Byrne headlines Jazz Aspen lineup
David Byrne, looking to complete unfinished musical business, leads the list of headlining acts for Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ 15th annual June Festival. The lineup for the festival, set for June 23-26 with a main stage under a tent in Rio Grande Park, was announced yesterday.Joining Byrne, the former frontman for Talking Heads, on the June Festival roster are jazz vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Dianne Reeves, a double bill on June 25; reggae band Steel Pulse and soul singer Isaac Hayes, who make up a June 23 double bill; and singer Boz Scaggs, whose festival-closing set on June 26 is billed as a “greatest hits” set.Additional main stage acts include New York-based Latin rock band Yerba Buena, opening for Byrne on June 24; and funk-jazz bassist Marcus Miller, who opens for Scaggs.Byrne made his Jazz Aspen debut at last summer’s Labor Day Festival. That performance, scheduled to feature the Tosca Strings, turned into an abbreviated set of Talking Heads songs played by a stripped-down band. The June performance is again slated to include the Tosca Strings, who appeared on Byrne’s 2004 album “Grown Backwards.”Scaggs also made a recent Jazz Aspen appearance, at the 2003 June Festival. That set had Scaggs as a jazz singer, fronting a small combo and playing tunes from “But Beautiful,” his 2003 album of standards.Hayes and Steel Pulse will be making their debuts on the Jazz Aspen stage. McFerrin will be making his first appearance since 1991, Jazz Aspen’s inaugural year.Away from the main stage, jazz keyboardist Ramsey Lewis (June 22), and groove combo Robert Walter’s 20th Congress and New Orleans brass band Bonerama (June 24) will play JAS After Dark gigs at the Belly Up. Jazz-groove guitarist John Scofield will perform a tribute to the late Ray Charles at the Hotel Jerome. Additional artists for the free stage are still to be announced.Tickets for the June Festival go on sale to JAS Club members Wednesday, March 30, and to the public April 4. To buy tickets or for further information, call 1-866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499) or go to http://www.jazzaspen.org.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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