Summer of Jazz wants money up front |

Summer of Jazz wants money up front

GLENWOOD SPRINGS” This year, Summer of Jazz fans will only get what is paid for.

As of Tuesday, Summer of Jazz had only enough money to book bands for the first three-and-a-half weeks.

To help ensure they have enough money to cover the entire season, the organizers are trying to get commitments from major sponsors by April 15.

The series of free concerts runs Wednesday evenings in June and July, and relies primarily on contributions of local businesses for funding.

“Last year we had a really difficult time,” said Mary Noone, co-director of Summer of Jazz.

Summer of Jazz came up about $8,000 short last summer and had to get a loan from Bank of Colorado to cover costs for the last concert.

Though businesses were generous last year, they were not as generous as they had been in years past, said Noone.

She attributed last year’s lagging support to a sluggish economy, which businesses reflected in their donations.

Noone, co-director Sher Kerschen, and music coordinator Bob Noone moved their timeline up to help relieve some of the worry that comes with scurrying for funds to complete the season.

“We want to stack the deck at the beginning of the season,” said Mary Noone.

In previous years the organizers started to push for funding in May for the start of the concerts in early June.

Each concert costs about $10,000 to put on, said Noone, which covers the cost of paying the musicians, providing portable toilets, and for the sound system.

“This could be a short summer,” said Noone.

Summertime ritual

Over the last 19 years Summer of Jazz’s weekly concerts on Wednesday nights have become a ritual for many in the valley.

“It’s a big block party,” said Noone, and added that about 2,000 people attend the concerts each week.

She admitted that not everyone at the concerts comes for the music, noting the many picnic dinners and Frisbees being thrown in the rear of the crowd. But, said Noone, the concerts are a good way for people to celebrate living in the Roaring Fork Valley, whether they come for the music or not.

During each concert’s intermission a bucket is passed around so the audience can make donations, and T-shirts are sold, but Noone said the event can’t rely on those income sources to keep the concerts going all summer.

Each concert offers a different type of jazz, from Texas swing, to quartets, to Latin, African, and New Orleans based jazz.

“We’ve got some great music that wants to come,” said Noone. “We’ve just got to get the money together.”

Information and donations: Mary Noone, 945-0756.

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