Sweet Lu Olutosin, Cory Henry, Niki Haris and more to play Jazz Aspen cafe series this winter

Staff report
Niki Haris will return to the JAS Cafe.
Courtesy photo

Jazz Aspen Snowmass will host JAS Cafe concerts at the Little Nell and the Cooking School of Aspen this winter, in a nine-artist series running from late December through late March. The music nonprofit announced the full lineup Wednesday.

Jazz Aspen has added four apres-ski shows to this season’s lineup, starting at 5 p.m.

The series kicks off at the Nell Dec. 21 and 22 with vocalist Sweet Lu Olutosin performing swinging holiday classics.

In a second holiday performance, two-time Grammy-winning Hammond B-3 organ, piano wizard and vocalist Cory Henry will return to the Cafe. Henry will perform with his band the Funk Apostles at the Cooking School Dec. 28 and 29.

Over Winterskol weekend Jan. 11 and 12 at the Nell, the joyful New Orleans-based retro jazz group Sammy Miller & the Congregation will perform. Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdes returns to the Cafe at the Nell for the first time in six years Feb. 1 and 2.

Two weeks later, Feb. 16 and 17, the pianist and singer-songwriter Robin McKelle will make her Cafe debut.

Also in February, five-time Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, arranger and Dean of Frost School of Music at University of Miami Shelly Berg will perform with a trio and guest vocalists. Berg and his school last summer partnered with Jazz Aspen for the launch of the new JAS Center and JAS Academy program. Berg’s shows are Feb. 22 and 23 at the Cooking School.

Nigerian-born, London-based vocalist Ola Onabule will be at the Nell on March 1 and 2. Vocalist Niki Haris, who performed with Jazz Aspen founder James Horowitz last winter, returns for a run at the Cooking School on March 15 and 16 for a celebration of jazz and American roots music.

The winter series will conclude March 29 and 30 with Deva Mahal. Daughter of blues legend Taj Mahal, she is a genre-defying vocalist and songwriter.

Many of this winter’s Cafe shows will feature JAS Listen Up! pre-concert artist discussions, in which performing artists share stories and insight on the music they will perform and what to listen for. Currently scheduled talks include Sammy Miller, Robin McKelle, Shelly Berg, Ola Onabule, Niki Haris and Deva Mahal.

Tickets for the series go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at 970-920-4996 or at Individual show tickets range from $45 to $75 while a series pass to the five shows of your choice is available at a discount.


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