Ritmo Jazz Latino will perform at new Edwards outdoor venue Friday
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What: First Fridays concert series; Ritmo Jazz Latino kicks off series.
When: Friday. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and music goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Series continues July 3, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4.
Where: Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheatre, next to the Eagle River, behind Riverwalk at Edwards stores.
More information: Call 970-479-6146 or 970-376-6635.
EDWARDS — The Riverwalk at Edwards is home to a new four-part concert series called Riverwalk First Fridays. Held in Edwards’ scenic new gathering place for community functions and entertainment — the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater — First Fridays will bring together local merchants and jazz greats from the Front Range for four iterations of great music, local beer, wine, food and vendors on the first Fridays of June, July, August and September.
The series, produced by Vail Jazz and KZYR 97.7 The Zephyr, is free and features kids activities and a weekly vendor theme where special promotions and activities will be built around two or three Riverwalk of Edwards businesses. The themes include: this Friday is the Ultimate Camp Out, July 3 is All-American Kids, Aug. 7 is Something Fishy, and Sept. 4 is Mountain Makeovers.
The gates open at 4:30 p.m. for vendor, food and beverage sales and performances will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The party continues into the night on July 3 and Aug. 7 at Main St. Grill, which will host the official after party with additional live music.
“It’s a chance for the community to gather in a pristine location and enjoy fine music, food and friendship,” said Tom Genes, KZYR late night DJ and one of the organizers of First Fridays.
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The series kicks off Friday with the salsa and Latin jazz group Ritmo Jazz Latino, a Latin band from Denver. The band’s music is an exotic blend of salsa, Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz.
On July 3, hear up-beat blues and boogie-woogie songs from Lionel Young, a popular bluesman from the Denver area. Young’s All-American blues fiddlin’ will kick off the holiday weekend celebration with a style that hails from Mississippi and Kansas City. With violin virtuosity that has impressed the likes of Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Paige/Robert Plant and Doc Severenson, Lionel Young and his four-piece band will get the crowd stomping into the holiday evening with a little extra soul in each step.
Otone Brass Band, an eight-piece group from the Front Range, will bring funky New Orleans flavor street music to Edwards on Aug. 7. Complete with trumpets, saxes, trombones and even a sousaphone, the occasion is a recipe for a funky dance party.
The series rounds out on Sept. 4 with hometown blues, rock and American roots band Brothers Keeper, who have appeared alongside John Popper and Hall and Oates. You can regularly find these blues rock veterans holding down the late night set at Shakedown Bar in Vail Village.
“The goal from the beginning with Riverwalk First Fridays was to utilize this ideal new music venue, and to give Edwards families a great reason to get together and enjoy incredible music, beer, wine, food and good company,” said Vail Jazz Development Manager Owen Hutchinson.
Vendor space is available with discounts for Riverwalk businesses. Businesses can sign on for one event or for all four at a discount. For information on becoming a sponsor or vendor, call Owen Hutchinson at 970-479-6146 or Graham Danzoll at 970-376-6635.