Iconic Jazz Trio coming in Hot for Two Spectacular Vail Performances

Tapping into their one-of-a-kind telepathy, Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton celebrate 40 years this Wednesday and Thursday in Vail!

 

Completely self-taught on the piano, Monty Alexander moved from his native Jamaica to New York as a teenager. Much to his delight, he suddenly found himself playing at Frank Sinatra’s club.

 

“When I played at Jilly’s in early summer of ‘63 when I was 17, I realized I was in very fast company,” he recalls. “Not just in jazz, but in all the top entertainers in show business. Judy Garland is sitting at the piano bar. I look around and Sammy Davis is walking in. I played at private events at Frank Sinatra’s apartment. He was a good friend. That crowd, they wanted to hang out until 6 a.m. I would keep it going until then. Miles Davis would come in. Count Basie was sitting there with Frank. That’s where I met Milt Jackson. I was learning so much at this time.”

 

Alexander began touring all over America making a name for himself.

“Then something happened,” he says. “I call it serendipity.”

 

A pair of students in the Midwest had more than learned his name. Alexander met John Clayton as “this skinny guy in high school or college.” The two jammed together and kept in touch as Clayton enrolled at Indiana University to study music. A few years later, Alexander’s bass player became sick before a gig in Annapolis. The pianist needed to find a quick replacement. Clayton happened to have recently graduated. Alexander said to himself, “I’ll take a chance,” and invited Clayton to perform with him. Then there was a need for a new drummer and Clayton suggested a friend from school – Jeff Hamilton. They called him in for an audition.

 

“Here I am now on the bandstand with these two younger guys,” Alexander says. “It was this sense of communication … I don’t know what to call it, their willingness to go along with my shenanigans. Then this thing like a fireball, like an avalanche of enthusiasm developed. We developed this great thing that you couldn’t put your finger on. That’s 41 or 42 years ago now. I still can’t explain it.”

 

Clayton and Hamilton know exactly what Alexander is talking about, but they, too, struggle to articulate the dynamic.

 

“The best I can do is say that both John and I wanted to play with Monty when we were 19 and 20 years old. We got his albums and learned all we could,” Hamilton says. “We thought if we got good enough we could play with Monty Alexander. From that experience the week of the audition, we all knew we were on the same page. We all heard the beat the same. We were all intuitive to what each other were going to do. We knew where we were going and nobody else did.”

 

The trio performed together all over the world, 50 weeks a year, hypnotizing crowds everywhere with their uncanny magic.

 

“Communication is crucial to what we do. That will be immediately evident when anyone comes to our concert,” Clayton says. “Our communication style is one that relies on focused listening to one another, eye contact, peripheral vision, facial expressions, voiced instructions, intuition and probably a good dose of voodoo.”

 

These days, it’s a rare treat when the three get together. When they do, they kick in right where they left off.

 

“I like to compare it to a family reunion,” Hamilton says. “Like if you’re sitting at the kids’ table with your cousins, telling inside jokes and having a great time, then as adults you reconnect. It’s not at the kids’ table, but the feeling’s the same. It brings a lot of joy to all of us. The happiness that occurs in the reunion, it’s pure joy and people get that from the stage.”

 

Because the trio has individually performed with so many other top musicians over the last four decades – Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, etc – they sometimes tweak a song on stage in a momentary detour that Hamilton calls a “snafu” but which any average listener might call a blast of genius.

 

“There is so much knowledge being thrown around when great musicians share a bandstand. How do you hit that magical place? I’ve tapped into it in my life a few times. I seem to be able to do it all the time with Jeff and John,” Alexander says. “When John plays a note on the bass, it’s like all the colors in the rainbow. You have to tap your foot, shake your you-know-what. I love things when they have impact, when it has some oomph. There is no more oomph than Jeff Hamilton. If anybody does anything at any time, it’s a magical symphony. Going back to the early days, almost every time we hit the bandstand, it was this monumental moment. We’d knock ourselves out, but the people would go nuts. It’s like we’re coming with a big stick. We’re going to hit you over the head … in a nice way.”

 

Again, while each frequents the Vail Jazz Festival as a solo artist, it’s rare that this powerhouse trio comes together in Vail. Clayton, Vail Jazz’s Director of Education, has mentored 250 students in the famed Vail Jazz Workshop, but on these two special nights, he’ll be tapping into a unique talent portal with Alexander and Hamilton.

