Telluride Jazz

30 Years of All Stars
By Mary Duffy

Joining the ranks of Telluride’s other senior music festivals, Telluride Jazz Celebration will commemorate its thirtieth year this summer. Since its inception, the festival has been recognized for its all-star lineup. The premier gathering featured headliners Muddy Waters, Dizzy Gillespie and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and over the years, such notables as Chick Corea, Etta James, Herbie Hancock and Spyro Gyra have played the venue. This year, the Telluride Society for Jazz has put together another world-class program to celebrate the art, soul, history and future of this all-American art form.

From August 3 to 6, Telluride Jazz will continue its highly acclaimed format, an outdoor stage during the day with theater and club shows at night. Jazz aficionados worldwide are hip to this unique festival, where international artists perform and mingle with those who come to celebrate the music. “We always want to keep the festival intimate for the jazz artists who perform and for the jazz and music lover who wants to enjoy great music in a natural setting and in ideal night venues,” says executive director Paul Machado of the format.

This year’s line-up features Herbie Hancock, a true icon of modern music with an illustrious career spanning five decades; John Mayall, considered the godfather of British blues; longtime favorites Flora Purim, the reigning queen of Brazilian jazz, and Airto Moreira, internationally known as the best percussionist of our time. Soulive, a band that brings jazz back to the dance floor, is guaranteed to get an audience to its feet. Also included in this year’s lineup are Regina Carter, Terence Blanchard, Nneena Freelon, Larry Coryell and Ernie Watts. “Each year we are truly amazed at the caliber of artist we have been able to bring to Telluride,” Machado says. Additionally, free shows and panel discussions offer a number of different participation levels at which to enjoy the festival.