Free jazz concert today in Vail Square
VAIL, Colorado – The popular Jazz at Vail Square concert series returns to Lionshead today with singer songwriter Niki Haris and her trio. Today marks the first of five free jazz concerts at Vail Square, presented Thursdays in August and September by the Vail Jazz Foundation and the Arrabelle Hotel.Singer, songwriter, dancer and choreographer Niki Haris, who is the daughter of Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Gene Harris, has pursued a solo career since her years as a backup singer for Madonna. Haris is joined by Karen Hammack, a highly respected Los Angeles-based pianist, Kenny Walker on bass and Paul Romaine on drums. “Niki brings tremendous energy to the stage,” said Howard Stone, chairman and artistic director of the Vail Jazz Foundation. “Niki and Karen bring the elements of classic American roots – soul and pop for a cool jazz sound that can’t be duplicated.”Haris performed in January at the Obama inauguration, and has recorded and/or performed with Ray Charles, Santana, Luther Vandross, the Righteous Brothers, Anita Baker, Mick Jagger, Whitney Houston Madonna, and many others. She also performed with Hammack at the 2007 Vail Jazz Party.”This is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy live jazz on a summer’s eve in the beauty of Vail Square in Lionshead,” said Mia Vlaar, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s executive director. “The venue is perfect for jazz – and folks tell us Jazz at Vail Square is the sleeper event in the Vail summer cultural calendar.” The outdoor venue is located in the inner courtyard just outside the Arrabelle hotel in Lionshead. With tented seating for 250 people, the concerts are presented rain or shine. The concert series continues next Aug. 13, with the Hot Tomatoes Swing Band, featuring professional swing dancers Tiffiny Wine and Kenny Nelson, who will perform and offer swing dance instruction. On Aug. 20 Magos Herrera, a magical Latin jazz vocalist, will perform with her outstanding trio. On Aug. 27, Doug Wamble takes the stage with his eclectic mix of jazz, blues and gospel. The free series wraps up on Sept. 3 with the legendary Clayton Brothers Quintet. Joining the Claytons will be the Vail Jazz All-Stars, a dozen talented high school aged jazz musicians who will be completing a 10-day intensive workshop in Vail with the Vail Jazz Foundation. The final Jazz at Vail Square concert also kicks off the 15th annual Labor Day weekend party, hosted at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and in Vail Square Sept. 3 – 7, and featuring Ann Hampton Callaway, Jeff Hamilton Trio, Brian Lynch Quintet, Dave Corbus, Joel Frahm, Wycliffe Gordon, Benny Green, and many other great jazz musicians. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.vailjazz.org.
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