 

INFO BOX:

 

Don’t miss Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton celebrating 40 years in an intimate lounge performance on July 6 to kick off the 2016 Vail Jazz Club Series at its new location in Mountain Plaza Lounge. Doors open at 8 p.m. and music starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $40. The trio then opens the Vail Jazz @ Vail Square season from 6 to 8  p.m. on July 7 at the all-weather jazz tent in Lionshead. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $40 for premium seating. For tickets or more information visit vailjazz.org or call 888-VAIL-JAM.

 

Jazz Trio Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton celebrates over forty years together at the Vail Jazz Festival

By Liz Turner

This Grammy ® winning jazz swinging trio of piano, bass and drums celebrates their 40+ years as a trio this summer at the Vail Jazz Festival! On Wednesday, July 6th , don’t miss Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton light up the Mountain Plaza Lounge (near Gondola One) in this exciting monumental performance in Vail Village! On Thursday, July 7th, they’ll grace the stage at the Vail Jazz @ Vail Square performance in Lionshead.

 

These dynamos are no strangers to the Vail Jazz Festival, and will continue to bring their collaborations of swinging favorites, soulful hymns and marches, and moving ballads, that also bring in a touch of Jamaican flair, from Monty’s native roots. Monty’s numerous appearance are always sell-out events. John’s participation in the Festival started in the very first year, 1996, and he has continued as the Foundation’s Director of Education, while Jeff returns nearly annually as a huge fan favorite. Always a crowd pleaser, one can only leave these show feeling joyous, and exhilarated!

 

Playing since 1976, this trio has gelled together over four decades to create a comfortable, and light-hearted approach to their performances that all audiences can enjoy. Seeing how they create conversations through their music, is truly a unique experience! Having played leading festivals and venues around the world with memorable performances at Montreux, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, The Blue Note and Jazz at Lincoln Center these virtuosos are not afraid to dive into the rhythms, and melodies of American Jazz.

 

The trio sets the bar high in terms of Jazz standards, and continues to do so while each working on musical projects of their own. Tickets are now available at https://www.vailjazz.org/tickets/ for $40.

 

A perfect way to celebrate the start of summer!

Riverwalk comes alive with soulful nine-piece band The Burroughs

There is no better way to kick off the busiest weekend of the summer than with a big party featuring a sizzling, live soundtrack. Ushering in the holiday weekend, Riverwalk First Fridays return to the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheatre in Edwards beginning at 5 p.m. July 1 with free live music and a vendor booth bonanza featuring Crazy Mountain beer, wine and tasty specialties from Taco Rico and Loaded Joe’s.

Music kicks off at 6 p.m. with Colorado-grown powerhouse The Burroughs. The nine-piece ensemble touts itself as “sweaty soul” and includes a four-piece horn section. The Burroughs follow the musical vein of Ottis Redding and Ray Charles and their thunderous performances include an energetic selection of crowd-pleasing favorites as well as danceable originals.

The June Riverwalk First Fridays concert featuring fellow Colorado favorite Hazel Miller drew the largest crowd in the history of the event – hundreds of dancers, picnickers and passers by ranging from families with young children, to couples, work groups and visitors of all ages.

Picnics are welcome at Riverwalk First Fridays but no pets are allowed and the event is non-smoking. Riverwalk First Fridays are presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente. The event is a project of  KZYR 97.7 The Zephyr and Vail Jazz. For more information, call 1-800-VAIL-JAM or visit riverwalkfirstfridays.com. To check out the incredible 2016 lineup of Grammy winners and musical icons at the summer-long 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival, visit vailjazz.org.

 

ABOUT VAIL JAZZ

In 1995 life-long jazz fan Howard Stone launched the inaugural Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party. A resounding success, the Weekend Party spawned the Vail Jazz Foundation, its mission to showcase the talent of prominent and up-and-coming jazz musicians as well as educate and nurture the genre’s next generation of greats. Vail Jazz has grown to include year-round programming such as Vail Jazz Goes to School and 12 weeks of live performances every summer with The 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival’s Vail Jazz @ Vail Square, Vail Jazz @ The Market, Jammin’ Jazz Kids and The Vail Jazz Workshop for a total of more than 60 live performances and educational programs.

