17th Summer of Jazz to sizzle | PostIndependent.com

17th Summer of Jazz to sizzle

The 17th annual Summer of Jazz concert series will start out hot and sizzle throughout the season.

“Normally we start out with something slow,” and get more intense as the concerts progress, said event organizer Mary Noone. “We’re starting out with a bang this year, so don’t miss any of them.”

A total of eight concerts are held from 7-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays during June and July. All concerts are held at the bandstand in Two Rivers Park. Since there are five Wednesdays in the month of July, the final concert of the season will be held July 24.

The Ray Barretto Septet starts the series off on June 5. This powerhouse Latin jazz group offers a blend of Latin in the New York tradition, but with a bit of jam and funk.

On June 12, the Monty Alexander Trio takes the stage. Alexander and band blend reggae, ska and dub rhythms with post-bop melodies. It’s something to behold.

The Dr. Michael White Quintet performs June 19. This group performs traditional New Orleans jazz, and White is brilliant on the clarinet.

The last Wednesday in June, the Vinicius Cantuaria Quartet comes to town. Cantuaria is a Brazilian troubadour and takes traditional Brazilian music to the next level with experimentation in electronics, textures and beats. A gem.

July starts off with the James Van Buren Quartet. Van Buren, a Colorado native, offers blues and jazz vocals to create an unforgettable sound. His “James’ Baseball Song” has been adopted as the anthem for the Colorado Rockies baseball team. Enjoy.

July 10 brings in the Cyrus Chestnut Trio. Few come close to the talents and smooth styles of jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

As July heats up, so does Summer of Jazz. On July 17, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana Sextet bring the sizzling sounds of Cuba to the stage. This group can best be described in one word: dynamic.

The Cedar Walton and Red Holloway Quartet finish the season on July 24. It’s sax at its finest.

The public is invited to bring a picnic dinner, but should leave all glass containers at home. Dogs are not allowed. Once again, the 8th Street Deli will sell food, made fresh at the deli, and Jeff will be offering cooling Jeff’s Italian Ice. T-shirts and sweatshirts will also be for sale.

Noone said that Butler Rents will be on call in case it rains this summer. Tents will be set up so folks can stay dry. Don’t let rain keep you at home, urged Noone. Because of the lay of the valley and the angle of the evening sun, rain can bring spectacular rainbows.

Summer of Jazz is a grass-roots, nonprofit organization created for the sole purpose of “bringing the very best in live touring jazz to western Colorado,” according to Noone. Admission to concerts has always been free, but since Summer of Jazz costs money to present, organizers rely heavily on community support and sponsorship, said Noone.

“We appreciate and value that support.”

Noone said that past concert series have been supported by donations from more than 175 sponsors, as well as donations taken at concerts and hours and hours of dedicated service from a small legion of volunteers. “This year,” Noone said, “we’re hoping to attract new sponsors.”

Family, individual and student memberships are also available for $50, $25 and $15 respectively. Sponsorships of $100 or more are recognized in the Summer of Jazz brochure, and sponsors at the $1,250 level and up receive acknowledgment on a banner placed on the stage. But, added Noone, every donation, big or small, is appreciated. “This is truly a community thing,” and everyone who helps out makes it a true grass-roots event, said Noone.

Donations can be sent to: Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, Inc., P.O. Box 42, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602, or call Mary Noone at 945-4500.

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