Jazz Aspen education programs expanding | AspenTimes.com

Jazz Aspen education programs expanding

Staff report
Jazz Aspen Snowmassis expanding its education efforts, which have focued on Roaring Fork Valley schools since 1996.
Aspen Times file |

Jazz Aspen Snowmass and L’Hostaria are partnering for a special concert Saturday night at the restaurant showcasing local school jazz bands supported by the nonprofit.

The “In-Tune Students” concert will feature seven student bands from Roaring Fork Valley schools, performing during a three-course prix fixe menu. A portion of the $60 dinner charge will go to Jazz Aspen’s education programming.

The concert comes as the organization looks to expand its education programs, which have invested more than $7 million in music education since 1996 and included programs placing music professionals in local public schools, instrument donations, private lessons and summer camps.

Jazz Aspen recently announced its expansion of music education efforts in the valley. The new “Listen Up!” program — aimed at the wider valley community and focused on jazz history — will kick off June 25 with a New Orleans-style jazz brunch at the JAS June Experience, featuring pianist Jon Batiste and former Rolling Stones backup singer Lisa Fisher (both of whom are also performing during the June festival).

“Listen Up!” will continue over the summer with three JAS Café artists giving pre-concert talks prior to their performances: Butler Bernstein & the Hot 9 (July 14 at the Aspen Art Museum), Bryon Stripling and Carmen Bradford (July 29 at the Cooking School of Aspen) and Nnena Freelon (Aug. 19 at the Aspen Art Museum). Free for ticket buyers, the sessions will allow attendees to hear the artists speak about their music and give insight into where it fits in the jazz pantheon.

Some 9:15 p.m. JAS Café shows this summer also will be followed by a late-night “Meet the Artist” session aimed at enriching local understanding of jazz, including Dr. Lonnie Smith on July 8 at the Cooking School of Aspen.

“The growth of the JAS Café into a full season of winter and summer performances offers JAS the chance to develop an expanding menu of new initiatives to ‘educate adult audiences’ on the evolution of jazz, its history and the unique ways in which jazz has interacted with other cultures around the globe as it has continuously evolved since emerging in New Orleans in the early 1900s,” Jazz Aspen founder and President Jim Horowitz said in the announcement.

In other Jazz Aspen news, the nonprofit is now accepting applications to compete in its 2017 Band Battle, which will run May 13 at Lions Park in Basalt. Each group will perform a 10-minute set at the free battle of the bands, at which all genres are welcome. Winners will be crowned in two categories: Best Garage Band and Best Acoustic Act. The champs will receive recording time at either Great Divide or Cool Brick Studios.

Applications are available at http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org.

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