The bass groove

Once sound amplification started to take hold in jazz, the acoustic (upright) bass started losing ground to the other instruments in the band. While most instruments could be effectively amplified, not so with the bass. When amplified the bass produced sound that was distorted with undesirable “feedback” and produced “muddy” sounds without distinctive pitch. So during the 1930s and 1940s while the bass was present, establishing the beat, you really couldn’t make out what it was playing – it was being felt, but not really heard.

inventor Paul Tutmarc

In the 1930s Paul Tutmarc, a musician and inventor, tackled some of the shortcomings of the bass. Big and bulky, it had to be played in a stationary vertical position and was hard to play in tune. Voila!, the electric bass (bass guitar) was born – bigger than a guitar, but portable and easy to hold, it could be played horizontally and the player didn’t have to be stationary. By adding frets, it was easier to play in tune and with a long neck, the musical range was greatly expanded. Most importantly, with electronic pickups used to capture the sound produced by the vibrating strings, the electric bass could be plugged into an amplifier to produce sound without distortion or feedback.

Tutmarc may have invented the electric bass (and the electric guitar), but it was Clarence Lionidas “Leo” Fender who capitalized on the electrification of these instruments. Perfecting the “Telecaster” guitar in 1950, as well as the “Precision Bass” in 1951, Fender never looked back. The Precision Bass revolutionized bass playing and its sonic characteristics. Fender is arguably one of the most important people in the history of popular music in the last half of the 20th century – a rather remarkable achievement considering that he never learned to play the instruments he created.

the iconic Fender bass

Monk Montgomery (brother of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery) is credited with being the first jazz electric bass player – playing and touring with Lionel Hampton in 1953. Around 1957 Bill Black, Elvis Presley’s bass player, switched to the electric bass and as they say, “the rest is history.” With the explosion in popularity of rock music in the 1960s, the electric bass came of age and has had an outsized impact on popular music, leading to the popularity of genres such as metal, punk, reggae, funk, gospel, blues, hip-hop and jazz fusion.

Jazz musicians reluctantly adopted the electric bass in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s when rock was blended with jazz to create the music known as jazz fusion that the electric bass found a home in the world of jazz. In a fusion setting, the bassist has become a prominent soloist because the electric bass is much more suited ergonomically speaking for a player to play faster and more lyrically than the upright bass. Most importantly, the bassist can lock-in with the drummer and create a “groove” that is at the heart of fusion and funk.

What is a groove? Not easily defined, it is a rhythmic feel created by variations in the timing of the beat. Playing ever so slightly ahead or behind the metronomic beat shifts the rhythmic pulse of the music in a way that connects the listener to the music and makes the listener want to MOVE to the music. Hear a marching band play, you tap your foot in time to the music, but when there is a groove established, you FEEL it and involuntarily move to the music.

Like the guitar, the electric bass can be strummed, plucked or picked, but in the hands of a virtuoso, when a groove is called for, slapping it and thumping it creates an overpowering FEELING that can make you want to sway, move your head from side to side and dance.

No discussion of the electric bass would be complete without paying homage to Jaco Pastorius. The self-proclaimed “world’s greatest bass player” was audacious, but his virtuosic command of the electric bass ultimately caused many to agree with his pronouncement and while he died prematurely at the age of 35 in 1987, his impact on the world of music and the technical approach of how to play the electric bass and integrate it into a jazz setting is beyond dispute.

Marcus Miller interviewed on TV8 Vail

When discussing the greats of the electric bass, especially fusion and funk players, the name of Marcus Miller is always mentioned. The multi-Grammy® award winner not only has mastered the electric bass, but is a multi-instrumentalist (bass, guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone and piano), composer and producer who has played and recorded with the who’s who of the music business over the last 40 years, appearing on over 500 albums with musicians like Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, David Sanborn, Wayne Shorter, Luther Vandross, Frank Sinatra and Elton John, to name just a few.

On June 24 Marcus will be in Vail as the headliner at Vail SummerFest, where Vail celebrates the summer season’s cultural offerings and activities, with food, drink and three bands performing. One thing is for sure, when Marcus plays in Vail there will be a groove, especially when he slaps and thumps his bass.

