Marcia Ball opens free jazz series Thursday
VAIL, Colorado – Pianist, vocalist, and songwriter Marcia Ball will open the Jazz at Vail Square concert series tonight at 6 p.m. with her unique blend of groove-laden New Orleans R&B and Gulf Coast blues. This is the first of five free jazz concerts at Vail Square, presented Thursday evenings in August and on Sept. 2 by the Vail Jazz Foundation and Ritz Carlton Residences.”We are thrilled to open the series with the inimitable Marcia Ball,” said Howard Stone, artistic director and chairman of the Vail Jazz Foundation, who presents the series. “Not only is she a tremendously talented musician, but she’s a consummate entertainer.”Four time Grammy nominee Marcia Ball is known for her infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional brand of southern boogie, rollicking, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads. Over the course of her three-decade career, Ball has earned a huge and intensely loyal following. Her music is mixed with equal parts of simmering soul fervor and jumping blues. Between her deeply emotive vocals and her incisive, often poignant songwriting, Ball is in a class by herself.”This is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy extraordinary music on a summer’s eve in the beauty of Vail,” said Mia Vlaar, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s executive director. “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, and with tented seating for 250 people, the concerts are presented rain or shine. Concert goers can enjoy the music while dining, as the music is carried by speakers to restaurants beyond Vail Square.The concert series continues next Thursday, Aug. 12 with a return visit by the Hot Tomatoes Swing Dance Band and Swing Dancers Tiffiny Wine and Kenny Nelson. On Aug. 19, Jacky Terrasson Trio takes the stage with their modern take on classic jazz. Saxophonist and vocalist Curtis Stigers, known both for his rock and roll past and now as the quintessential jazz singer, brings his unique interpretations of classic jazz tunes to Vail Square on Aug. 26. The free series wraps up on Sept. 2 with the legendary Clayton Brothers Quintet, joined by the Vail Jazz All-Stars, a dozen of the most talented high school aged jazz musicians in North America, who will be completing a 10-day intensive workshop in residence with the Vail Jazz Foundation. The summer of Jazz culminates with the 16th annual Labor Day Weekend Jazz Party, hosted at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and in Vail Square Sept. 2 – 6. Featuring more than 30 jazz musicians including Ann Hampton Callaway, Jeff Hamilton Trio, Bobby Broom, Wycliffe Gordon, Byron Stripling, and many other greats, the weekend spans four nights and five days, over 24 hours of jazz. Tickets start at $45 and are on sale at http://www.vailjazz.org – purchase tickets before midnight on Aug. 6 and enjoy a $5 per ticket discount.