Giving in Snowmass: Music for all
Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Find JAS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube @jazzaspen
Editor’s Note: Giving in Snowmass is a series about nonprofits that serve the village that will be published in the Snowmass Sun this fall.
Founded 25 years ago by president and CEO Jim Horowitz, Jazz Aspen Snowmass has made sure over the past quarter century that residents throughout the valley have access to great music and music education. Perhaps best known locally for its annual Labor Day festival in Snowmass Village, JAS has brought numerous world-class performances to the valley while also helping young artists develop their talents.
Snowmass Sun: How did your organization start?
Jim Horowitz: I had spent 15 years as a professional jazz pianist and the last 5 also working as an agent and manager. A summer tour of leading European jazz festivals in 1989 inspired me to go deeper into the organizing side of music. The last stop was Jazz in Marciac, France, which directly inspired the creation of Jazz Aspen Snowmass. That was the beacon and lighthouse.
Snowmass Sun: What is your mission?
Jim Horowitz: The mission of Jazz Aspen Snowmass is to present and preserve jazz and related forms of music through world-class performances, events and education programs.
Snowmass Sun: What services do you provide to the community and who do you serve?
Jim Horowitz: We serve a very diverse demographic of both residents and visitors ranging in age from public school music students to valley residents and retirees. Live concerts in venues as small as the JAS Café at the Nell (100 capacity) to the Labor Day weekend event in Snowmass (11,000 capacity). Our music education programs provide instruments, instruction and inspiration to public school students from Aspen to Rifle. JAS has served many thousands of students through the years.
Snowmass Sun: What makes Jazz Aspen Snowmass unique?
Jim Horowitz: Its marriage of world class artists to the unique and intimate venues that we call home. JAS’ track record of presenting the finest A-level artists, in both quantity and quality, in such relatively small settings, is truly unique, in the U.S. and in the world.
Snowmass Sun: What is the best thing about operating in Snowmass Village?
Jim Horowitz: The setting for the JAS Labor Day Experience is the most gorgeous outdoor concert venue in the U.S., rivaled (but not equaled) by Red Rocks in Denver and the Gorge in Washington.
“A crowd of approximately 1500 people flocked to the mall at Snowmass-at-Aspen for Western Days,” The Snowmass Villager reported on August 8, 1968.
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