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Aspen Times writer

Elvis Costello, Jamie Cullum and Lizz Wright will make their Aspen debuts at the 2006 Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival. The 16th annual June Festival is set for June 22-25, under a tent in Aspen’s Rio Grande Park. Tickets for the festival go on sale Monday, March 20, to JAS Club members, and to the public March 27.Other acts scheduled to perform include Diana Krall, Delbert McClinton, Maceo Parker and Allen Toussaint.The festival opens with Jamie Cullum, the 26-year-old British singer-pianist whose 2003 album “Twentysomething” sold 2 million copies. Opening for Cullum is Georgia-born vocalist Lizz Wright, whose scheduled Jazz Aspen debut, in 2004, was a late cancellation.Jazz singer-pianist Diana Krall will perform June 23. It is the first time Krall is billed at a festival with her husband, Elvis Costello. Krall’s albums include the Grammy-winning “Live in Paris”; “The Girl in the Other Room,” which featured songs co-written with Costello; and last year’s “Christmas Song.”Costello, the New Wave rocker whose recent albums have encompassed styles ranging from classical to bog-band jazz to country-rock, plays June 24. Costello, whose forthcoming album, “The River In Reverse,” is a response to Hurricane Katrina, will celebrate the music of New Orleans. Special guest for the set is New Orleans composer-pianist Allen Toussaint. Opening for Costello is Texas honky-tonk singer Delbert McClinton.The festival closes with a bill featuring funk saxophonist Maceo Parker, a former member of James Brown’s JB Horns. The Sunday night headliner has yet to be announced.The June Festival will also include a series of JAS After Dark performances at the Belly Up, and free afternoon shows on a stage on the Cooper Avenue mall, adjacent to Wagner Park.For tickets and further information, go to

Aspen Filmfest has posted the program for Aspen Shortsfest ’06. The annual festival of short films is set for April 5-9 with programs in Aspen and Carbondale.Forty-nine films, selected from more than 1,900 submissions from some 40 countries, will compete in the Shortsfest International Competition. Films representing 15 countries will vie for $28,000 in cash and prizes.Among the highlights of the competition are “The Fan and the Flower,” an offbeat love story directed by Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton and narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti; “Heavy Metal Drummer,” about a misfit, Arab metal-head; “Beyond Iraq,” a documentary about wounded soldiers battling on the slopes of the Colorado Rockies; and “A Conversation with Basquiat,” centered around an interview with late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.Special events include a Directors Spotlight event with Jason Reitman and a screening of the director’s feature debut, “Thank You for Smoking”; the family program ScreenPlay!; Confessions of a Filmmaker with Aspenite Bob Rafelson; and a Masterworks discussion with filmmakers Paul Haggis, Mark and Michael Polish, and Peter Segal.For complete program information, go to

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation has announced the deadline for applications for its Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat. Applications must be received no later than April 3. The retreat is set for June 25-29 at the Gant.The four-day retreat is intended for students seeking intensive instruction and individualized critique. The 2006 workshop faculty includes fiction writers Amy Bloom, Ron Carlson and Pam Houston, creative nonfiction writer Ted Conover, and poet Christopher Merrill. A writing sample is required for admission.The Writers’ Foundation’s Aspen Summer Words event also includes two-day symposia in travel writing, with Laura Fraser, and magazine writing, with Gary Ferguson; and two-day literature appreciation classes: Literature of the West, with Patricia Limerick; and Chicana/o Literature, with Luis Torres. Admission is first-come, first-served, and no writing sample is required. Also available is a three-day river writing journey for women, led by Page Lambert.The Summer Words Literary Festival, under the theme of Voices of the West, will feature speakers Gretel Ehrlich, Tony Hillerman, Stewart Udall, N. Scott Momaday and others.To register for an Aspen Summer Words event, or for further information, call 925-3122.

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