The event is sponsored by The Jazz Cruise, the Contemporary Jazz Cruise and the Town of Vail and produced by Vail Jazz.

Howard Stone is the founder and artistic director of Vail Jazz, which produces the annual Vail Jazz Festival. Celebrating its 22nd year, the Vail Jazz Festival is a summer-long celebration of jazz music, culminating with the Labor Day weekend Vail Jazz Party. Visit vailjazz.org for more information.

Ritmo Jazz Latino opens Vail Jazz @ The Market on Sunday

Heating up the Vail Jazz Festival this June, is Denver’s finest Latin jazz ensemble-Ritmo Jazz Latino! On June 26th, at 12 pm, please join us for the first Vail Jazz @ The Market event – a weekly free series in the Jazz tent at Vail’s Farmer’s Market- for an exotic blend of Latin Jazz!

This talented group includes Grammy® winners, award-winning arrangers, popular Cuban and Puerto Rican percussionists, and Latin luminaries who have performed throughout the Americas with Dizzy Gillespie, Julio Iglesias, Gato Barbiere, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini and Ella Fitzgerald.

Featuring an entertaining collaboration between Dr. Walter Barr (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, arranger), Fransisco Mejias (congas, bata, coro), Victor Mestas (keyboard, arranger), Paul McDaniel (bass), Cristine Barbosa (vocalist, piano, composer), and Howard Hernandez (timbalero, Latin percussionist).

Certainly not afraid to divulge into fascinating rhythms, and melodies of Latin America, this group truly brings an energetic, and groovy flair to the stage this summer!

Ritmo Jazz Latino has decades of experience put together, and performs traditional and contemporary Latin jazz. Often traveling through the country presenting engaging music education workshops and seminars on Latin music to youth. Their motto being “Salsa music is for everyone”, and they actively work to engage youth to truly embody the feeling, and spirit of Latin American music.

Today young students growing up particularly in the States lack a strong exposure to this enriching style. Ritmo Jazz Latino demonstrates why this is so important in today’s arts and culture, exposing the youth to Latin jazz. Honoring the founding fathers of Latin jazz, they dive into the history of Afro-Cuban players, styles, and songs (salsa, merengue, songo, mambo, timba, bolero, charanaga and cha cha cha) and Brazilian jazz including (bossa nova and samba).

If musicians do not take the time to explore this style of music with audiences across the globe today, generations to come will miss out on this prominent style of music. You don’t have to be a perfect Spanish speaker, or a highly coordinated percussionist to enjoy Latin jazz, and Ritmo Jazz Latino shows that everyone in the world can take in and be a part of this art form! Whether through dancing, vocalizing, improvisation, or poetry.

Come hear how these influential Latin sounds and language come across today but be ready to groove, dance, jam and sing along to one of Colorado’s most remarkable ensembles today! Truly a summer delight!

Visit the Vail Jazz @ The Market series page for more information, and to check out more of this group’s fabulous music, go to http://ritmojazzlatino.com!

Sunday Jazz Kicks off the Festival Season

Vail Jazz kicks off its solid summer of free live music programs this Sunday

For live music lovers, Sunday is about to become the best day of the week. Beginning this Sunday (June 26), the extravaganza of free jazz kicks off for the summer.

If you’ve strolled through the sea of stimulation that is the Vail Farmer’s Market, amid the colorful booths, cute dogs, long-lost friends and sweet aromas, your ears have probably perked up to the soundtrack of energetic live tunes.

Vail Jazz @ The Market

These Pied Piper-like melodies are emitted from the Jazz Tent at Solaris Plaza, home of Vail Jazz @ The Market. Beginning June 26, a rotation of popular, Colorado-grown artists perform for free from 12 to 3 p.m. A spicy six-piece ensemble of bass, percussion, horns, keyboards and vocals, Ritmo Jazz Latino kicks off the summer with infectious Latin rhythms while the peppy, Brazilian melodies of Ginga with percussionist ensemble Bateria Alegria light up the Market stage on July 3. The eclectic lineup continues throughout the summer with The Girshevich Trio, Dexter Payne Quintet, Joe Deninzon with The Mark Diamond Trio, The Hennessy 6, Kathy Morrow Quartet, BLT and Bob Rebholz, Katie Glassman and Snapshot and wrapping up with Chuck Lamb JazzFusion Quartet.

