Jon Cleary, Niki Haris, Arturo Sandoval to headline JAS Café summer series in Aspen |

Jon Cleary, Niki Haris, Arturo Sandoval to headline JAS Café summer series in Aspen

Niki Haris will return to the JAS Cafe.
Courtesy photo

The JAS Cafe will host 10 artists in three Aspen venues this summer with shows running from late June through mid-August.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass announced the full lineup — including returning local favorites Niki Haris, Jon Cleary and Christian McBride — on Thursday. Along with the Little Nell and the rooftop of the Aspen Art Museum, the 2019 summer series will include first-time JAS Café performances at the Velvet Buck at the St. Regis Resort.

The series kicks off Friday, June 28, at the Nell with the 13-piece ensemble Orquesta Akokan, performing mambo straight out of Havana, Cuba.

On July 19, world-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli returns to the Cafe with performances at Aspen Art Museum. The following night, July 20, the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition winner Quiana Lynell will perform at the museum.

The Velvet Buck will make its JAS Café premiere on July 25 and 26 with performances from Grammy-winning New Orleans keyboardist and vocalist Jon Cleary and his trio. Cleary will mix the Crescent city sound into a tribute to New Orleans’ jazz piano legends including Professor Longhair, Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton.

The jazz training programs at the 2019 JAS Academy Summer Sessions will open with a special weekend of performances on Aug. 3 and 4. The JAS Academy, presented in association with the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, will bring 23 college-aged musicians to Aspen for two weeks of intensive studies on both the performance and business side of the music industry. Frost Dean and multi-Grammy nominated pianist Shelly Berg will perform with his trio at the Nell with special guest vocalists Niki Haris and Billy Valentine.

On Aug. 8, Arturo Sandoval Afro Cuban Ensemble will perform at the Nell. A 10-time Grammy winner, Sandoval is one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, and the Afro-Cuban roots of Latin Jazz.

Breakout vocalist Veronica Swift, who debuted at the Café this winter with Berg, will return Aug. 9 at the Nell alongside pianist Emmet Cohen and his trio.

The veteran vocalist and Grammy winner Catherine Russell will perform at the museum Aug. 16.

JAS Academy artistic director Christian McBride brings his project, Christian McBride and Inside Straight to the museum Aug. 17.

The series will close Sunday, Aug. 18, with a performance from the JAS Academy Big Band led by McBride, showcasing the entire 2019 JAS Academy class on the final night of their local residency in a mix of classic repertoire from Ellington to Basie and more modern arrangements from McBride.

All nights will feature performances at 7 and 9:15 p.m. with a JAS Listen Up! pre-concert artist interview prior to their first performances at 6:15 p.m.

Tickets for the series go on sale today at 10 a.m. Available at 970-920-4996 or at

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