NightGrass Shows

The sun may set and the temperature may drop, but the music doesn't have to stop... NightGrass is the late-night component of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Sheridan Opera House Sign
Yonder Kick-Off Show
New Belgium Brewing

NightGrass partner

These intimate indoor shows are held nightly at the historic Sheridan Opera House and the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon - both located on Colorado Avenue in Telluride, just a few blocks from the Town Park festival grounds. Special shows are also held at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village (a free gondola ride from Telluride) and matinee film screenings at the Nugget Theatre.

A very limited number of All-Venue Passes sold-out through the online lottery. These passes are good at any of the venues on a space-available basis.

Plan to join us on Wednesday, June 17 at the free FirstGrass Concert in Mountain Village from 3-6pm featuring The Greencards and The lovell Sisters.


2009 NightGrass Schedule

  Sheridan
Opera House
Fly Me to the Moon
Saloon
Telluride Conference
Center
Nugget Theatre
Wednesday
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Yonder Mountain String Band
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Thursday Railroad Earth Oakhurst
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Friday Yonder Mountain String Band Cornmeal
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Saturday Greensky Bluegrass Crooked Still
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Film: Throw Down Your Heart (matinee)
Sunday Punch Brothers
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Film: Throw Down Your Heart (matinee)
Wednesday, June 17
YMSB
8th Annual Bluegrass Kickoff Party with...
  • 9pm show / 8pm doors
  • Telluride Conference Center, 580 Mountain Village Blvd, Mountain Village
  • All-Ages
  • Tickets: $25 advance [ Sold-out ]
For the eighth consecutive year, Festivarians from around the world will take the sunset gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village to celebrate the kick-off of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. It's the official beginning to four adventurous, magical days of music and festivation in Telluride, with one of Festivarian Nation's favorite bands. It will be one of the sets people talk about all weekend - a high-energy improvisational freak-out, followed by a Festivarian-filled gondola ride descending into the lights of Telluride. If this is your first Telluride, this is where to begin. If it's not your first, well... then you already know.
Plan to join us on Wednesday, June 17 at the free FirstGrass Concert in Mountain Village from 3-6pm featuring The Greencards and The lovell Sisters.Top
Thursday, June 18
Railroad Earth
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak St.
  • Ages 21+ (unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Tickets: $30 advance [ Sold-out via online lottery ]
The six members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. After a couple months, the band took five songs from their budding repertoire, recorded a demo, and found themselves booked to play the Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since then, they’ve released two more studio albums for Sugar Hill Records and amassed a huge and loyal fanbase that follows them from show to show. The band's music is driven by the remarkable songs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. They can jam with the best of them, but they’re not a jam band. They’re bluegrass influenced, but they use drums and amplifiers. Top
Oakhurst
  • 10pm show / 9pm doors
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 132 E. Colorado Ave.
  • Ages 21+
  • Tickets: $15 advance Purchase Info
Oakhurst has earned a reputation for torching bar and theater stages throughout the US with its unique sound and unbridled stage energy for years. But lately, the band has also created a stir on major festival stages, cruise ships and European tours. The band’s adept picking, sweet harmonies, and citybilly swagger have come from playing 200+ shows a year in such varied environments. Oakhurst’s unpretentious, go-for-it interpretation of the genre, sparks interest in bluegrass by folks who don’t know Doc Watson from Doc Holliday. Along the way Oakhurst has shared stages with artists like John Hiatt, Nickel Creek, The Flaming Lips, Emmylou Harris, Barenaked Ladies, Lyle Lovett, Lynard Skynard, Johnny Lang & Guster. Top
Friday, June 19
YMSB
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak St.
  • Ages 21+ (unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Tickets: $30 advance [ Sold-out via online lottery ]
We don't mean to worry you, but this is the single hardest ticket to get in Telluride: one of the greatest touring bands in America - a band known for its energy, creativity, and live improvisation - in one of their most intimate shows of the year, the historic Sheridan Opera House. Formed in December 1998 to open for a band at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Yonder Mountain has become one of the most popular live bands in America through steady gigging and high-profile festival sets, all of which are full of improv and none of which feature the same set list. It can’t be overstated just what the band has achieved with that "untraditional" banjo/bass/mandolin/guitar line-up. Top
Cornmeal
  • 10pm show / 9pm doors
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 132 E. Colorado Ave.
  • Ages 21+
  • Tickets: $15 advance [ Sold-out ]
Steeped in the tradition of musical acts such as Old and in the Way, John Hartford, and New Grass Revival, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. The quintet has consistently evolved its sound and stage performance using bluegrass as a springboard for long improvisational work and songs ranging from country, rock and blues to jazz, funk and disco. The band was formed as a side-project over seven years ago only to watch it grow into a Chicago institution. Known for their vast musical repertoire, lightning fast tempos, and impeccable harmonies, the five-piece acoustic-electric band prides itself on the energy it puts forth each night creating an unrivalled live performance that continues to shape itself into a truly unique experience. Top
Saturday, June 20
Greensky Bluegrass
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak St.
  • Ages 21+ (unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Tickets: $30 advance [ Sold-out ]
Formed in the fall of 2000 by Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), and Paul Hoffman (mandolin), Greensky has undergone a musical evolution as unique as the music it has produced. As newcomers to the bluegrass scene, the three sought to define themselves within the framework of their bluegrass favorites while establishing a voice of their own, drawing upon an array of influences and varied musical backgrounds. In the fall of 2004, Greensky Bluegrass welcomed bassist Michael Devol, followed by dobro player Anders Beck about a year ago. Jambase describes their "new acoustic roots" music as "timeless without being strictly confined, current without sacrificing a compelling old-soul timbre – killer Springsteen covers and all." Top
Crooked Still
  • 10pm show / 9pm doors
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 132 E. Colorado Ave.
  • Ages 21+
  • Tickets: $15 advance [ Sold-out ]
After five years of touring and establishing themselves as "the most important folk group to emerge from Boston since the early 60's" (Boston Globe), Crooked Still underwent a major change in November of 2007. Founding member and cellist Rushad Eggleston left the group. Crooked Still was on the cusp of a new musical chapter: the quintet became five with the addition of fiddler Brittany Haas and cellist Tristan Clarridge. Already a visionary group capable of being simultaneously beautiful and adventurous, the new lineup allows even more exploration, breathing cosmic fire into old songs and writing bold new ones. USA Today writes: "No one captures the eerie, gorgeous menace of classic Anglo-American folk ballads like this Boston band." Much like moonshine distilled in the apparatus that inspired their name, Crooked Still is still fermenting. And the music is undeniably intoxicating. Top
Throw Down Your Heart
Béla Fleck brings the banjo back to Africa...
  • 3pm screening
  • Nugget Theatre, 207 West Colorado Ave.
  • All Ages
  • Béla Fleck will be in attendance at each screening to talk about the film
  • Tickets: $5 advance / $7 door Purchase Info
This feature-length documentary follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known roots of the banjo and record an album with local African musicians. Béla's boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa. Using his banjo, Béla transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds. The film was honored with the Audience Award at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. Writes the Austin American-Statesman, "Fleck, our amiable ambassador of the banjo, generously steps back and lets the local musicians shine. Together they evoke naked humanity — tears, laughter, passion and the unalloyed bliss of making music." Top
Sunday, June 21
Punch Brothers

