Bennett, Scaggs and Cocker lead June Festival in Aspen | AspenTimes.com
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Bennett, Scaggs and Cocker lead June Festival in Aspen

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Jazz Aspen Snowmass will inaugurate a new space for its June Festival with musicians young and old – some returning to the Jazz Aspen stage and some making their first appearances.

Among the acts announced for the June Festival, set for June 19-22, are vocalist Tony Bennett, rock singers Boz Scaggs and Joe Cocker, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, and young blues singer Shemekia Copeland. In moving the June Festival to Aspen’s Rio Grande Park, just off of downtown Aspen, Jazz Aspen will bring the festival to several indoor settings, including the Hotel Jerome Ballroom.

The festival will open June 19 with the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Band, conducted by O’Farrill, a Cuban-born bandleader and trumpeter who has been at the forefront of Afro-Cuban jazz since the 1950s. The festival shifts later that night to the Hotel Jerome, where singer-pianist Patricia Barber will perform.

On June 20, Tony Bennett will return for his first Jazz Aspen appearance since a 1994 gala performance at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Brad Mehldau, a pianist considered one of the strongest recent voices in jazz, plays with his trio at the Hotel Jerome afterwards.

Boz Scaggs, who hit radio gold with his 1976 album “Silk Degrees” and has returned with a string of solid recent albums, makes his Jazz Aspen debut on June 21. An opening act for Scaggs has yet to be announced.

The June Festival closes June 22 with soul-rock singer Joe Cocker, returning to Jazz Aspen after his set at Jazz Aspen’s 2000 Labor Day Festival. Opening for Cocker will be young blues belter Shemekia Copeland, daughter of the late bluesman Johnny “Clyde” Copeland.

Free concerts featuring regional acts will be given each day of the festival on a stage on the Cooper Ave. Mall, adjacent to Wagner Park. Students from the JAS In-Schools program, Jazz Aspen’s educational arm for local young musicians, will also perform on the stage.

In addition, there will be a series of JAS After Dark club performances, with artists and venues still to be announced.

Tickets for the June Festival will go on sale to JAS Club members on Monday, March 17, and to the public on March 24. Tickets will be available at the Wheeler Opera House box office, or by calling the Jazz Aspen box office at 1-866-527-8499. For patron tickets and information, call 920-4996 or go to http://www.jazzaspen.org.

[Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com]


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