The JAS June Experience & JAS Café Summer Series | Kicks off June 21st, 2018

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Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, Leslie Odom Jr. &
Lizz Wright to Perform at the JAS June Experience

PLUS: Dirty Dozen Brass, Dianne Reeves
& 2018 GRAMMY® Winner Christian McBride
+ More Highlight Exciting JAS Café Summer Season

Jazz Aspen Snowmass is pleased to announce the remainder of their summer season including line-ups for both the JAS June Experience and the JAS Café Summer Series.

The JAS June Experience will kick off on Thursday, June 21 at the JAS Café Upstairs in the Aspen Art Museum with widely acclaimed rising star, contemporary vocalist, and saxophone player Grace Kelly. On Friday, June 22 the Experience moves over to the Benedict Music Tent with an evening of “NEW VOICES” featuring acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright and Hamilton Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr. (the original Aaron Burr in the smash international hit). Odom Jr.’s debut solo album Leslie Odom, Jr. was released in June 2016 on S-Curve Records and quickly rose to number one on the Billboard and iTunes Jazz charts. He will be joined on-stage with special guests the Aspen Music Festival & School Student Musicians (AMFS).

Opening for Odom Jr. is Lizz Wright, returning to the JAS June main stage after her tour de force guest appearance last year as part of the “Ella at 100” tribute concert collaboration with AMFS & JAS. Through an inimitable voice that The New York Times touts as, “a smooth, dark alto possessed of qualities you might associate with barrel-aged bourbon or butter-soft leather,” Wright sings with a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America.

Lyle Lovett will appear Saturday, June 23 for the first time in Aspen with His Large Band on the June JAS Benedict tent Main Stage. Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend’s deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music.

JAS plans to bring back the popular FREE Gospel Brunch on Sunday, June 24 featuring New Orleans natives Josh Kagler and Harmonistic Praise, a high energy outfit including a full band plus eight singers on stage. The performance will be free and open to the public both inside the Benedict Tent and on the lawn. A pre-concert brunch prepared by Chef Martin Oswald of Pyramid Bistro in Aspen will be provided in the JAS Patron Tent for just $40 per person.

Later that evening guitarist/vocalist Raul Midón will perform at the JAS Café Downstairs at the Cooking School of Aspen. The New York Times called Midón, “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.”

The final show at Benedict Music Tent: “Georgia on My Mind, A Tribute to Ray Charles,” will take place on Saturday, June 30. This collaboration between JAS and AMFS will feature 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winners and a cappella vocal wizards TAKE 6, with special guest vocalists Nnenna Freelon and Clint Holmes, plus GRAMMY® Award-winning saxophone player Kirk Whalum. The performance is all backed by the H2 Big Band in a brassy, swinging tribute to the iconic “Genius of Soul.”

Tickets for the June Experience go on-sale Tuesday, February 20 at 9:00 am MST. For the June 22-24 shows tickets can be purchased at, 866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499) or at the Belly Up Box Office in Aspen. Tickets for the June 30 performance are available now through the AMFS box office, or 970.925-9042. Patron (VIP) two-day passes (June 22-24) are available now at

Jazz Aspen has also announced the line-up for their Summer JAS Café Series featuring performances at four venues: Upstairs at the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) and Downstairs at both the Cooking School of Aspen (CSA) and The Little Nell (TLN) and new this summer a special performance at The Temporary in Basalt.

The 2018 JAS Café Summer Series is dedicated to the late Bob Magoon. Bob and his wife Nancy have been “season underwriters” of the JAS Café’s year-round series since its inception. “JAS is honored to dedicate its 2018 Summer JAS Café series to the memory of our dear friend Bob Magoon, who provided crucial support from the first note and encouraged many others to join he and Nancy in supporting the JAS Café year-round!” says JAS President Jim Horowitz.

The Café series will kick-off June 15-16 with a fun weekend of shows taking place over Food & Wine weekend with New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and a special dinner provided by Chef Michael Sichel from the famed New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s. Remaining summer shows include:

June 21 – Grace Kelly – Aspen Art Museum
Contemporary Saxophone/Vocals

June 24 – Raul Midón – Cooking School of Aspen

June 28-29 – Laila Biali – The Little Nell
Canadian Jazz/Pop Pianist & Vocalist

July 6-7 – The Hot Sardines – Cooking School of Aspen
Witty Retro-Swing, a la Francaise!

July 13 – Scott Tixier Quintet – Aspen Art Museum
French violinist/composer

July 14 – Igor Butman & Fantine – Aspen Art Museum
Internationally acclaimed Russian Saxophonist
w/ explosive Global R&B/Jazz Vocalist

July 21 – Django Festival All-Stars – The Temporary
Hot French Gypsy Jazz, smash hit band
returning for 4th JAS Café appearance

July 27-28 – Handful of Keys: Emmet Cohen Meets Christian Sands
– Cooking School of Aspen
Two brilliant young pianist face to face. Four hands,
two pianos, one Hammond B3 Organ.

Aug. 10 – Nicki Parrot Tribute to Peggy Lee – Aspen Art Museum
Sultry & Swingin’ Bassist/Vocalist’s
homage to an American vocal legend

Aug. 11 – Allan Harris with the H2 Big Band with
Special Guests Carolyn Leonhart & Shirazette Tinnin – Aspen Art Museum
Big Band Swing to Swaggering R&B & selections from Allan’s
hit off Broadway show Cross That River

Aug. 12 – The Bronx Horns: Tribute to Dizzie’s 100th – Aspen Art Museum
Explosive Latin Rhythms: Mambo, Rhumba, Salsa

Aug. 17 – Dianne Reeves – Aspen Art Museum
5-time GRAMMY® Award-winner & the pre-eminent jazz vocalist of her generation

Aug. 18 – Christian McBride, Benny Green & Russell Malone – Aspen Art Museum
Classic “Drumless” Jazz Trio. Three Masters Re-unite!

Aug. 19 – JAS Academy Big Band
directed by Christian McBride – Aspen Art Museum

Tickets for the summer JAS Café series will be available starting on Monday, February 26 at 9:00 am. Visit for details.

In August JAS will be reviving the former JAS Academy Summer Sessions program for gifted college music students. The new format, JAS Academy Big Band Sessions, will be led by former Academy Artistic Director, world-renowned bassist Christian McBride. In 2018 McBride won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble with his Big Band, making this format an even more incredible opportunity for participating students.

Up to twenty students will be selected from top music programs across the country, to work with McBride and other Jazz Masters (including Dianne Reeves, Benny Green and Russell Malone) on an interactive curriculum designed around the “Big Band.” The week will conclude with a live performance at the JAS Café in which all students will perform as a Big Band under the direction of McBride.

Closing out the summer, the 2018 Labor Day Experience line-up announced earlier this year includes Zac Brown Band, Jack Johnson, Lionel Richie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fitz & the Tantrums, Gary Clark Jr., Bahamas, and The Record Company. Tickets for these shows are available now.

For more information on JAS Aspen Snowmass please contact the JAS Office at 920-4996 or visit

DL Media

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