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Glenwood Springs’ Summer of Jazz set for six shows

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Vail, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – This year’s final season of the Summer of Jazz concert series is fixin’ to be – as they say in New Orleans – “a real throw down,” according to event organizer and founder Mary Noone.

“It’s going to be really good,” Noone said.

Noone, along with husband, co-organizer and founder Bob Noone, returned from New Orleans Monday with a list of bands that they would like to have headline the weekly shows at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.



Mary said that donations raised through April 23 have provided enough funds to pay for six shows, only two shows short of the full eight-week format typical of Summer of Jazz. But that is a good number according to Noone.

“We normally do eight shows,” she said. “So this is really good.”



Fears arose that there wouldn’t be even one show after last season ended nearly $19,000 in the hole. But Glenwood Springs City Council awarded the $4,700 remaining in the 2009 Tourism Grant Fund to help pay down the deficit, and awarded an additional $14,000 from the city’s 2010 Acquisition and Improvement Fund to make up the difference. The stipulation of the additional funds to pay off the debt was that Summer of Jazz wouldn’t receive any funds from the city for 2010.

That’s when the Noones called out to the community to support the popular summer music series. And the community stepped up big time, Mary said.

“They did come through, and it’s really awesome,” Mary said. She was still going through a pile of mail on her desk, that included several contributions, on Tuesday. She didn’t have an exact dollar amount that was raised but said they did have enough for the six shows. Each show conservatively runs about $15,000, she said. The first show is scheduled for June 23. The series will end July 28.



“We are finalizing the scheduling right now,” she said.

Mary and Bob recently returned from attending the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It’s an annual trip the couple has taken the past five years, since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the city, to find new and exciting jazz performers to bring to Glenwood Springs.

“The first time was like drinking out of a fire hose,” Mary said. “We were exposed to music that we had never really been around or had experienced.”

It’s during those trips that the Noones discovered the eclectic acts that they signed and brought to Glenwood as part of the Summer of Jazz in recent years. Performers like John Cleary, who has already signed on for this year’s show and will perform on July 7.

But, Mary said, it’s getting more difficult to find new acts that haven’t played at past Summer of Jazz events.

“We go down and really have to hunt for new bands that we have not heard before,” Mary said.

Countless acts have played on Wednesday nights in Two Rivers Park since 1985.

“It’s so cool because, after 25 years, you would think maybe we should keep doing this,” Noone said, “But, I think 25 years is the perfect time to put a fork in it and call it done.”

She is comfortable ending the summer music series that brought jazz to Glenwood Springs for a quarter of a century.

“I’m not sad by it coming to an end,” she said. “I’m really excited about it, and it’s going to be a great way to end the show after 25 years.”

jgardner@postindependent.com


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