Costello to headline at June Fest
Jazz Aspen Snowmass will present its first festival with its new title sponsor and a host of acts new to the festival. Jazz Aspen, which announced last week that Calamos Investments would be its new title sponsor, will see rocker Elvis Costello, British singer-pianist Jamie Cullum and vocalist Lizz Wright make their debuts with the organization at the upcoming June Festival.The 16th annual June Festival is set for June 22-25 under a tent in Aspen’s Rio Grande Park. Tickets for the festival go on sale Monday to JAS Club members, and to the public March 27.Also on the schedule to perform are jazz singer-pianist Diana Krall, who for the first time is billed on a festival with her husband, Costello; funk saxophonist Maceo Parker; and honky-tonker Delbert McClinton, all of whom have made previous Jazz Aspen appearances. Playing as a special guest with Costello and his band, the Imposters, will be singer-pianist Allen Toussaint, in a performance celebrating the music of Toussaint’s hometown, New Orleans.An additional headline act is still to be announced.Costello, who performs June 24, left his roots as a new-wave rocker years ago to become one of the world’s most adventurous musicians. He has released a classical song cycle inspired by “Romeo and Juliet” (“The Juliet Letters”), a collaboration with Burt Bacharach (“Painted From Memory”), and a ballet score inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (“Il Sogno”). Costello’s latest album, “My Flame Burns Blue,” features reworkings of several of his old hits in big-band arrangements and performed live at the North Sea Jazz Festival. “The River in Reverse,” a response to Hurricane Katrina, is set for release in May.Opening for Costello is Texas singer Delbert McClinton, whose 2005 album “Cost of Living” earned a pair of Grammy nominations.Kicking off the festival is 26-year-old Jamie Cullum, whose first widely released album, 2003’s “Twentysomething,” sold some 2 million copies. Opening for Cullum is Lizz Wright, whose scheduled appearance at the 2004 June festival was a late cancellation. The Georgia-born singer’s 2005 album, “Dreaming Wide Awake,” featured interpretations of songs by Neil Young, the Beatles and the Youngbloods.Krall, who has made appearances previously at the June Festival, will perform June 23. The singer-pianist’s latest album was the holiday CD “Christmas Songs.” Before that, she scored a hit with “The Girl in the Other Room,” featuring a series of songs she co-wrote with Costello.Maceo Parker, a frequent Jazz Aspen Labor Day performer in the past, returns for his first June Festival appearance as the June 25 opening act. A former member of James Brown’s JB Horns, Parker emerged as a funk icon in his own right in the early ’90s. Parker’s latest record is last year’s “School’s In!” Sunday’s headliner has not been announced.The June Festival will also include a series of JAS After Dark performances at the Belly Up and free afternoon shows on a stage on the Cooper Avenue mall, adjacent to Wagner Park.For tickets and further information, visit http://www.jazzaspen.org.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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