Calendar filling up for Aspen music fans |

Calendar filling up for Aspen music fans

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
Stewart Oksenhorn/Aspen Times WeeklyStockholm Syndrome, with bassist Dave Schools, performs in March at Belly Up Aspen.

ASPEN – Aspen’s summer music calendar is starting to fill up.

Bluesman Keb’ Mo’ makes his Belly Up debut with a solo acoustic gig on Aug. 4. Jazz Aspen has announced part of the lineup for its 20th annual June Festival, and it looks worthy of an anniversary celebration: Harry Connick, Jr. makes his Jazz Aspen debut, and his first local appearance in some two decades, on June 25, while the JAS@20! bash the following night features a stellar cast, including bassist Christian McBride, horn men Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, and vocalists Dianne Reeves and Patti Austin.

Natalie Cole, who canceled last summer’s Jazz Aspen gig, makes good with a July 3 show that features musicians from the Aspen Music Festival.

Speaking of the Music Fest, a preview schedule of the 2010 season has been released, and on the not-strictly-classical end, it includes appearances by the trio of Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain; Broadway singer Audra McDonald; and the crossover string trio, Time for Three.

Fortunately, no one in Aspen needs to wait four months for the music to come pouring in. The late-winter/early spring calendar has also come together nicely.

The Aspen Skiing Company, fresh off a choice booking with Ghostland Observatory, comes right back with singer-songwriter (-surfer) Donavon Frankenreiter, playing a free Valentine’s Day show, Feb. 14 at Snowmass’ Base Village. Even more adventurous, Skico brings in the critics’ darlings Vampire Weekend, for their local debut, to play the CORE Party in downtown Aspen on March 20. The New York quintet, praised for its mix of rock and African touches, has a new album, “Contra.”

Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale has some high-profile dates coming up: Cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphey, who earned a Grammy nomination in the bluegrass category for his recent “Buckaroo Blue Grass,” plays Saturday, Feb. 13; with Irish folk duo Guggenheim Grotto set for Feb. 18.

The Wheeler Opera House is heavy on Texas tunes in February: Guy Clark and Radney Foster team up on Feb. 19; Jerry Jeff Walker is hot on their tale, appearing the following night; and the all-Texas Acoustic Brotherhood Tour – with rockers Los Lonely Boys, singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, and fiddler Carrie Rodriguez – on Feb. 28. Other highlights on the Wheeler books: singer-pianist Marc Cohn (Feb. 23); Alaska bluegrass quintet Bearfoot (Feb. 25); jazz pianist Chick Corea in a solo performance (March 5); enduring folkie Richie Havens (March 12); and Canadian folk-rock trio Great Big Sea (March 14).

And yes, Belly Up has a few dates worth noting: the local debut of offbeat bassist Les Claypool, with the avant-garde trio the Dead Kenny Gs opening (Friday, Feb. 12); Gov’t Mule (Sunday, Feb. 14); EOTO, a techno duo comprising Michael Travis and Jason Hann, otherwise known as the String Cheese Incident percussion section (Feb. 17); New Orleans groove band Galactic, toting copies of their new album, “Ya-Ka-May” (Feb. 21); and more String Cheese threads with the Emmitt-Nershi Band, which teams String Cheese’s Billy Nershi and Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt (Feb. 26).

And that’s just this month. Also at Belly Up: the English Beat with Fishbone and Outlaw Nation (March 7); U.K. jammers Gomez (March 8); Stockholm Syndrome, featuring Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools (March 13); and the Australian indie-rock group JET (March 29).

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