Letter: Dance party was over the top

A record crowd of 500 people came out in force July 17 for the best freakin’ dance party in Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ history, celebrating our 25th year in great style befitting the occasion. The spectacular setting, uber-cool lounge look and decor, incredible nonstop dance performance by Nile Rogers and Chic and closing-night jam with bassist and guest DJ Christian McBride — it was a night for the ages that united longtime friends of Jazz Aspen Snowmass with seemingly hundreds of new faces from near and far!

A few special thank-yous to a group of people who made this night the incredible success it was: Bob and Soledad Hurst for allowing us to use their beautiful property; our generous event hosts, Don and Marianne Buchholz, Donald Drapkin and Sue Hostetler, Art and Marcy Falcone, Richard and Kitzia Goodman, Tim LaRose and Lorrie Wright-LaRose, Earl Michie, and Richard and Nancy Rogers; our talented event co-chairs, Rick Crandall and Laura Welch; our great longtime friend and 25 for 25 honorary Chairwoman Kathryn Fleck Peisach; and our new friend and 25 for 25 Committee Chairwoman Kimberly Paige.

Special thanks are in order to Shawn Thomson and her team at Resorts Mountains Cities for the amazing decor!

Thanks to chef Martin Oswald and his team from Pyramid Bistro for their outstanding service and of course food, served appropriately “family style.” (The whole evening had the celebratory feel of a Jazz Aspen Snowmass family reunion.)

Last but certainly not least, thanks to our event honorees, Janus Capital Group founder Tom Bailey and Vice President of Marketing Mark Whiston, under whose leadership Janus remained the Jazz Aspen Snowmass title sponsor from 1994 to 2005. The Janus multiyear sponsorship built the foundation of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and it was great to honor two people of such importance in the establishment and evolution of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass we know today!

Attendees learned that Jazz Aspen Snowmass has raised more than $7 million for music-education programming since the inception of these programs in 1996 and that in the Roaring Fork Valley today, Jazz Aspen Snowmass is responsible for direct expenditures of more than $150,000 annually to public school music-ed programs, which have an annual budget of just $1,400 on average. To everyone who raised a hand to donate to Jazz Aspen Snowmass music-education programming, thank you for helping us keep the music playing!

To our many friends and fans, our board of directors, our national council, our staff, our volunteers and everyone who joined us for Le Freak Lounge 2015, thank you for helping us celebrate an auspicious birthday, thank you for helping us raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to keep the music playing, and thank you for being one of the more than 500,000 attendees of our live performances since 1991! It’s been an honor to work with all of you, and we look forward to the next 25 years of music at Jazz Aspen Snowmass and beyond!

Jim Horowitz

Founder, president and CEO, Jazz Aspen Snowmass