Bob Dylan to play Labor Day Festival |

Bob Dylan to play Labor Day Festival

Stewart OksenhornThe Aspen TimesAspen CO, Colorado
Bob Dylan, right, will headline Aug. 30 at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. (Stewart Oksenhorn/Aspen Times file)

SNOWMASS VILLAGE Jazz Aspen Snowmass announced that Bob Dylan will make a return appearance to its Labor Day Festival. The landmark singer-songwriter is scheduled to headline on Aug. 30, with two opening acts for the day to be announced.The Labor Day Festival is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Snowmass Town Park. Previously announced acts for the festival include John Fogerty, Dwight Yoakam, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jerry Douglas, and Widespread Panic, who will headline the first two nights of the five-day event.Dylan, who will turn 67 this Saturday, first performed at the Labor Day Festival in 2002. But the iconic folkie/gospel singer/rocker, etc., has gone through the latest of his transformations in the six years since. Call this the public Dylan phase of a career that has taken numerous twists and turns since Dylan first emerged on the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.Since 2002, Dylan has released just one album of new material, 2006s acclaimed Modern Times, which earned a Grammy Award for best contemporary folk/Americana album. (In 2004, he released volume six of his Bootleg Series, a concert recording from a 1964 show at New Yorks Philharmonic Hall, a significant addition to his discography.) Yet he has shown his face in many other places, usually in unexpected ways.In 2003 came Masked & Anonymous, a dramatic film about a singer released from prison to play a benefit concert. The film, mostly dismissed as bizarre and impenetrable, was co-written by Dylan and director Larry Charles.Dylan made a far more straightforward and appreciated appearance in No Direction Home, Martin Scorseses 2005 televised documentary about the singer. The film featured an extensive, and largely unguarded interview with Dylan. The film was accompanied by a two-CD soundtrack, volume seven in The Bootleg Series, featuring previously unreleased early recordings. A year earlier, a more skittish Dylan was interviewed by the late Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes.In 2004, Dylan showed up in the surprising guise of a memoirist. His Chronicles, said to be the first in a three-part series, jumped around in time, tone and subject matter. But it revealed a stunningly open-hearted and transparent Dylan, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the biography/autobiography category.In 2006, Dylan made his debut as a radio DJ, hosting the weekly program, Theme Time Radio Hour for XM Satellite Radio. Each hour-long episode has been devoted to a general theme, and while Dylans song selections have focused on recordings from the middle of the 20th century, rappers L.L. Cool J and The Streets have been included in his programming.Last year, not one but six Dylans were featured in Todd Haynes ambitious, acclaimed quasi-biopic Im Not There. The film featured six actors including Richard Gere, 15-year-old African-American Marcus Carl Franklin, the late Heath Ledger, and Cate Blanchett, who earned an Oscar nomination as characters based on various incarnations of Dylan. The film, authorized by Dylan, was accompanied by a soundtrack featuring mostly indie-rockers Yo La Tengo, Stephen Malkmus, Mason Jennings, Sufjan Stevens and others covering Dylan songs.Last month, Dylan was awarded with a special citation Pulitzer Prize, becoming the first rock n roll artist recognized by the Pulitzer board. The award was given for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power, according to the Pulitzer board.Dylans latest band has had Dylan playing keyboard and harmonica, with bassist Tony Garnier, drummer George Recile, guitarists Stu Kimball and Denny Freeman, and Donnie Herron on a variety of string instruments. His concerts have featured a constant rotation of songs from throughout his career.Tickets for the Labor Day Festival as well as Jazz Aspens June Festival, set for June 19-22 in Aspens Rio Grande Park are available at 1-866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499), online at, or at the Belly Up Aspen box