The latest edition of Snowmass Village’s Massive Music & Movies series gets a little smaller – but in what could be a very positive way. The free event, on Saturday, Aug. 4, features two big names: John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin. Both, however, will perform solo; the two are spending much of the summer playing back-to-back, unaccompanied sets. For Colvin, this is nothing unusual. For Hiatt, it is a bit more uncommon; though he has done songwriter-in-the-round tours (usually as the lone Midwesterner in the company of Texans Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark and Joe Ely), he is usually backed by a band. Hiatt’s songs are surely strong enough to stand up to the guitar-and-vocal treatment; among those who have covered his tunes are Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and Buddy Guy. The best scenario has Hiatt dipping heavily into his “Crossing Muddy Waters” album for material. The 2000 CD, his only all-acoustic recording, is among his best.
It’s not at all clear if Italian-bon Emanuele Crialese had contemporary immigration issues in mind in making “Golden Door.” And if he did, it’s not clear where he would stand on the topic. But anyone with strong thoughts on immigration should probably see his film. “Golden Door” follows a family of early 20th-century Sicilians setting out for America, a land of as many question marks as opportunities. Crialese’s meditative film doesn’t push an agenda, but one thing made clear by his characters’ slow journey from rural Sicily to the chaos of Ellis Island: Immigration, at least a century ago, was not simply a matter of jumping a fence. It was a painstaking, often humiliating, process that meant leaving the familiarity of home for a murky future. Featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a single British woman among the Sicilians, “Golden Door” shows Sunday and Monday, July 29-30, at Paepcke Auditorium.
The Aspen Music Festival’s Made in America: Jazz mini-festival, which runs Monday through Sunday, July 30-Aug. 5, suffers from bad timing. The two biggest (and almost certainly best) jazz-oriented concerts on the Music Festival’s calendar have already taken place: the performance of “Congo Square” by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Odadaa! percussion ensemble, and the duel recital by bassists Edgar Meyer and Christian McBride. Still, there is more illumination of the connections between classical and jazz styles to come. Mini-fest highlights include the Aspen Late concert pairing the Turtle Island and the Ying string quartets (Friday, Aug. 5); the Aspen Percussion Ensemble concert, featuring an Ellington/Orlick piece (Tuesday, July 31); and the High Notes lecture with Music Festival chiefs David Zinman, Alan Fletcher and Asadour Santourian talking jazz.