Head to Gateway for music and BBQ

Hazel Miller

Hazel Miller is always a fan favorite when she comes to the Western Slope. She’ll be playing at Grande River Vineyards on Aug. 20 and at Gateway Canyons Resort on Sept. 3.


Focus on Hazel Miller

The Hazel Miller Band has been part of the outdoor music scene in the Grand Valley for at least five years. Local audiences love Hazel Miller whether she’s playing jazz at the downtown Art and Jazz Festival, adding a little pop and reggae to the mix at Grande River Vineyards or singing the blues at the Barbecue and Blues Festival in Gateway.

Fortunately for audiences and the band, the appreciation goes both ways.

“There’s so much music on your side of the mountains,” Miller said. “We did Gateway last year, and it was wow. Me and the boys had a great time.”

Like most singers and entertainers, Miller appreciates the enthusiasm of the audience, and the audience at the blues festival in Gateway last year was one of the best.

“Dancing as far as the eye could see,” Miller said. “I really like Grand Junction because it’s a friendly crowd. People just want to dance.”

Miller’s band plays an eclectic mix, covering songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole.

“We all like so many different kinds of music,” Miller said about the band. “It’s hard to keep it fresh unless you play lots of different kinds of music and put our own spin on it.”

Miller has played with her keyboard player for more than 30 years and with the bass player for 20. The two other band members have come on board more recently. The band has released four CDs over the years.

“We play some originals,” Miller said, adding, “People from Grand Junction request original songs from the CDs.”

For a hardworking, touring regional band, there’s no greater praise than getting an audience request for an original song.

The Hazel Miller Band will be the headline act at the Gateway Canyons Barbecue and Blues festival in September, capping off a summertime of great music on the Western Slope.

What: Gateway Canyons BBQ and Blues festival
Where: Gateway Canyons Resort
When: Sept. 3, 12 p.m. to Ticket prices $20 in advance, $25 at the gate, to to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (970) 931-2458,

10:15 p.m./2-3 p.m.:
Little Joe McLerran and Robbie Mack
3:30-4:30 p.m.:
The Dream Boats
5-6 p.m.:
The Brian Hornbuckle Band
6:30-8 p.m.:
Steve Crenshaw
8:30-9:30 p.m.:
The Hazel Miller Band
9:30-9:45 p.m.:
9:45-10:15 p.m.:
The Hazel Miller Band

If you know you’ll want to end the summer music season with an out-of-town adventure, keep the Gateway Canyons BBQ and Blues festival at the Gateway Canyons Resort in mind.

“Blues and barbecue always go well together,” said Kindra Mazurek, sales and marketing manager for Gateway Canyons Resort.

The Hazel Miller Band — which headlined at the Grand Junction Art and Jazz Festival and will be one of the Hear it Through the Grapevine artists this year — will be the final act Sept. 3, culminating a day that includes a blues band from St. Louis and three other front range blues groups. A fireworks show during intermission of the final act is also scheduled to give one final blast of summer.

About 800 to 1,000 people attend the concert and Gateway Canyons Resort, which is generally sold out of room during the festival. There is some camping available that do reauire reservations.

In addition to barbecue and music, there will also be artisans, craftsmen and assorted food vendors throughout the day.

Partial proceeds of the festival will benefit the Wounded Warriors Sons and Daughters of America this year.

Gates for the festival open at noon on the day of the event, and the first act will take the stage at 2 p.m.

Tickets go on sale at City Market locations on Aug. 1 and are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate.


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