Chicago, Maceo Parker, Marsalis to play Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience
Jazz Aspen Snowmass will celebrate its 25th anniversary at its June Experience with performances by Chicago, the Count Basie Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and others in the Benedict Music Tent.
The festival kicks-off with two performances on Friday, June 26. At 6 p.m., the legendary Count Basie Orchestra will celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday and jazz roots with Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling reprising the iconic “Sinatra at the Sands” recordings with Basie, and Grammy nominated vocalist Roberta Gambarini, with her quartet. The evening will conclude with Maceo Parker and his 10-piece band performing soul classics from the songbooks of James Brown, Stevie Wonder and other legends, along with his trademark “Funk Fiesta.”
The majority of seats for the Friday performances will be general admission at a price of $35, the same ticket price as the initial Jazz Aspen Festival in 1991, celebrating iconic American music in a community celebration marking the nonprofit’s 25th summer season.
“Most of the artists on this opening night celebration have special relationships with (Jazz Aspen Snowmass), from Basie performing in ’92, Maceo playing long Friday sets opening our Labor Day Festivals, and Gambarini’s memorable JAS Café shows in recent years,” Jazz Aspen CEO Jim Horowitz said in a statement. “Along with the free lawn party, this will make for a great night and kick-off.”
On Saturday, June 27, the legendary Chicago makes its debut Aspen appearance. Considered one of the longest running and most successful pop and rock ‘n’ roll groups in history, Chicago is the highest charting American band in Billboard Magazine’s list of Top 100 artists of all time, coming in at No. 13.
The first weekend concludes Sunday, June 28 with the return of Naturally 7, followed by guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela. Naturally 7 performed in front of the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2013, has perfected an intriguing a cappella style they’ve branded “vocal play” — each member singing their vocal part using the sound of instruments such as drums, bass and guitar. Rodrigo y Gabriela, the popular opening act at the 2011 Labor Day Festival, is one of the biggest selling acoustic instrumental acts in the world. The two keep it simple, playing face to face, guitar versus guitar, rhythm and melody, a fiery and percussive high-energy show.
On Monday, July 6, Jazz Aspen and the Aspen Music Festival and School will co-present an evening at the Benedict Music Tent with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis. The joint presentation will include an on-site pre-concert dinner at the JAS Patron Hospitality Tent. Patron tickets will include gourmet catered hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert, full open bars, on-site, parking, and premium floor seating for the concert. Reserved and general admission seating are also available for the performance.
The expanded Free Lawn Party, a hit at the recent June Experiences, will again take place on the Benedict Music Tent grounds prior to the main stage acts on June 26 to 28, starting at 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 6 p.m. Saturday. The party includes a variety of on-site food booths, beverage and full bar service vendors and live music on two stages.
Tickets for the June 26 to 28 June Experience performances at Benedict Music Tent will go on sale Thursday, March 5 through JAS at 866-JAS-TIXX (970-527-8499), http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org or at the Belly Up box office in Aspen, 970-544-9800. Tickets for the Wynton Marsalis show are on sale now at the Aspen Music Festival and School box office, 970-925-9042 or http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com.
Patron (VIP) tickets for the June Experience are available now at 970-920-4996 or http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org. Lodging and ticket packages can be found at 800-SNOWMASS.
JAS Café lineup
JAS also has announced the lineup for this summer’s JAS Café Series, which will feature three runs downstairs at the Little Nell and three on the upstairs level of the Aspen Art Museum.
Aspen Art Museum shows will take place in the Museum Café and adjacent patio. Patrons of the 7 p.m. JAS Café Upstairs at the art museum shows will have the option of including a three-course dinner, prepared by Julia and Allen Domingos of Epicure Catering, with their concert ticket.
The series starts on June 30 to July 1 at the Aspen Art Museum with the return of the hot jazz of renowned French artists the Django Reinhardt NY Festival. On July 8 to 9, the music returns to the Little Nell with jazz vocalist Jacqui Naylor. Former JAS Academy artist director Christian McBride and his trio (featuring former JAS Academy student Ulysses Owens, Jr. and Christian Sands) will perform at the Nell on July 15 to 16, followed by Tony Award nominated jazz/pop vocalist and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway July 22 and 23.
The Café summer series will close with two more weekends at the Aspen Art Museum, including the jazz/pop/soul/gospel vocalist and jazz chart topping Lizz Wright on Aug. 7 to 8 and one more artist still to be announced for Aug. 13 to 14. Wright made her local debut in a memorable double bill co-headlining the June Festival in 2006 with Jamie Cullum.
Summer JAS Café tickets will be on sale next March 10 at jazzaspensnowmass.org.
Also in the offing for the anniversary season is the summer, dubbed “Le Freak Lounge” and featuring disco-soul superstars Chic with Nile Rodgers, on July 17 at the Ranch of Bob and Soledad Hurst. The benefit will honor Janus Capital Group founder Tom Bailey for stewardship of the JANUS/JAS title sponsorship from 1993-2005. Tickets are on sale now at jazzaspensnowmass.org.
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