Summer of Jazz nods to the Big Easy
GLENWOOD SPRINGS New Orleans holds a special place in Bob and Mary Noones hearts.And, once again, they’re celebrating the fervor of the Big Easys music scene during the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz concert series, opening June 6.”There’s just so much energy,” Mary explained. “It’s a very alive scene down there. It’s kind of contagious.”As the husband-and-wife organizers of Summer of Jazz now in its 22nd year of providing eight weeks of free music the Noones have turned their attention to artists who survived Hurricane Katrina. Many of New Orleans most celebrated jazz musicians still suffer the effects of the destructive hurricane and are displaced or living in temporary housing, according to Mary. The couple recently visited the city while attending the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which took place April 27-29 and May 4-6, to seek out talent for this years Summer of Jazz.It seemed like New Orleans was physically getting better, but emotionally it’s a hard thing to deal with, said Mary. Its going to take a long time to heal. I just cant imagine living down there during hurricane season.The Noones have such a strong connection with Summer of Jazz musicians that they invite them into their Glenwood Springs home for dinners. While in New Orleans, the Noones received a similar welcome.Going to Jazz Fest, this tremendous resource is there. Weve just discovered this incredible resource of talent, Bob said. Everybody down there was so encouraging and so supportive of each other, helping each other book shows. Theres a lot of energy down there. These guys are living it every day.The Noones hope to transfer that spirited Jazz Fest intensity to the Summer of Jazz stage, June 6 through July 25. Funk-blues guitarist Mem Shannon, a former Bourbon Street cabbie, opens the series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at Two Rivers Park.
Thats going to be fun, Bob said of the opening show. We’ve got a great horn section were putting together.The theme year in and year out is to present as many aspects of good, live music over an eight-week period as possible, he added. This is really a unique, grass-roots musical presentation, and we need to nurture it the best we can.After becoming closely acquainted with last year’s New Orleans musicians, the Noones plan a second summer of opening their home to provide hospitality to tragedy survivors.You’ve got to take care of these musicians. Everybodys just so comfortable to talk to, so we invite them over to our house, Mary said. Its a bigger thing for us than just the eight weeks. We’ve really invested in New Orleans.
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