Unusual concert brings John Denver to Sarasota

The late singer appears on video as his former musicians play live

November 21, 2013 

"The John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert" comes Nov. 23 to Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.PHOTO PROVIDED

It's been 16 years since John Denver passed away, but his fans can watch and hear him perform again this weekend at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota.

"The John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert" brings together former members of Denver's band, playing live on stage, to video footage of Denver and singing his classic songs.

One of the band members is reed player Jim Horn, a well-known session musician who has worked with most of the big names in music over the past several decades -- everyone from Duane Eddy to the Rolling Stones and George Harrison.

"It is like having a part of him still with his fans," Horn said. "John's songs were sung from his heart and his fans felt his love through his music. He WAS his music and this is why so many want to hear it."

Horn had a longer association with Denver than with almost anyone else. He said Denver's music always appealed to him, and that Denver appreciated what Horn brought to his compositions.

"John always looked forward to hearing what I came up with for certain songs," Horn said. "He gave me freedom in how I added to certain songs, like 'Calypso' and 'The Eagle and the Hawk.' I brought a certain sound to John's songs that he loved."

Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 23, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-$60. Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.

--Marty Clear

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