R&b singer John Legend and soul singer Michael Franti have been added to the lineup for Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Festival, completing the main-stage schedule for the four-day event. The Labor Day Festival is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Snowmass Village’s Town Park.Legend will make his Jazz Aspen debut, headlining on Sept. 1. He earned a Grammy Award for best r&b album for his 2004 debut “Get Lifted,” and followed with last year’s “Once Again,” which earned another two Grammys. Sharing the bill are British soul singer Joss Stone and a third act yet to be announced.Franti, also known as Spearhead, has been added to the schedule for Sept. 2, appearing with headliner the Allman Brothers Band, and opening act Leftover Salmon. Franti’s recent output includes the politically oriented “Everyone Deserves Music” and last year’s “Yell Fire!” and “I Know I’m Not Alone,” a documentary film. Other acts scheduled to perform on the main stage include Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Gov’t Mule, Nickel Creek, and the Soul Stew Revival, featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Additional acts for two side stages on the festival grounds are still to be announced.For further information on Jazz Aspen events, go to http://www.jazzaspen.org.
The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s annual Summer Sizzler benefit event is set for July 10. Titled “Casablanca,” with a Moroccan theme, the fundraiser will be held at the Hotel Jerome. Proceeds from the evening go to the Aspen Ballet School and the Aspen Dance Festival, as well as other programs of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.The benefit will include a Moroccan bazaar and dinner, French champagne, gin cocktails, Middle Eastern dancers and a special performance by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company.The organization’s Aspen Dance Festival, held annually in the summer, was put on hiatus this year due to renovations at the Aspen District Theatre. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company will make a special appearance July 16 at the Benedict Music Tent. The performance, featuring works by Nicolo Fonte and Jorma Elo, will include live accompaniment by a chamber group from the Aspen Music Festival. The event is co-presented by the Music Festival.For further information on the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, go to http://www.aspenballet.com.
Guitarist John Scofield will be the guest of honor at the 31st annual Telluride Jazz Celebration. The festival is set for Aug. 2-5, with events in Telluride Town Park, the Sheridan Opera House, the Telluride Conference Center and other venues.Scofield, who came to prominence in the ’70s playing with Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, will appear in a trio with keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Adam Deitch on Aug. 3, and in the Trio Beyond, with drummer Jack DeJohnette and keyboardist Larry Goldings, on Aug. 4. Scofield’s recent projects include the recording “Out Louder,” with the organ trio Medeski, Martin & Wood; “That’s What I Say,” a CD tribute to Ray Charles featuring Warren Haynes, Aaron Neville and John Mayer; and touring as a member of Phil & Friends, led by former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh.Also performing in the Jazz Celebration are guitarist Bill Frisell, trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Arturo Sandoval, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, trombonist Steve Turre, and soul group Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.For tickets and further information, go to http://www.telluridejazz.org.
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The Roaring Fork Valley has, by-and-large, avoided the mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle infestations that have decimated parts of the state. However, a 2019 aerial survey showed the Roaring Fork watershed has an outbreak of Douglas-fir and western balsam beetles.