Music Festival to hit Blue NotesThe Aspen Music Festival’s 2007 summer season will be presented under the theme, Blue Notes. Several concerts and artists representing the intersection of classical and jazz will be spotlighted in events co-presented with Jazz Aspen Snowmass.The 58th annual Aspen Music Festival runs June 21-Aug. 19 with daily events, including chamber music, orchestral concerts, operas, lectures and more.Making their debuts with the Music Festival this summer will be trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and bassist Christian McBride, both classically trained musicians who have been prominent in contemporary jazz. Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform Marsalis’ New Orleans-inspired “Congo Square” June 26 at the Benedict Music Tent. McBride will be featured in a recital with fellow bassist, and Aspen Music School alum Edgar Meyer, July 19 at Harris Hall. Marsalis will also be featured in the June 28 Evening of Words and Music, co-presented by the Aspen Institute.The season features other collaborations with local arts organizations, including a July 16 performance by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, with live-music accompaniment. Additional collaborative events have yet to be announced.The season’s classical concerts feature the likes of violinists Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell and Sarah Chang, pianist Leon Fleisher, the Emerson String Quartet, and conductors David Robertson, James Conlon and Leonard Slatkin.For tickets and further information, go to http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com, or call 925-9042.Houston has no problem filling in at Summer WordsPam Houston will replace Amy Bloom as leader of the Advanced Fiction workshop at the 2007 Aspen Summer Words. The literary event, presented by the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, is set for June 24-28 at The Gant, and includes a writing retreat and literary festival.Bloom, whose bibliography includes the 1998 novel “Come to Me,” a National Book Award finalist, has canceled her appearance due to changes in her schedule. Houston, a frequent participant in Writers’ Foundation events, is the author of the story collections “Cowboys Are My Weakness” and “Waltzing the Cat,” and is working on a book of fiction, “Flight.”Additional instructors for the 2007 Writing Retreat include Robert Bausch and Percival Everett (fiction), Gary Ferguson (creative nonfiction), Dorianne Laux (poetry) and John Romano (screenwriting).The 2007 Summer Words Literary Festival is presented under the theme, Africa: The Origin of Stories. The festival will feature writers Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and others. Henry Louis Gates Jr., chair of Harvard’s African and African American Studies department, will serve as the festival’s moderator. The festival includes readings and talks, panel discussions, literature appreciation classes and more.Applications for the Writing Retreat will be accepted through March 30. For further information, go to http://www.aspenwriters.org.Wheeler rolls out additional concertsThe Wheeler Opera House, in collaboration with the Wheeler Associates, has announced two additions to this season’s concert schedule.Singer-songwriter John Prine is set to perform April 16. Prine, best known for writing “Angel From Montgomery,” a hit for Bonnie Raitt, and for his own songs “Christmas in Prison” and “Illegal Smile,” won the Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album last year for “Fair & Square.”Mannheim Steamroller, a group that crosses classical and pop styles, presents its Fresh Aire concert, featuring a 19-piece orchestra, May 3.Previously announced concerts at the Wheeler include jazz vocalist Jane Monheit (Feb. 15); jazz instrumentalists Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau (March 16); and country-folk singer Kathy Mattea (March 23).For a complete schedule of events at the Wheeler Opera House, go to http://www.wheeleroperahouse.com.
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