Denver's Ian Cooke spent the weekend in Fort Collins, armed only with his cello, his effects pedal and his voice, ready to convert new fans and meet with old ones. On Thursday night, he played a solo set on the roof of the months-old Illegal Pete's. "That's an honor, and someone told me that it was the first concert of the season before i went on, but then I realized it was the first season, too. It felt good to break it in," says Cooke.
The management is getting ready to host a slew of summer music, and Pete's is getting the patio space ready, complete with sun umbrellas, speakers and more, according to marketing director Virgil Dickerson. "We work with Ian quite a bit since he's with Illegal Pete's label, Greater Than Collective," he says. "And having him at the location for its first outdoor show is special for us." The intimate show was the official after-party to the Colorado Creative Industries summit, in which over two days of artists, musicians, media, nonprofit organizers, and more come together to discuss the creative agenda around the state.
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Not only did Cooke play a mean cello ballad, but as a leader in the music community, he shared his experiences in obtaining grants on a Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Summit panel along with Stephen Bracket of Flobots. Within the last few years, he has been awarded an "Independent Music on Tour Program" grant through WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) and a Career Advancement grant through CCI, which allowed him to focus on his creative work without the full financial stresses faced by many creative entrepreneurs. His unique artistry is seldom experienced in Fort Collins, so hearing him in a small coffee shop — Everyday Joes — as part of the Fort Collins Music Experience, was a treat and a highlight for the two-day, 100-band, 25-venue festival.
"Every time I’ve been up here it's so encouraging and the people really genuinely appreciate the art. It's such a refreshing place to play and I definitely get up here because of Bohemian Nights and FoCoMX, which encouraged me to play up here more often," Cooke says. "I love the unorthodox and nontraditional venues, I’ve played at Everyday Joe's before, and I’ve always been willing to come back and play there."
Cooke is working on a new album, and he's also premiering a video to accompany it. The album, scheduled for an early summer release, is called Antiquasauria, or "ancient lizard" in Greek, and the music is focused on dinosaurs, one of Cooke's self-proclaimed favorite subjects. Preorder the whole album here. Cooke's manager, Ian O’Dougerty, says that the song featured in the new video is last song on the album, and that it summarizes the whole album. Watch below!