Its girls night out make that nights at Jazz Aspens June Festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 19-22, in Aspens Rio Grande Park. The 18th annual event, especially the front end, is a mini-Lilith Fair (albeit for a somewhat older crowd). The festival opens June 19 with a double-shot: Denver-born jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, who has a new album of love songs, When You Know, headlines, while Brazilian-born Bebel Gilberto, daughter of the legendary Joo Gilberto, opens in her Aspen debut. The following night, 80s R&B star Anita Baker, who began her comeback with 2004s well-received My Everything, makes her local debut, with vocal group the Manhattan Transfer including Janis Siegel, the most prominent member opening. New York retro-soul band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, who are establishing a reputation as a red-hot live act, open on Saturday, June 21. The rest of the lineup is guy-heavy the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Los Lonely Boys, the Christian McBride Situation though McBrides band features singer Maysa Leak and keyboardist Patrice Rushen.
The 59th annual Aspen Music Festival opens with a handful of familiar, beloved faces, plus one notable new one. The first weeks events include Aspen Music School alum, violinist Joshua Bell, appearing with the Aspen Chamber Symphony (Friday, June 20), performing Ravels gypsy-derived Tzigane; and two events with the Colorado-based Takcs Quartet (Thursday, June 19; and Saturday, June 21, with Joaquin Valdepeas, head of the schools clarinet faculty, joining in on Schumanns Fairy Tales). The Aspen Festival Orchestras season opens Sunday, June 22 with David Zinman, in his 11th year as the festivals music director, conducting a program highlighted by the world premiere of John Harbisons Great Gatsby Suite. And audiences will welcome pianist Richard Goode, a past Avery Fisher Prize winner, who makes his Aspen debut with a master class on June 19, and an appearance as soloist with the Festival Orchestra, playing Beethovens Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. The festival runs through Aug. 17 with daily events.
The Raconteurs got their start when White Stripes frontman Jack White and a longtime friend, singer-guitarist Brendan Benson, got together to write a single tune, Steady, As She Goes. In 2005, White and Benson rounded up bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler, the rhythm section from rock trio the Greenhornes. Convening in Bensons Detroit attic, the quartet recorded Broken Boy Soldiers, a splendid album of raucous rock. They proved they were more than a one-off side project with the wonderfully sprawling Consolers of the Lonely, recorded in a proper studio and released in March. The band makes its Aspen debut Friday, June 20, at Belly Up, a benefit for several local youth groups. The way the Raconteurs are going, fans may soon be referring to the White Stripes as Jack Whites other band.