Jazz series won’t miss beat thanks to local trio | PostIndependent.com

Jazz series won’t miss beat thanks to local trio

The Summer of Jazz concert is indeed still on, and it’s still being held from 7-9:30 p.m. today, at Stubler Field at Glenwood Springs High School.

But there’s been a slight change in the program.

Because of concerns about the Coal Seam Fire, scheduled musician Monty Alexander canceled his engagement Tuesday.

Alexander had contacted concert promoter Mary Noone to tell her that from what he saw on CNN and other news reports, Glenwood Springs was not a safe place to be.

Despite Noone’s assurances that the town was not on fire, that the fire had calmed down, and that the images he saw were from Saturday night and Sunday when the fire was at its most threatening stages, Alexander refused to fulfill his obligation to play the concert.

Noone immediately placed a call to well-known local jazz musician Walt Smith, and he agreed to take the gig.

The Walt Smith Trio, with Mark Gray on bass and a yet-to-be-announced drummer, will perform a selection of standards by Ellington, Gershwin, and others, Bossa Nova tunes and the like.

“It’ll be like the old Tipplers Three that played at the Tippler in Aspen,” said Smith.

This is Smith’s second engagement with Summer of Jazz. Noone couldn’t quite remember what year he had played during the 17-year history of the concert series. “We’ve been wanting to get him back on stage,” said Noone. Smith, who has played jazz music in the Roaring Fork Valley since the 1950s, has quite a following.

Smith said he knows Monty Alexander and was looking forward to seeing him, but is also pleased with the opportunity to perform in Glenwood Springs, particularly during this trying time.

“It’ll be an old-time, old-home week,” he said.

Admission to the concert is free. Money collected at intermission will go toward fire relief funds. Noone said the money will most likely be divided up between the accounts already established at Bank of Colorado and Alpine Bank.

Noone didn’t know if concessions would be available.

As always, no dogs and no glass. Parking is available in the school and district office parking lot, as well as in the lots behind True Value. Concert-goers are asked to avoid riding bicycles, skateboarding or in-line skating on the high school’s track. Those activities can damage the track’s surface.

Everyone should be neat and tidy and pick up their trash, “just like they would at Two Rivers Park,” added Noone.

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