A recital by two bassists – who’d want to see that, except maybe some other bass players? When the musicians in question are Christian McBride & Edgar Meyer, the answer is everybody from jazz lovers to classical enthusiasts, bluegrass hounds to funk fans, and everyone else who craves brilliant musicianship. McBride, the artistic director of Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ JAS Academy, is the leading jazz bassist of his generation – and an adventurous player who incorporates funk, fusion and hip-hop into his brew. Meyer is the most celebrated bassist in the history of classical music, an acclaimed composer, and a leader in bringing bluegrass into the newgrass realm. Meyer is also particularly prominent in Aspen; a former student at the Aspen Music School, his solo bass recital last summer drew a huge crowd and earned wild applause. The two meet for an evening of dueling basses Thursday, July 19, at Harris Hall. The following night, McBride leads his band in a free electric/acoustic show in the Cabaret Room at Snowmass Village’s Silvertree Hotel.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ annual summer benefit switches gears this year. There’s a new venue, in the Atlantic Aviation Hangar at Pitkin County Airport. With Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and his 18-piece band headlining, there’s a new musical angle, with a menu to match the Latin theme. But the event, this year called JASummerNight Mambo, should retain the creative energy it has built over the last few years thanks to one component that hasn’t changed. The benefit will still feature the JAS Academy Summer Sessions student bands, talented young ensembles studying here with the likes of Christian McBride, pianist Geoff Keezer and vocalist Carla Cook. The student combos add diversity to the benefit, and looseness as well – invariably, jam sessions spontaneously sprout up. The Mambo is Saturday, July 21; the event moves to Belly Up later that night for a show by New York, Pan-Latin band, Yerba Buena.
“Gone With the Wind” was all war, burning, and tension between lovers and political factions. But the story behind the making of the film was comical to the point of high farce. Producer David O. Selznick burned through screenwriters and directors like Sherman going through Atlanta; a harried Selznick filmed the burning of Atlanta sequence before he even had a script. Eventually Selznick hired director Victor Fleming, who had three more weeks of shooting on “The Wizard of Oz,” and screenwriter Ben Hecht, one of the few Americans not to have read Margaret Mitchell’s novel. Selznick determined that the three would be locked in a room until they had a script. That backstory is told in Ron Hutchinson’s “Moonlight and Magnolias.” Theatre Aspen’s production of the 2005 comedy, directed by Theatre Aspen artistic director David McClendon and featuring Aspenite David Ledingham as Fleming, opens Thursday, July 19. The play, which also stars Anthony Freeman and Steven Cole Hughes, runs through Aug. 25.
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