Reggae artist Ziggy Marley and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have been added to the lineup for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. The five-day, open-air festival is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Snowmass Villages Town Park.Marley, one of the music-making sons of reggae legend Bob Marley, is set for Aug. 30, as an opening act for Bob Dylan. Marley has appeared several times at Jazz Aspen with his band, the Melody Makers, and twice earned The Aspen Times Stewy Award for best show, making him the only two-time winner. The 39-year-old made his solo debut with 2003s Dragonfly, and earned a Grammy Award for best reggae album for 2006s Love Is My Religion.Merritt will be making her local debut at the Labor Day Festival on Aug. 31, on a bill with John Fogerty and Dwight Yoakam. The 33-year-old North Carolina product emerged as an alt-country act with her 2002 debut, Bramble Rose. Since then, she has moved in the direction of rock and soul, and released her third album, Another Country, last year.Previously announced acts, in addition to Dylan, Fogerty and Yoakam, include dobro master Jerry Douglas, Colorados Yonder Mountain String Band, British groove band the New Mastersounds and Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd, with several additional acts still to be announced.Also, Jazz Aspens summer fund-raiser, this year titled Blues & Bling, is set for July 24 at the Silver Circle Ice Rink. Headlining the event, which features cocktails and a sit-down dinner, will be the Blues Brothers. Proceeds from the event will go to Jazz Aspens education programs.For tickets and further information, go to jazzaspen.com.
Aspen-based theater company the Hudson Reed Ensemble is holding auditions for its summer/fall season. Auditions are set for Sunday and Monday, June 29-30, at 6:30 p.m. each day, at the former Youth Center building, behind the Pitkin County Library.Auditions are open for three productions. The Aspen Soap, an original satirical soap opera, will be performed live at Aspen High Schools Black Box Theatre and televised on GrassRoots TV. The show sold out in its premiere last year. The Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing, this years presentation in the Shakespeare in the Park series, is set for mid-to-late-August in the Galena Plaza, adjacent to the Pitkin County Library. The play will be directed by London director/critic Ruth Leon. The Aspen Playwrights Series of public readings, set for late July and August in the old Youth Center, will present public readings of works by local playwrights.Auditions are open to men and women of all experience levels, age 14 and up. Auditions will consist of script readings and improvisation.Also, the Hudson Reed Ensemble will present two classes, each meeting for six weeks. An advanced class will be taught by David Ledingham, whose credits include acting and directing on television, at Theatre Aspen, and in touring companies. It is set for Tuesdays beginning July 1. A beginning/intermediate class, taught by Hudson Reed artistic director Kent Reed, will meet on Thursdays, beginning July 3. Classes will meet from 7-9 p.m. in the Youth Center building.To enroll in classes, or for further information, call 300-4788.
Occupancy down from last year; airport transitioning to spring schedule
As the winter season heads towards the end, occupancy in Aspen and Snowmass combined is still slightly down from where it was last year.