Labor Day Festival | AspenTimes.com

Labor Day Festival

May Selby

Don Henley jams with his band on Sunday evening. MarySue Bonetti photo.

September kicked off with perfect weather for Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ annual Labor Day Festival. The eclectic lineup featuring rock, funk, blues, soul, reggae & more drew diverse crowds throughout the four-day event.

The family friendly festival saw more strollers and toddlers equipped with protective earphones than in years past. It also served as a reunion of sorts for friends and former locals in town for the weekend.Susan Tedeschi and LeAnn Rimes jump-started the weekend Friday night. On Saturday, fans came out in droves, many of them sporting bling for the Kanye West show. It was well worth arriving earlier in the day to catch Raul Midon’s solo act followed by a rousing performance by Robert Randolph & the Family Band.

On Sunday, Del Castillo and Los Lonely Boys set the tone for a high-energy afternoon. Don Henley then summoned all towards the stage, opening his set with “Dirty Laundry.”Monday’s roster started with Polyphonic Spree and Keller Williams and concluded with Matisyahu.

Syzygy Catering ran the patron tent for its seventh straight year.”We could open up at least five restaurants with the talent we’ve got back here,” said a proud Martin Oswald, executive chef for Syzygy, crediting his fellow chefs for all of the savory dishes sent out of the kitchen tent.

The JAS Village’s bazaar of flavorful food, funky crafts, side stage performances, and drumming circles offered other options for entertainment throughout the weekend.Live music at the JAS Music Club & the JAS Village Side Stage featured Seventh Hour and New Monsoon, Gnappy and 8 Trac, Oteil Burbridge, Waste Deep, Aphrodesia, Street Drums and Coyote Gospel.

“We played to our biggest crowd yet,” said Fritz Mawicke of Waste Deep following their Side Stage performance on Sunday. “It was great.”To contact May to send info, insights or invites, e-mail allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com