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Elevate Your Senses at Janus Jazz Aspen's June and Labor Day Festivals

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JUNE 2004 LINE-UP CONFIRMED - WYNTON MARSALIS, NATALIE COLE, BUDDY GUY, MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD, AL GREEN AND MANY MORE

SEPTEMBER FEST LINE-UP INCLUDES LYLE LOVETT, DAVID BYRNE AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

“...one or two events emerge from the mass of stimulation and linger in the mind after the rest has become a blur...the Aspen festival is a force to be reckoned with." - Jazz Hot Magazine

New York, NY - Elevate your senses this summer in Aspen, Colorado at the fourteenth annual Janus Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) June and Labor Day festival. The rockies come alive with the sound of music this summer starting in June with an incredible line-up of musical legends, stalwarts and newcomers including Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Medeski Martin & Wood, blues legend Buddy Guy and soul legend Al Green. Bookend your summer plans with The JAS June festival June 24 - 27 in downtown Aspen and the incredible JAS Labor Day Sept 3 - 6 at the foot of the Elk Mountains, full line-up to be announced. The JAS summer season also includes a free 13 concert series on Snowmass Ski Mountain and the all scholarship JAS Academy - Summer Sessions education residency for gifted young students.

Now in its fourteenth season, the original JAS June festival was inspired by the legendary Jazz in Marciac festival in southwest France, which is located in a charming village among the rolling hills of Gascogne. Similar in design to this sister festival, JAS is nestled in the scenic and breathtaking Rocky Mountains where music devotees enjoy four days of music from top performers in the pedestrian friendly and lively mountain town.

A centrally located tent hosts a series of main evening concerts with peripheral free daytime concerts in the park and after-dark club programs bustling throughout the Aspen central core. This magical atmosphere and intimate setting has made JAS an internationally recognized destination. The New Yorker said JAS “is a prime example of how a small community can host a world-class cultural event."

JAS has also earned a reputation for adventurous bookings that have always stayed true to its tradition. One of the highlights of the JAS June and Labor Day festivals is the pairing of disparate musical types.

Following is the JAS 2004 June Festival Program:

Thursday, June 24: The festival kicks off with the traditional New Orleans sounds of The Rebirth Brass Band in a free concert and parade at Wagner Park downtown. Wynton Marsalis gets things hopping later in the mainstage tent in Rio Grande Park.

The JAS After Dark series also presents The Soul Survivors, featuring Les McCann, Cornell Dupree and Ernie Watts at Jerome Jazz, at the historic Hotel Jerome.

Friday June 25th: Jazz-pop vocalist Natalie Cole returns to JAS in the main tent. Her program runs from jazz standards to R&B, swinging and sultry. Opening act TBA.

Saturday June 26th: Legendary soul singer Al Green returns to JAS for the first time in five years. Opening for Al Green is the break-out genre-busting vocalist Lizz Wright who blends jazz, gospel and soul into a powerhouse blend of Aretha Franklin meets Sarah Vaughn.

Sunday June 27th: Four-time Grammy winning blues-legend Buddy Guy brings his acoustic exploration of Mississippi Delta Blues to JAS for the first time in eight years. Opening for Buddy Guy is the startlingly innovative Medeski, Martin & Wood trio. From their inception, the band's jazz skills have been tempered by soul, funk and rock embellishments.

Additional artists featured at the festival include the wildly creative New York based Yerba Buena performing their mix of latin, hip hop, funk & soul on Saturday and Sunday June 26 & 27. The Wagner Park free stage will also feature vocalist Jenna Mamina, Colorado's DKO, the break-out Brazilian singer Daude, Grammy winning pianist Mike Melvoin and additional artists to be announced.

Tickets are on sale to JAS Club members starting Monday March 22 and the public March 29. Tickets are available on line at www.jazzaspen.org, or by calling 1 866 527 8499, or locally at the Wheeler Opera House, 920 5770. Individual concerts are $25 for the opening concert with Wynton Marsalis, and range from $35 - $75 for the Friday through Sunday concerts at the JAS Tent in Rio Grande Park.

ABOUT JAZZ ASPEN SNOWMASS:
Founded in 1991, Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) is a not for profit 501 (c)(3) organization, dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jazz, American and World music. JAS is internationally recognized for its diverse education programs and for hosting world-class performances year-round, including the June and Labor Day Festivals as well as a winter concert series, JAS After Dark and the Snowmass Free Summer of Music series.

FREE SUMMER OF MUSIC SERIES:
Held weekly at the base of Snowmass Ski Area, featured artists this year include The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Fri July 2), plus C.J. Chenier (zydeco), Marcia Ball (Texas R&B), Kermit Ruffins (New Orleans Jazz), Otis Taylor (blues), Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys, and others TBA.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS:
JAS Academy - Summer Sessions was created in 1995, the nation's only 100% scholarship program for gifted student-artists. Twenty-five students attend a ten day summer residency of master classes and performances with a core faculty of jazzmasters, under the Artistic Direction of renowned bassist Christian McBride and Academic Program Director Loren Schoenberg. Artists for 2004 include pianist Benny Green, Guitarist Russell Malone and trombonist Wyecliffe Gordon, among others.

The Essentially Ellington Band Director Academy (EEBDA) which formalized a collaboration between Jazz at Lincoln Center and JAS and offers five days of intensive seminars, practice sessions and master classes taught by faculty from Jazz at Lincoln Center, was launched in Aspen in 2000 will return next in 2005.

JAS In-Schools & Local Education Initiatives:
JAS sponsors four (4) one week residencies by visiting professional musicians who visit public middle & high schools throughout the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado offering assemblies for general school population and guidance to band programs.

Local Education Initiatives include music instrument donations; “tickets for teachers" , bringing hundreds of teachers to annual JAS concerts, and; The JAS Middle & High School Big Bands, providing organized weekly rehearsal and performance opportunities for students from Aspen and a 100 mile radius.

For more information please www.jazzapen.com

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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