Vail Jazz @ The Market offers a refreshing respite from the sun and crowds, with dozens of seats available in the tent. Audience members come and go as they please and a sashay around the tent is always welcomed.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids

Your kids have a unique opportunity to uncover and unleash their musical talent for free on four Sundays in July as Vail Jazz once again offers Jammin’ Jazz Kids. An engaging, interactive workshop, Jammin’ Jazz Kids puts the instruments (congas, xylophones and more) directly into the hands of the kids and with a little professional instruction from experts Tony Gulizia and Brian Loftus, strike up surprisingly melodious harmonies within minutes. The free workshops are open to children between the ages of 4 and 12, with registration at 10:45 a.m. on July 3, 10, 17 and 24 at the Vail Jazz Tent at Solaris in Vail. Workshops are scheduled for 11 a.m. and last 45 minutes.

Colorado High School band showcase

Speaking of young talent, these teenagers have obviously already spent years refining their craft. Top musicians from high school jazz programs in Denver hit the Solaris stage for a free performance at 11 a.m. for four Sundays straight, from July 31 to Aug. 28. Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, directed by Paul Romaine, kicks off the inaugural showcase of high school band stars on July 31, followed by the Kent Denver Jazz Combo, directed by Stephen Hailey onAug. 7. Then comes East High School 6th Hour Jazz Combo Aug. 14 and Denver School of Arts, directed by Dave Hammond to wrap up the showcase on Aug. 21. Again, all performances are free and begin at 11 a.m. at the Vail Jazz Tent on the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village for four Sundays beginning July 31.

Vail Jazz @ The Remedy

If there is any question as to where to find the swankiest, most happening bar scene in Vail on Sunday nights, look no further than The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons Resort. Local piano star Tony Gulizia and drummer Brian Loftus lead a rotating line up of visiting musicians in feel-good dining and drinking vibes. The Remedy delivers exactly what it promises, a reparative combination of classic and creative cocktails, dazzling wine list, scrumptious selection of culinary concoctions, expansive patio with stunning mountain views and the frolicsome sounds of live jazz every Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. July 3.

These free Sunday offerings are part of the 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival, which kicks off on June 24 with Vail Summerfest and wraps up 60-plus shows later with the Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party. The Festival brings international touring artists to Vail for free and ticketed performances each week over a 12-week period.

For more information or questions please call Vail Jazz at 888-VAIL-JAM

Vail SummerFest launches this Friday

This Friday, Vail SummerFest launches Vail’s incredible summer season of music, diverse events and activities! This free celebration of summer features Grammy Award winner Marcus Miller, and an afternoon packed with interactive activities for the whole family. 

Favorite Vail Valley event providers will sell tickets and host raffles for GIVEAWAYS to a variety of exciting cultural events (including Vail Jazz, Bravo! Vail, and Vail International Dance Festival). The evening will come alive with the diverse array of music, arts and culture filling the beautiful summer night.

Electrifying bass player Marcus Miller comes to Vail June 24th to heat up Vail’s newest event, Vail SummerFest! Widely acclaimed as the “Renaissance Man”, this Grammy winning artist/composer/producer brings an array of contemporary sounds in Jazz, Pop/Rock/R&B, and Fusion to Vail SummerFest for a rare, free concert! (open to the public)

With over 19 solo albums in contrasting styles, Marcus Miller has also served as a musical producer for artists such as Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Chaka Kahn and Wayne Shorter. Known for his creative and modern approach in the jazz industry, Miller is not afraid to cross boundaries, and connect with vibrant cultures.

Marcus Miller brings enthusiastic energy and life to the electric bass, in an extremely attractive way that both young and older audiences can appreciate and feel connected to today. Miller’s eccentric take on jazz appeals to all generations, and not just to the active jazz listener, but for fresh ears as well. Marcus has always embraced the musical talents of youth in both his performances, and recordings and serves as mentor and inspiration to many up and comers in the

Aside from touring internationally, Marcus has composed several major motion pictures including About Last Night, Obsessed, Head of State, and the TV Show Everybody Hates Chris, just to name a few. His dedication in performance, composition and arranging has also led him to humanitarian work with UNESCO promoting peace through international collaboration and communication. His latest album Afrodeezia released in 2015, served as inspiration from his work with the organization and the Slave Route Project. The album captures musical styles and rhythms of African slaves that have migrated to the America’s and Caribbean.

