Tierney Sutton brings Joni Mitchell project to JAS Café in Aspen

Staff report

Five-time Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton will channel Joni Mitchell this week in Aspen.

Sutton is in town for four sold-out shows at the JAS Cafe downstairs at the Nell, playing at 7:15 and 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Often described as “a singer’s singer,” Sutton’s latest album is “After Blue,” an intimate, jazz-inspired take on the songs of Mitchell. Her Aspen shows will feature the re-imagined Mitchell material. The album earned Sutton a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Spanning more than 20 years of collaboration, the Tierney Sutton Band’s nine albums have topped the U.S. charts consistently and led to Tierney’s selection as Jazzweek’s Vocalist of the Year in 2005. The new album is Sutton’s first without her longtime band and features guest artists Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws, Peter Erskine, Larry Goldings, Serge Merlaud, Kevin Axt and The Turtle Island Quartet.

When she’s not touring, Tierney is a music educator. She taught for over a decade at USC’s Thornton School of Music and currently heads the vocal department at The Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, where she has created a new curriculum for vocalists of all genres. Her students have included such singers as Gretchen Parlato and Sara Gazarek.