of politics, of being women in the music industry, as well as a lot about our lives on the road,” Chloe Smith says.

9/28 The SteelDrivers with Troubadour Blue

The SteelDrivers began as a casual jam session over a decade ago in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the years, they’ve become one of the top bands in the Americana/Bluegrass genre. In 2008, their self-titled debut came out on Rounder Records, which scored their first Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group w/ Vocal for the song Blue Side Of The Mountain. In 2015, they won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album for The Muscle Shoals Recordings. Their music has appeared in the Bill Murray movie Get Low, as well as various other TV shows and movies including the dramatic hit Yellowstone.


9/29 Tig Notaro

In 2017, Rolling Stone named Tig Notaro one of the "50 best stand-up comics of all time." Known for her fearless absurdity and strong point-of-view, she has both Emmy and Grammy nominations. You may have seen her on one of her numerous talk show appearances, including Ellen, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, or Conan or in Star Trek: Discovery. Do yourself a favor and check out her hilarious advice podcast Don’t Ask Tig.


10/1 Snarky Puppy

Founded in 2004, Snarky Puppy is a jazz fusion collective, with as many as 20 members in regular rotation. Their latest album, Empire Central, won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

“Snarky Puppy has always been a band that prioritizes the sound of music,” says bassist and collective leader Michael League. “On this record, the songs ended up being a lot more direct and funkier than those on our previous records. I think it reflects the many moods of the city’s scene”.

  • Snarky Puppy
  • The SteelDrivers with Troubadour Blue
  • Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) with Bella White
  • Julian Lage
  • Leo Kottke
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Tig Notaro
  • The SteelDrivers with Troubadour Blue
  • Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) with Bella White
  • Rising Appalachia