Don’t miss this modern music innovator heat up Vail SummerFest in Vail for a one free performance only on June 24th at 6:30 pm! Activities get underway that day at 4pm with music by Tony Gulizia and second act by flute phenom Nelson Rangell. Families and attendees can enjoy food and drink and vendors including all summer arts organizations, including information about summer activities and events. Bouncy house and arts & crafts welcome children to the event.

For more info visit vailjazz.org/summerfest. Head to Vail at 4:00pm on Friday, June 24th for Vail SummerFest!

Ritmo Jazz Latino

By Liz Turner

Heating up the Vail Jazz Festival this June, is Denver’s finest Latin jazz ensemble-Ritmo Jazz Latino! On June 26th, at 12 pm, please join us for the first Vail Jazz @ The Market event – a weekly free series in the Jazz tent at Vail’s Farmer’s Market- for an exotic blend of Latin Jazz!

 

This talented group includes Grammy® winners, award-winning arrangers, popular Cuban and Puerto Rican percussionists, and Latin luminaries who have performed throughout the Americas with Dizzy Gillespie, Julio Iglesias, Gato Barbiere, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini and Ella Fitzgerald.

 

Featuring an entertaining collaboration between Dr. Walter Barr (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, arranger), Fransisco Mejias (congas, bata, coro), Victor Mestas (keyboard, arranger), Paul McDaniel (bass), Cristine Barbosa (vocalist, piano, composer), and Howard Hernandez (timbalero, Latin percussionist).

 

Certainly not afraid to divulge into fascinating rhythms, and melodies of Latin America, this group truly brings an energetic, and groovy flair to the stage this summer! Check out this hot musical teaser: https://youtu.be/Z2XJhWvGHjo

 

Ritmo Jazz Latino has decades of experience put together, and performs traditional and contemporary Latin jazz. Often traveling through the country presenting engaging music education workshops and seminars on Latin music to youth. Their motto being “Salsa music is for everyone”, and they actively work to engage youth to truly embody the feeling, and spirit of Latin American music.

 

Today young students growing up particularly in the States, lack a strong exposure to this enriching style. Ritmo Jazz Latino demonstrates why this is so important in today’s arts and culture, exposing the youth to Latin jazz. Honoring the founding fathers of Latin jazz, they dive into the history of Afro-Cuban players, styles, and songs (salsa, merengue, songo, mambo, timba, bolero, charanaga and cha cha cha) and Brazilian jazz including (bossa nova and samba).

 

If musicians do not take the time to explore this style of music with audiences across the globe today, generations to come will miss out on this prominent style of music. You don’t have to be a perfect Spanish speaker, or a highly coordinated percussionist to enjoy Latin jazz, and Ritmo Jazz Latino shows that everyone in the world can take in and be a part of this art form! Whether through dancing, vocalizing, improvisation, or poetry.

 

Come hear how these influential Latin sounds and language come across today but be ready to groove, dance, jam and sing along to one of Colorado’s most remarkable ensembles today! Truly a summer delight!

 

Visit https://www.vailjazz.org/performances/vail-jazz-festival/vail-jazz-at-the-market/for more information, and to check out more of this group’s fabulous music, go to http://ritmojazzlatino.com

 

 

 

Inaugural Vail SummerFest launches with free music, food, and activities for all!

Summerfest-logo-block

 

Vail welcomes multi-Grammy winning bass player Marcus Miller

There is no age, language, or cultural barrier involved in Marcus Miller’s music. His message of joy is universal and abundantly clear.marcus “There’s no word barrier. There’s no language barrier. We play emotions,” Miller said in a recent interview with Jazz Echo. “They’re emotions that everybody feels, no matter where they’re from. So if we get that joyful thing going, it doesn’t matter if we’re in Japan, in Bulgaria, in Rio, in Louisiana, in the Caribbean … It’s like, they feel it. They feel it.”

It’s this enthusiastic energy that attracts audiences of all ages, and not just the active jazz listeners, but fresh ears as well. The multi-instrumentalist is most known for his sizzling electric bass and since launching his career in the 1970s playing in New York City clubs as a teenager, has recorded with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z. He was one of Miles Davis’ last collaborators and has won two Grammy awards (1992 Best R&B Song and 2001 Best Contemporary Jazz Album). The man has bass strings and a guitar named after him.

