History: Aspen does jazz

In the June 1991 edition of the Aspen Times Weekly, the first Jazz Aspen three-day festival was headlined “Aspen does Jazz” by Paul Andersen. Now in its 25th season and having grown into a multitude of events, including the Labor Day Experience, the article remembers the beginning spring that bubbled to a cascade with its initial event. “Jazz Aspen, a three-day fete to benefit Global Releaf, a worldwide tree planting environmental organization, inspired one observer to remark that by adopting another music festival, Aspen is going to become ‘just another Telluride.’ But Telluride, for its reputation as a festival town, is a good role model. Aspen could do worse. Here was a festival dedicated to the roots of jazz — and the roots of trees — both of which were planted over the weekend with care, commitment and a sense of beauty. … Torch singer Nancy Wilson (952 albums!) set the mood for the weekend at a gala benefit Friday night at the Hotel Jerome. She effused a radiant glow and solidified her reputation as a premier lady of jazz. Her voice a melting pot of emotions, her banter warm, personal. She carried a touch of Vegas, urbane and charming … ”


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