It’s not summer in city without Summer of Jazz |

It’s not summer in city without Summer of Jazz

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

Picnics, Frisbees, and jazz are once again in Glenwood.

Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz kicks off its eight-week season next Wednesday at Two Rivers Park.

After 19 seasons of evening concerts, many Frisbees have been thrown, much wine drunk, many picnics eaten, and countless blades of grass have been trampled by Glenwood’s dancing masses.

“It’s a really big social event,” said Mary Noone, Summer of Jazz’s co-chair.

Everyone in Glenwood Springs seems to have a good story to share about a Summer of Jazz concert, or about running into an old friend they hadn’t seen since the previous year’s Summer of Jazz.

And, if the extracurricular concert activities weren’t enough, there has also been some really great jazz.

“We’ve had a lot of incredible talent,” she said.

Past Summer of Jazz concerts have included saxophonist Maceo Parker and pianist Henry Butler, both of whom Noone remembers especially fondly.

“He played ‘Cold Sweat.’ James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat,'” she said of Parker.

“The whole crowd was up dancing.”

Then there was the Butler show three years ago that almost got rained out.

“We pushed the bass and piano and drums to the back of the band shell, and he played an acoustic set,” she said.

Butler ” a blind pianist, singer and composer ” asked Noone to “describe what I’m looking at.”

Noone told Butler he was looking west over the Colorado River during an evening rainstorm with about 60 people huddled together under the front portion of the band shell.

“It was just one of those moments you don’t forget,” she said.

When it comes to Summer of Jazz, Noone said, “everybody has their favorite moments.”

Summer of Jazz 2004 has a diverse and exciting lineup. The summer features everything from 25-year-old pianists fronting trios (Hiromi) to 60-year-old jazz veterans (saxophonist, Bud Shank) to drum-grounded quartets (Neal Smith Quartet).

This year’s opening act is Beto y Los Fairlanes, a group that has played Summer of Jazz twice before and bills its music as “a new dialect of Texas salsa” that is a “magical, cross-cultural incantation of salsa, jazz, rock and Latin influences” (see related story.)

“With Beto people are going to be dancing,” said Noone. “He’s so fun.”

Summer of Jazz isn’t the only local summer music festival, though it is the only one in Glenwood Springs, and it’s a bargain price compared to those up-valley or east of Glenwood Canyon. Admission is free, although donations are requested. A membership is only $80/family, $40/individual, and $20/student.

Other music series to keep in mind are:

– The Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities Performances in the Park, which runs Fridays June 1 to July 16. Carbondale’s downtown music series runs Saturdays, Aug. 7-28.

Information: 963-1680.

– The Aspen Music Festival runs June 22 to Aug. 22. This year, the classical music festival’s 55th, will feature more than 350 musical events. Locals’ passes as well as full and select season passes are on sale now.

Information: 925-9042,

– Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival begins June 27, and runs through Aug. 4, with performances by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among others.

Tickets: (877) 812-5700.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

– June 2, Beto y Los Fairlanes

– June 9, Bud Shank

– June 16, Jeff “Tain” Watts

– June 23, Hiromi

– June 30, The Motet

– July 7, Neal Smith Quartet

– July 15, Poncho Sanchez (Note: This concert is on Thursday)

– July 21, Henry Butler

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