Vail Jazz Festival delivers biggest summer lineup in history
Tickets are officially on sale for the 23rd annual Vail Jazz Festival’s summer of sizzling live performances, which includes a broad lineup of international, national and regional acts spanning the gamut from blues and soul to swing, bebop, gypsy jazz, Latin and more.
Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk
Back by popular demand is the Vail Jazz @ Riverwalk, expanding this summer to six events. The series brings free live music to the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater in Edwards twice monthly on Friday afternoons beginning June 9 with energetic nine-piece soul rockers The Burroughs.
Vendors include Eat! Drink! of Edwards, serving paninis and salads, and rotisserie-themed Revolution, bringing barbecue with international flair.
The family-friendly, picnic-style atmosphere continues on 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 on Aug. 4; and sizzling salsa 12-piece Quemando on Aug. 18.
With arts and crafts activities provided by Alpine Arts Center, entertainment options abound for every age group.
Vail Jazz @ The Market
Follow your ears to more free live music every Sunday beginning on June 25 at the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show with a rotating lineup of acclaimed regional acts at Vail Jazz @ The Market from noon to 3 p.m. in the Solaris tent.
Showcasing home-grown, Colorado talent, the series features longtime favorites such as the Max Wagner Quartet on June 25, the Chuck Lamb Quartet on July 30, while also introducing new acts such as Los Chicos Malos on July 2 and Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles on Aug. 20.
Vail Jazz @ The Remedy
The swanky club-scene of The Remedy and Vail Valley jazz legends Tony Gulizia and Brian Loftus or “BLT” come together every Sunday night at 8 p.m. for Vail Jazz @ The Remedy. Held at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail, guest artists join BLT each week for memorable jam sessions beginning on June 25.
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Vail Jazz Club Series
The Vail Jazz Club Series, takes place every Wednesday evening from July 12 to Aug. 9 at its new home, Ludwig’s Terrace at The Sonnenalp Hotel, which hosted the sold-out Vail Jazz Winter Series this past winter.
The 2017 Vail Jazz Club Series features intimate, lounge-style performances with Vail Square artists, including Henry Butler on July 12; Frank Vignola on July 19; Carmen Bradford and Byron Stripling’s tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on July 26; Rene Marie on Aug. 2; and Dr. Michael Davison on Aug. 9 for a special lecture-performance on the history of Afro-Cuban jazz.
The series will feature two performances on each of these nights, an early seating at 6:30 p.m. and a second seating at 9 p.m.
Vail Jazz Gala: From Bridge Street to Bourbon Street
The Vail Jazz Gala is the annual fundraiser for Vail Jazz’s educational programs, which include Vail Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Workshop and Jammin’ Jazz Kids, cultivating more than 1,400 young minds in the art and beauty of jazz music every year.
The 2017 Gala on July 10 is set to blow the doors off with “The Voice of New Orleans,” jazz legend John Boutte, teaming up with Vail Jazz Workshop alumni. Bringing Bridge Street to Bourbon Street, the event begins at 6 p.m. on July 10 at The Sebastian and includes cocktails, hors d’houevres, dinner and a spectacular performance.
Vail Jazz @ Vail Square
The Vail Jazz @ Vail Square series totals a whopping nine performances this summer — every Thursday evening at 6 p.m. beginning on July 6 in the all-weather Vail Square tent in Lionshead Village.
For the first time this summer, there will be assigned seating (selected online), and all-new premium seating featuring cushioned chairs and more elbow room. Preferred and premium tickets are available in a discounted four-pack subscription on sale through July 6. General admission seating is first come, first seated, available online as well.
From rollicking roadhouse to bouncing blues to tear-inducing ballads, Marcia Ball hits the keys of her piano with a heartfelt, harmonious slam on every note. The award-winning storyteller from Texas returns to Vail with her alternately steppy and soulful, Louisiana-inspired tunes.
Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9
The New Orleans theme blows up 10-fold (11-fold, actually) with this electric, brass-heavy collaboration. Pianist and vocalist Henry Butler and trumpeter Steven Bernstein lead an explosive ensemble through sounds of pop, R&B, Caribbean, classical and traditional, fiery, impromptu jazz.
Frank Vignola’s Hot Club of France Tribute
Six-string phenom Frank Vignola is no stranger to Vail, but this summer he channels the hypnotic mystique of gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt. Tapping into the era of Reinhardt’s Hot Club of France, Vignola leads his own international quintet in a smoking hot tribute.
Ella and Louis Together Again featuring Carmen Bradford and Byron Stripling
Step out of a time machine to take in one of jazz history’s most show-stopping duos. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are brought back to life via the magic trumpet and vocals of Byron Stripling and Count Basie Big Band singer Carmen Bradford.
Rene Marie and Experiment in Truth
The songwriter and swanky singer brings her seductive, larger-than-life vocals to Vail Square, tapping into flavors of folk, swing, classical and R&B. Whatever the selection of original numbers, the two-time Grammy nominee’s 10-year anniversary rendition of her sixth album, “Experiment in Truth,” will hypnotize.
The pulse created by this 11-piece ensemble reaches earthquake proportions as you glide through the deep river of Cuban rhythms. With plenty of horns, percussion beats and two vocalists, the lively tour takes you through dance tunes and wild polyrhythms of traditional rumba, cha-cha and classic Cuban son.
Eliane Elias: Samba Brazil
Combining sultry vocals with enchanting piano, Grammy winner Eliane Elias schools audiences in the art of Samba. Digging into her Brazilian roots, the celebrated composer makes her highly anticipated return to Vail, as is considered one of the top highlights of the 23rd annual festival.
Joey DeFrancesco & The People
If ever there were a way to describe the B-3 organ as light and infectious, then it would be due to the unique talent of showman Joey DeFrancesco. The prolific, Grammy-nominated musician also belts out some big vocals, toe-tapping trumpet and knows every in and out of bebop.
Vail Jazz All-Stars, Alumni Quintet and House Band
Kicking off the 23nd annual Vail Jazz Party and five days of wall-to-wall live music featuring the world’s top names in jazz, this triple bill brings a freshly tuned lineup of 12 teenage rising stars, star alumni and shining jazz stars — deeply established mentor musicians John and Jeff Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Terell Stafford, Bill Cunliffe and Lewis Nash.
Aug. 31 through Sept. 4
Vail Jazz Party
The Vail Jazz Festival culminates with its marquee event, the 23rd annual Vail Jazz Labor Day Weekend Party. More than 35 nationally and internationally acclaimed headlining artists descend on Vail for nonstop indoor and outdoor performances. Highlights for 2017 include Jeff Clayton’s Tribute to Cannonball Adderly, Jeff Hamilton and Butch Miles’ multimedia Tribute to Buddy Rich, Byron Stripling’s multimedia presentation of Cole Porter & The Jazz Connection, Niki Haris’ Gospel Prayer Meetin’ and Adrian Cunningham’s CD Release Party.
Tickets are available for individual sessions as well as for the entire multi-day event in the form of Performance and Patron Passes.