Vail Jazz, Alpine Arts Center team up for free events Friday |

Vail Jazz, Alpine Arts Center team up for free events Friday

The Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk series is free and happens every Friday at 6 p.m. at the Riverwalk Amphitheater in Edwards.
Marc Leverette | Special to the Daily

A number of local businesses are joining forces to put on a special afternoon and evening of cultural events Friday at the Riverwalk at Edwards.

First, the Alpine Arts Center has organized the Art Battle event from 3-6 p.m. Watch local artists battle for the public vote as they work with different mediums and subjects in a timed art competition. There will be painters, potters, glass artists, fiber artists and more. Spectators can look behind the scenes to see art techniques up close and watch each piece evolve from beginning to end.

Throughout the Art Battle, Justin Allison of Vail Jazz will play music. There will also be special deals from participating Riverwalk businesses. Cheer on your favorite artists and vote for them to take home the cash grand prize.

At the culmination of the Art Battle, the party will move down to the Riverwalk Backyard for the Vail Jazz concert featuring the Crescent City Connection.

The band gets its name from the New Orleans bridge spanning the Mississippi River. The group is from Fort Collins, but its sound is deeply rooted in New Orleans and the musical traditions of Louisiana. The Crescent City Connection delivers feel-good, horn-driven funk in the form of bright originals and delightfully recognizable classics.

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The six-piece outfit comprises guitar, bass, keyboards, a pair of saxophones and trumpet — plus at least one set of vocals. In high demand throughout Colorado, the Crescent City Connection makes regular rounds among FoCo’s most popular breweries, plus festivals and concert series throughout the state.

The Connection makes its Vail Valley debut Friday evening. The finished works of art from the Art Battle also will be on display during the concert, with the silent auction continuing until intermission. At that time, the competition winners will be announced on stage and final bids can be placed on all of the art pieces.

Although this is the first Art Battle for the Riverwalk, Lauren Merrill, owner of Alpine Arts Center, said in a release that similar events have occurred in the past.

“The creative energy at our previous Art Battle events has been amazing,” she said. “Getting artists together and letting them just go for it really produces some incredible art. This year should be even more fun because of our partnership with local businesses like Vail Jazz, The Bookworm, and so many other Riverwalk businesses.”

Both the Art Battle and Vail Jazz concert are free and open to the public, and will take place rain or shine. For any questions related to Art Battle go to or call 970-926-2732. For more information about Vail Jazz, call 970-479-6146 or visit

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