Jazz Aspen announces artists, venues, details for new downtown June Experience
Jazz Aspen Snowmass on Tuesday announced the initial lineup of nine musicians and seven venues for its reformatted June Experience, which moves the festival to multiple venues in downtown Aspen from its longtime home at the Benedict Music Tent.
Running from Thursday, June 20 to Sunday, June 23, the format is aimed at creating a walkable venue-to-venue festival of staggered shows.
Events will kick off Thursday with two rooftop performances at the Aspen Art Museum featuring New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi-Gras Indian krewe Cha Wa — a 2019 Grammy Nominee for Best Regional Roots Album.
“This JAS June Experience promises to be a fantastic and genre diverse musical celebration that will attract the widest audience demographic of JAS June in years,” Jazz Aspen President and CEO Jim Horowitz said in the announcement.
In addition to the Aspen Art Museum, Jazz Aspen plans to utilize space at Belly Up Aspen, downstairs at The Little Nell, the Velvet Buck at the St. Regis, the Hotel Jerome garden, Victoria’s Espresso & Wine Bar and yet-to-be announced venues.
Collier and Skonberg are among several past performers from Jazz Aspen’s JAS Café series coming to the reimagined June Experience.
On Saturday, American blues legend Taj Mahal will perform at Belly Up, with additional shows that day to include Patti Austin, Bria Skonberg, the legendary Afro-pop and jazz bassist/vocalist Richard Bona, and R&B and jazz vocalist Jose James celebrating Bill Withers with his “Lean on Me” performance (a standout of the 2018 JAS Café lineup).
The June Experience will conclude on Sunday with additional performances from Jose James of “Lean on Me” as well as a separate jazz standards set, calypso and carnival themed shows from Caribbean-born trumpeter Etienne Charles, and a jazz mini-marathon hosted by American jazz trombonist and band leader Wycliffe Gordon and Friends at The Little Nell. Also on Sunday, the Hotel Jerome will host a New Orleans-syle gospel brunch in the garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch tickets will be sold separately from the passes with ticket information and artists to be announced at a later date. Additional venues are also expected to be announced in coming weeks.
Jazz Aspen will also release a detailed grid outdlining the full schedule of events, expected to run between 5 p.m. and midnight.
The multi-venue festival was inspired in part by the format of the HBO Comedy Festival during its Aspen run and the city-wide approach of the Food & Wine Classic.
“From sophisticated intimate listening rooms, to dancing and swaying, to rhythms from around the world, this re-invention of JAS June will generate huge vitality and energy in the Aspen core,” Horowitz said. “It’s fantastic to have so many venerable Aspen venues be a part of this celebration and we thank each of them for joining us.”
Passes go on sale Friday at 9 a.m. with a choice of a three-day pass ($175) and daily passes ($70 to $85). A VIP pass also will be available, including three dinners similar to the format of the VIP tent formerly hosted at the Benedict.
Tickets will be available at jazzaspensnowmass.org, 866.JAS.TIXX (527-8499) and the Belly Up box office.
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