Record crowds for Jazz Aspen |

Record crowds for Jazz Aspen

Benin-born singer Angélique Kidjo performed Saturday night at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival. The four-day festival concluded Sunday with Southern rock band the Black Crowes. (Stewart Oksenhorn/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN Jazz Aspen Snowmass is hitting its stride with the June Festival, which drew record crowds over its four-day run for the second year in a row.The venue at Rio Grande Park sold out two – and possibly three – of the four nights. Both Friday night’s Earth, Wind & Fire concert and the Steve Winwood show the next night sold out, and the closing show featuring the Black Crowes was well on its way Sunday morning.

“The artists love it,” said Jim Horowitz, Jazz Aspen’s executive director. “Steve Winwood had maybe the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival. It was great to see.”At least 2,700 tickets in the 3,000-seat tent had been sold for Sunday’s Black Crowes concert by midday, Horowitz said. The numbers slightly surpassed total attendance for last year, when musicians Trey Anastasio, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello and Delbert McClinton brought record numbers of concertgoers, and sold out Friday and Saturday night.

The Rio Grande site was first used in 2000, and the only year – other than last year – that compared to this weekend’s attendance was 2001, when Krall, Natalie Cole and Bonnie Raitt took the stage, Horowitz said.”The combination of talent and people getting used to this schedule and location here in town is working well,” Horowitz said. “We’ve been getting great feedback. People have been loving the concerts.”Herbie Hancock and Friends headlined the Thursday concert that drew 2,400 people, the only night that didn’t approach a sellout.

“We have a really fantastic team of people who have been working together for quite a while,” Horowitz said. “Word of mouth is strong. It’s been two great Junes in a row.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is

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