Ian Cooke and Chimney Choir perform a tribute to David Bowie in the CPR Performance Studio.

(Photo: CPR/Irvin Coffee)

2016 was a year of loss for millions of music fans. We mourned what feels like an unusually high number of musical icons -- not because we knew them personally, but because they helped us know ourselves.  

CPR's OpenAir recently put out a call to our musician friends throughout Colorado to perform cover songs by artists who influenced them who passed away this year. The response amazed us.

We’re calling the results Dearly Departed: Colorado Remembers 2016. It’s a two-hour special featuring a couple dozen acts covering songs from many of the musicians who died this year.

Hear these exclusive performances, recorded in the CPR Performance Studio:

  • Tonight from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during Mile High Noon

Here’s a list of the artists who participated and the musical legends they celebrated. The roster includes several supergroups of Colorado musicians:

Celebrating David Bowie

  • Ian Cooke and Chimney Choir
  • Pan Astral
  • A Colorado Bowie supergroup: 
    • Taylor Gonda - Vocals (These Things Matter Podcast)    
    • Chella Negro - Vocals (Chella & The Charm)
    • Nathan D Brazil - Guitar & Vocals (Salads and Sunbeams / Fingers Of The Sun)
    • Leighton Peterson - Guitar  (Safe Boating is No Accident)
    • Nathan Wright - Guitar (The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact)
    • Michael Ditto - Keys (Safe Boating is No Accident)
    • Justin Couch - Bass (Quantum Creep)
    • Fez Garcia - Drums (Tjutjuna)
    • Yuzo Nieto - Ashiko Drum (Pink Hawks)

Celebrating Glenn Frey of The Eagles

  • King Cardinal

Celebrating Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire

  • Wes Watkins of The Other Black

Celebrating Beatles producer George Martin

  • Tyler Imbrogno of Eldren

​Celebrating Guy Clark

  • Andy Palmer

Celebrating Bernie Worrell of Funkadelic

  • Dandu featuring Brittany Williams

Celebrating Prince

  • Bluebook
  • Julia LaBassi of The Raven and the Writing Desk
  • Shady Elders

Celebrating Steve Holloway

  • Eldren 

Celebrating Merle Haggard

  • Lee Avenue
  • A Colorado Haggard supergroup:
    • Larry Nix - Lead Vocals 
    • Eugene Merne Moles - Electric guitar
    • Wayne Moss - Acoustic guitar
    • Lloyd Green - Steel guitar
    • Pig Robbins - Piano
    • Lauren Michaels - background vocals 
    • Jeff Martin - Bass (The Burning Angels) 
    • Kevin Finn - Drums (The Burning Angels)
    • John Macy - producer

Celebrating Lonnie Mack

  • A Colorado Lonnie Mack supergroup:
    • Eddie Turner - Guitars and Vocal
    • Kenny Pasarelli - Bass (Elton John, Joe Walsh)
    • John Magnie - Keys (The Subdudes)
    • Steve Amadee - Drums and percussion (The Subdudes)
    • John Macy - producer

Celebrating Gene Wilder

  • A Colorado Wilder supergroup:
    •  Amanda Gonulsen - Vocals (Automatic Iris)
    •  Scott McCormick - Piano (Lee Avenue)
    •  Guy Stapleton - Guitar (Poet’s Row)
    •  Joshua Trinidad - Trumpet (Go Star, Wheelchair Sports Camp)
    •  Neil McCormick - Bass (Safe Boating is No Accident, Kid Reverie)

Celebrating Sharon Jones

  • Dearling

Celebrating Leonard Cohen

  • Covenhoven
  • Plume Varia
  • Gabrielle Louise with David Kaye
  • Paul DeHaven (Paper Bird, Eye and the Arrow)

Celebrating Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  • Paul Kimbiris

Celebrating Leon Russell

  • Kris Drickey of Chimney Choir

Celebrating Tyler Despres

  • Megan Burtt

Hear and see many of these artists performing their original songs: Check out more sessions from the CPR Performance Studio.