His latest studio album, Afrodeezia, was nominated for a Grammy—the album was inspired by his work with UNESCO focusing on the relationship between music and slavery around the world. The result is a record rich with upbeat drums, soulful keyboards, horns rising into a wall of sound and of course, Miller’s miraculous, blurred-finger bass lines. In live performances, the high energy slapping and funk naturally leads to a dance party, inspiring a wave of connection that begins on stage.

Marcus Miller brings his joy to Vail for the first time in a free, family-friendly outdoor performance at 6:30 p.m. near Gondola One in Vail Village as part of the first ever Vail SummerFest.

 

Vail SummerFest: activities and events expo

During the inaugural Vail SummerFest, Mountain Plaza will come alive all afternoon and evening with food and drink tents, plus an activities and event expo highlighting all that Vail has to offer for the summer, including children’s activities and fly-fishing demonstrations.

The events expo will feature many Vail favorites, including: 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, 10th Mountain Whiskey, Art in Public Places, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Bol, Bravo! Vail, Eagle River Youth Coalition, Entertainment Cruise Productions, Epic Discovery, First Notes, Gore Creek Fly Fisherman, KUVO/KVJZ, The Scarab, Ute Springs Experiential Learning, Vail Bluegrass, Vail en Español, Vail Fire Department, Vail International Dance Festival, Vail Jazz, Vail Recreation District, San Miguel de Allende, Vail Symposium, and Walking Mountains Science Center.

Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the free performances. For more information, visit vailjazz.org/summerfest or call 888-VAIL-JAM.

The event is co-sponsored by The Town of Vail and The Contemporary Jazz Cruise, the newest jazz cruise program from Entertainment Cruise Productions, the world leader in live entertainment at sea and producer of The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

Riverwalk First Fridays kicks off this weekend with soul queen Hazel Miller

No excuses are necessary to make a celebration out of Friday afternoon, especially as summer is finally getting underway. Like many other artistic communities across the country, Edwards is once again primed to make the first Friday of the month extra special throughout the summer. Jazz, R&B, and Blues soulstress Hazel Miller Kicks off “First Fridays” in Vail! Beginning the First Friday of June, July, August, and September come to the Riverwalk for an evening of fun and free music, with vendors including Crazy Mountain Beer and tasty specialties from Tacorico and Loaded Joe’s! A friendly, community gathering, Doors open at 5 pm, with music starting at 6 pm.

“I like big voices. I love singers that take risks. I love singers that can reach you with their emotion. Aretha Franklin, Sara Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Bonnie Raitt and many more have helped me find my voice.” -Hazel Miller

Hazel Miller has been reckoned as a “force of nature”, with powerful vocals as she presents a show designed to make the audience dance and sing along – music that excites and involves the listener! The Hazel Miller Band has toured widely throughout North America, as well as Europe, the Far East and Middle East and Central America. You can regularly hear Hazel Miller’s music on SiriusXM Radio stations “Real Jazz” and “B.B King Blue’s Station” among many local stations across the country.

Sustaining a 38 year music career in Kentucky where she opened for acts such as Mel Torme, James Brown, and The Temptations. Hazel Miller now resides in Colorado, and regularly performs with Big Head Todd and the Monsters and also as a regular performer on the E-Town Radio show, airing on NPR. Now a Colorado favorite for three decades, Miller was a featured artist at last year’s Vail-Beaver Creek World Alpine Ski Championships and is famous for, as she would say in her booming, contagious voice, getting the good times rollin’.

Ms. Miller has released four albums “Hazel Miller and the Caucasians (Live at the Fox), Coming to You Live From KUVO, I’m Still Looking, and Icons” available on CDBaby.com. Highly recommended if you like the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, and Etta James.

Come on down to the Riverwalk First Fridays on June 3rd and catch the soul queen in action! More information at http://www.riverwalkfirstfridays.com

Picnics are welcome at Riverwalk First Fridays but no pets are allowed and the event is non-smoking. Riverwalk First Fridays is presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente, and is a project of Vail Jazz and KZYR 97.7 The Zephyr.