Jaden Carlson, 10, of Lafayette, wows on rock guitar – Colorado Hometown Weekly

Jaden Carlson knew she wanted to play music and perform when she was 6 years old.

She had found her muse a few months earlier at a Michael Franti concert while watching bassist Carl Young. She started practicing classical guitar and took lessons daily. Now Carlson, who performs just like Jaden, has grown into an impressive young artist who has played with Michael Franti and Spearhead, the very band that originally inspired her to perform.

In fact, she accomplished much more than that. Jaden, now 10, has two CDs to her credit and has performed at numerous festivals including Doug Fest, Desert Rocks, Telluride Blue & Brews Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, Harmony Fest, Knock the Blues out of Hunger and NedFest.Kelly Carlson, courtesy photo. Jaden performs in a signature black hat.

She has performed throughout the Front Range with her trio, which includes Motet’s Scott Messersmith and Garrett Sayers, including venues such as the Gothic Theatre, Cervantes and the Fox Theatre. Jaden, who draws inspiration from actors such as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Lennon and U2, opened as the headliner for Michael Franti at the 2010 Power to the Peaceful Festival in San Francisco, where she s was produced in front of an audience of 80,000 people. .

“She just wants to be a musician,” said her mother, Kelly Carlson. “She likes to perform in front of real people, real music, no fake stuff, no dolls.”

Jaden is working on launching his next project and offering his fans the opportunity to help out. She teamed up with Kickstarter.com, a funding platform for creative projects through which people pledge various amounts of seed money in exchange for rewards. Donors can pledge as little as a dollar. In Jaden’s case, a $10 pledge gets the donor an autographed limited-edition EP, bringing her one step closer to the $2,000 goal.

“I’m trying to raise money for this EP I’m doing with Scott and Garrett,” Jaden said during a recent school break in Boulder. Jaden is home schooled by his mother.

“Two thousand won’t cover that – you have to do whatever you can to cover the costs,” Kelly said. “It’s the nature of the music industry that artists have to do a lot more themselves so they can stay in control of what they have, to maintain integrity and focus on who they want to be. .”

Jaden’s reasons for adding a third CD to his discography are manifold, Kelly said.

“Apart from guitar playing, Jaden’s songwriting is really great,” Kelly said. “People don’t believe she writes her own songs. She worked with a vocal coach and her singing has improved stratospherically, and when you’re so young, I think it’s best to know where she is now.

Sayers, bassist of popular Lyon funk band The Motet, was tapped to produce the EP project.

“I’m really excited about this project, and I think it’s going to be awesome,” Sayers said. “When Jaden’s mom, Kelly, came to me, she wanted someone who understood Jaden’s songwriting and understood that as a producer she was looking for someone who wouldn’t change him too much or not. wouldn’t tie it down to some kind of formula… With Jaden, she already writes all her own music, something that most young artists don’t do, and she’s a really capable performer, and I think that’s It’s even more impressive to see a young person like Jaden standing there, behind his guitar, with just a trio and really blowing people’s minds.

When asked to play with Jaden, Sayers said, “I was first struck by his guitar playing. As a sideman I play with a lot of different artists, and his sense of timing and awareness of what’s going on in the band is way beyond his years. Even last year, her voice, which was already impressive, has turned into something really amazing, and she’s one of the fastest growing musicians I work with, and it’s really fun to see this unfold.

Jaden is like any 10 year old in other ways and likes to ski when he’s not performing.

“I love Nordic skiing,” Jaden said. “Oh my God! I race and I’m part of the Boulder Nordic Junior Racing team. I’ve had a pretty good year so far. We’re up there six or seven days a week skiing for an hour and half, and I have won or placed in almost every event this season.

On the way to skiing, she listens to bands like George Porter Jr., The Meters, Juno What?! and Le Motet.

Jaden’s Kickstarter campaign ends on February 22, his birthday. You can find more information about the campaign by searching for “Jaden Carlson” on Kickstarter.com.

Asked about his future plans, Jaden said, “It’s my goal to play Madison Square Garden with Scott and Garrett, and Red Rocks would be cool too.”

In the meantime, his next Front Range show is scheduled for March 2 at the Pioneer Inn in the Netherlands.

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