Brace yourself for a free big band performance

The U.S. Air Force Academy Falconaires swing through Edwards

Has it been that kind of week … the kind whose ending you feel could only be appropriately celebrated with the seismic symbol crashing and sprightly horn blowing of a major big band?

Well you’re in luck, because Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk presents an extra special free performance this Friday by none other than the U.S. Air Force Academy Falconaires Big Band. The Falconaires consider jazz to be “America’s only indigenous musical genre” and will fire off one after another of favorite arrangements from the American Swing Era as they deliver their unique take on numerous contemporary tunes.

If you can’t wait to kiss goodbye to a tough week, you might as well do it with a 14-piece horn section and amid the bustling company of friends, neighbors and visitors splitting their time between eating, drinking, picnicking and dancing at the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater.

The powerful force of The Falconaires marks the second to last Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk performance of the summer. The series delivers free live music every other Friday along with local food and drink vendors, including paella from Revolution, paninis and salads from Eat! Drink! and cocktails from 10th Mountain Whiskey.

Following this Friday’s performance, the final Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk concert of 2017 will be a grand finale indeed starring 12-piece Latin and Salsa band, Quemando.

“It truly exemplifies the diversity of the jazz genre when Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk moves from our last solo gig with one of the world’s most talented flutists [Nelson Rangell] to the huge Big Band sound of the Falconaires,” says Vail Jazz Operations Director James Kenly. “For people who haven’t checked it out yet, bring your picnic blanket and get to Edwards. It’s going to be an incredible party this Friday.”

In addition to food and drink vendors, Alpine Arts Center offers unique arts and crafts projects for children throughout the evening.

Vendors open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 6 p.m. Picnics are welcome but no pets are allowed. The event is non-smoking. Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk is presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente.

Vail Jazz @Riverwalk welcomes The Otone Brass Band

Dancing while playing an instrument is no simple feat, but it appears to come naturally to all eight members of The Otone Brass Band. Whether it’s swinging the sousaphone from side to side or spinning and bobbing while keeping a lightning fast drumbeat, it’s clear that every one in the band views each song as an opportunity to party. The vibe is contagious and it’s usually a matter of seconds before everyone within earshot is moving to the beat.

The Otone Brass Band brings its lively grooves to the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater this Friday for Vail Jazz@ Riverwalk presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente.

The all-new Vail Jazz@ Riverwalk series kicked off June 9 with The Burroughs, drawing in a sea of picnicking families, passers by and dancers of all ages. The series delivers free live music every other Friday along with local food and drink vendors, including paella from Revolution, paninis and salads from Eat! Drink! and cocktails from 10th Mountain Whiskey.

“Our first Riverwalk show was a fantastic blueprint of what we hope to see the rest of the summer,” says Vail Jazz Operations Director James Kenly. “We had all kinds of people on the lawn – families and couples with picnic spreads watching the show while enjoying their dinner. We had little kids twirling to the tunes. At one point it was like the band sent a wave over everyone. One after another, people started coming to the front of the stage to dance. It was so much fun.”

The Otone Brass Band just might take its stage performance into marching mode through the lawn. It wouldn’t be the first time. Infusing its New Orleans street sound with strains of Latin, soul and funk, whether on stage or off, the Denver-based ensemble is famous for infecting crowds of all ages with positive energy.

If spontaneous dance opportunities aren’t enough for the younger members of the audience, Alpine Arts Center will be on hand offering unique arts and crafts projects for children.

Vendors open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 6 p.m. Picnics are welcome but no pets are allowed. The event is non-smoking.

Vail Jazz launches a summer of lawn parties every other Friday in Edwards

There’s nothing like unwinding from a busy week with free live music and a sunny afternoon picnic.

Vail Jazz observed that such a scene was too good to reserve for only the first Friday of the month, which is why the all-new Vail Jazz@ Riverwalk was born, infusing The Riverwalk in Edwards with an outdoor party every other Friday all summer long.

Vail Jazz @Riverwalk kicks off the summer weekends on a high note beginning at 5 p.m. June 9 with the romping, high-energy tunes of The Burroughs. The homegrown, northern Colorado-based nine-piece calls its sound “sweaty soul,” and fuses its self-proclaimed “powerhouse” rhythm section with a vibrant, four-piece horn section and unquestionably charismatic vocals delivered by front man Johnny Burroughs. The Burroughs return to the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater in Edwards, where they had the packed, picnic-toting crowd on its feet dancing for nearly their entire set last summer during Riverwalk First Fridays.

Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk replaces Riverwalk First Fridays, bringing a sizzling variety of regional artists to Edwards every other Friday along with local food and drink vendors, including rotisserie barbecue from Revolution, paninis and salads from Eat! Drink! and cocktails from 10th Mountain Whiskey.

“It became clear last summer that people were hungry for live music on the lawn Friday afternoons, so we doubled our offerings,” says Vail Jazz Operations Director James Kenly. “The Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater is an ideal setting to showcase this super talented lineup of bands. The scene turns into a massive lawn party with neighbors, friends and visitors – a perfect place to make new friends. We expect it to become everybody’s go-to Friday plan twice a month.”

Following its June 9 summer launch, Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk continues June 23 with New Orleans flavored Otone Brass Brand, rhythm and blues group Phil Wiggins and George Kilby Jr. on July 7, contemporary jazz saxophonist Nelson Rangell on July 21, the U.S. Air Force Academy Falconaires Big Band Aug. 4 and sizzling salsa 12-piece Quemando on Aug. 18.

Not sure whether to leave the kids at home? Bring them along. Alpine Arts Center offers free arts and crafts for children and the general ambiance delivers entertainment for all ages. Vendors open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 6 p.m. Picnics are welcome but no pets are allowed and the event is non-smoking.

The Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk series is presented by