There’s plenty to Enrique Martinez Celaya. The Cuban native studied physics at Cornell and quantum electronics at Berkeley before earning a master’s in fine art. In addition to a wide variety of artwork – sculpture, paintings and installations – he has written and edited books that touch on the interaction between art, literature, science and philosophy. For a decade, he was a professor at Southern California’s Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University. Aspenites will get an in-depth look at this uniquely creative mind. An exhibit at Baldwin Gallery, “another show for the leopard,” features sculpture and works on canvas. (The exhibit, now showing, has a reception for the artist Friday, July 6.) Celaya will present a slide lecture on July 11 at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. The following day he will be presented with the National Artist Award at Anderson Ranch’s Annual Recognition Dinner. And perhaps Celaya will stay in town through July 13, when Cowboy Junkies play at Belly Up. Last year’s “XX,” a book commemorating the Canadian band’s 20th anniversary, features watercolors by Celaya and was published by Celaya’s Whale and Star company.
The success stories that have come out of the Aspen Music School are many; three of the more notable ones are on display this week. Pianist Joyce Yang was a student in Aspen just three summers ago, living in the Marolt apartments. Last summer, she reappeared as a soloist with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and this season the 21-year-old Korean native gets a recital to herself. The concert, Thursday, July 5, at Harris Hall, features a program of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, and guests the Takacs Quartet and clarinetist Michael Rusinek. Violinist Gil Shaham, who attended the Music School while his father spent time at the Aspen Center for Physics, has become an Aspen mainstay. His latest visit has him performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, with conductor David Zinman and the Aspen Chamber Symphony, on Friday, July 6. Pianist Orli Shaham (Gil’s sister) plays Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra with conductor David Robertson (Orli’s husband) and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, on Sunday, July 8.
By this point, two and a half years into the Belly Up era in Aspen, no one should be surprised by the acts appearing on the club’s calendar. Still, the upcoming run is eye-popping. July’s festivities kick off with jam-band Blues Traveler (Monday, July 2), and close with Southern rock kings Lynyrd Skynyrd (a benefit performance on July 31), two groups more accustomed to amphitheaters than midsize clubs. This week’s schedule is rounded out by So-Cal punkers Social Distortion (Thursday, July 5); and rapper/guitarist Wyclef Jean, from the Fugees (Friday, July 6, another benefit). Further along in the month are Lucinda Williams (who was declared America’s best songwriter a few years ago by Time magazine); Canadian slow-rockers the Cowboy Junkies; Phish keyboardist Page McConnell; Chris Isaak (a true regular at Belly Up); rapper Ice-T and Jamaican dub guru Lee “Scratch” Perry (on the same night!); pan-Latin band Yerba Buena; ousted Allman Brother Dickey Betts; the Polyphonic Spree (all 20 or so members); and Afrobeat star Femi Kuti. And the first day of August brings Little Feat. Let the good times roll.
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Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherited a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.