It is also a popular season for the Jazz genre to get in full swing. Colorado has a list of entertaining Jazz Festivals throughout the summer months that are sure to bring you back to the legendary “Jazz Parties” of the 60’s.
A featured article in the Denver Post highlights the central Jazz festivals that are hosted in Colorado:
Estes Park Jazz Fest And Art Walk, May 19-20: It’s represented the beginning of the outdoor music season for the past couple of decades and the Jazz Fest returns in force this year with free performances including drummer Louis Hayes, who will appear just a week before his 75th birthday. Hayes played with Cannonball Adderley and Oscar Peterson’s popular bands in the ‘6os, and he’s remained a powerhouse. Flutist Dave Valentin is one of the biggest jazz names on his instrument, and he’ll headline on the fest’s second day. The schedule is filled out with a host of regional acts, and it all takes place at the Performance Park outdoor amphitheater.estesparkcvb.com
Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival, June 22-July 7: This year’s lineup is more “jazz flavored” than straight-ahead but the cause is just (helping to fund a long-running jazz education program) and the atmosphere is unbeatable (Aspen’s Benedict Music Tent.) The lineup features artists who have shown an appreciation for jazz, too: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Joe Cocker, k.d. lang and trumpeter Chris Botti, who has always managed to balance jazz and pop nicely.jazzaspensnowmass.org
Winter Park Jazz Festival, July 21-22: This is the 30th year for this celebration, and a lot of smooth-jazz and R&B fans will be happy to make the trip once again. The lineup features eclectic saxophonist David Sanborn, singer Charlie Wilson and quite a few other laid-back marquee names.winterparklodgingcompany.com
Evergreen Jazz Festival, July 27-29: It’s easy to root for the people who put this one on every year. They’re clearly not in it for the money, but for the love of traditional sounds. The Evergreen Jazz Festival is one of the only of its kind that focuses on the swinging end of the spectrum. Groups from New Orleans and Boston will take part this year, and there are plenty of regional acts on tap.evergreenjazz.orgSaxophonist David Sanborn is on the bill for the Winter Park Jazz Festival
Telluride Jazz Festival, Aug. 3-5: One of the most likable, broad-based gatherings in the country is always worth the long ride, with an idyllic main stage area and many local nightspots transformed into jazz clubs. This year the lineup includes the Victor Wooten Band, Funky Meters, Soulive, Jon Cleary, Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini and Marco Benevento. Several artists are playing return engagements at Telluride, probably because the environment is so welcoming. Hey, didn’t this used to be called the Telluride Jazz Celebration?telluridejazz.org
18th Vail Jazz Party, Aug. 30-Sept. 3: Perhaps this year they really are saving the best for last (of the season.) One of the ideas behind the Jazz Party is to bring different personalities together and see what happens. Here are some of the improvisers: James Carter, Houston Person, Benny Green, The Clayton Brothers, Lewis Nash, Jeff Hamilton, Terrell Stafford and Wycliffe Gordon, all demonstrating their prowess at altitude. vailjazz.org
Set list : Dale Bruning and Jude Hibler team up tonight at Dazzle to present the “Timeless Music of Sonny Rollins.”… Extraordinary saxophonist Kenny Garrett appears at the Soiled Dove Underground on Thursday and Friday. … The Tierney Sutton Band plays Dazzle May 5-6. … Piano legend Kenny Barron brings his trio to the Mount Vernon Country Club on May 17th.