Julian Lage

w/ special guest Julian Lage
  • 10:30pm show / 10pm doors
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak St.
  • Ages 21+ (unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Tickets: $30 advance Purchase Info
To complement their only-at-Telluride main stage set of traditional bluegrass music (titled "Punch Brothers Play & Sing Bluegrass" in homage to Tony Rice), the Punch Brothers present an only-in-Telluride night of music from one of the most important bands in modern rock filtered through the acoustic instruments of the Punch Brothers (get a taste here). Punch Brothers — whose name is taken from the Mark Twain short story, Punch, Brothers, Punch! — is one of the most formidable and virtuosic young bands in acoustic music. Bandleader Chris Thile, a member of the Grammy Award–winning Nickel Creek, “may well be the most virtuosic American ever to play the mandolin” (Washington Post). Guitarist Chris Eldridge was a founding member of the Infamous Stringdusters and occasionally sits in with his father's band, The Seldom Scene; bassist Paul Kowert studied at The Curtis Institute of Music with Edgar Meyer; banjo player Noam Pikelny has performed and recorded as a solo artist and collaborator with John Cowan, Tony Trischka, and Leftover Salmon; violinist Gabe Witcher is a sought-after session man who has recorded with a range of artists from Willie Nelson to Beck to Randy Newman.

Julian Lage began playing guitar at five years of age in the blues and blue grass tradition. One of his first teachers was mandolinist David Grisman. At 12, Julian played on the nationally televised Grammy Awards telecast where Gary Burton spotted him. Burton asked Julian to join him on some performances and their collaboration developed. Julian toured with the Gary Burton Generations quintet contributing a number of original compositions to the quintet's repertoire. He also recorded with Burton on his Generations album and again in 2005 with Next Generation. Now at the age of 21, Julian Lage has released his debut album, Sounding Point, on EmArcy Records. The CD is remarkably the most striking and sophisticated premiere of a young instrumental artist and composer in years. The album includes banjo master Bela Fleck, The Punch Brothers' Chris Thiele (mandolin), pianist Taylor Eigsti, saxophonist Ben Roseth, percussionist Tupac Mantila, bassist Jorge Roeder, and cellist Aristides Rivas.Top
Throw Down Your Heart
Béla Fleck brings the banjo back to Africa...
  • 3pm screening
  • Nugget Theatre, 207 West Colorado Ave.
  • All Ages
  • Béla Fleck will be in attendance at each screening to talk about the film
  • Tickets: $5 advance / $7 door Purchase Info
This feature-length documentary follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known roots of the banjo and record an album with local African musicians. Béla's boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa. Using his banjo, Béla transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds. The film was honored with the Audience Award at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. Writes the Austin American-Statesman, "Fleck, our amiable ambassador of the banjo, generously steps back and lets the local musicians shine. Together they evoke naked humanity — tears, laughter, passion and the unalloyed bliss of making music." Top

Special thanks to our NightGrass partner...
New Belgium Brewing