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Take a detour: Creative project connects communities across the state with music

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Arcadian Pictures

John Hunt, left, with Arcadian Pictures captures the audience feedback as Jesse Elliott, executive director of The Music District, asks questions regarding the musical scene of Trinidad.

Members of The Music District in Fort Collins, a music-centric gathering space to cultivate talents, support professional development, and encourage connections, recently came through Trinidad.

The purpose of the visit was to record footage of and interviews with local musicians to compile with other recordings gathered around the state to produce a documentary highlighting the “sonic tapestry” of the state of Colorado in an effort they’re calling the Detour Project. Some of the audio, video and 360-degree material is set to be premiered at The Dome in Fort Collins October 17.

The Music District Executive Director Jesse Elliott explained that they want to bring communities together around music.

“One of the guiding principles behind the Detour Project has always been to connect different musicians and communities across the state,” said Elliott. “Trinidad has been a great collaborative partner since the very beginning, thanks to people like Marilyn Leuszler and Chris Smith.”

The idea for this tour, “Detour 360” they’re calling it, is to lay out the landscape of Colorado through music.

“We want to document some of the “sonic tapestry” of the state of Colorado,” Elliott said, “so all the different types of musicians, bands, natural and human-made sonic landscapes all across a very geographically and culturally diverse place.”

During their time in Trinidad, they conducted several public music collaborations, one at Up Swing Community Room on Main Street where the audience participated in music making with Detour’s headlining artist and modern composer, Bruce Odland. The other was a community jam session in the alleyway next to Bella Luna’s.

“Trinidad was a particularly inspiring stop along the way,” said Elliott. “So many great singers and instrumentalists showed up, from the Trinidad Community Chorale, to grassroots reggae players, to fiddlers and pickers. We also enjoyed the interviews we did about the music and sounds that mean the most to them in life.”

The Detour Project was funded originally by Colorado Creative Industries and has continued with funding from the Bohemian Foundation and The Music District in Fort Collins. Elliott expressed that they will definitely be back to Trinidad soon and are very excited to share their experiences with the rest of Colorado.

“We can’t wait to weave the sounds and stories we gathered in Trinidad together with the whole rest of the state’s over the next couple months,” said Elliott, “and paint that sonic portrait of the place we all live and create together!”

For more information on the Detour Project as well as The Music District, visit their website at

Documentary to highlight Trinidad’s jamming, vibrant musical scene

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