Tickets are still available for the first-ever Colorado Jazz Musicians Festival in Crested Butte. The festival, happening at the Center for the Arts and other venues throughout Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, runs Sept. 7 through Sept. 9.
Roger Kahn, the creator and director of the festival, has been connecting Crested Butte to the world of jazz as a KBUT disc-jokey for more than 15 years. Originally from New York, Kahn recalls his 13-year-old self sneaking into Manhattan nightclubs to see young musicians like Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. These escapades solidified a lifetime love of jazz. Also raised in the New York’s musical Pangea, fellow KBUT DJ Laura Silva, who hosts the Booty Shakin’ Late Afternoon Snack Show, is the festival’s coordinator and co-creator. The two melded minds in May of 2017 to establish what Silva describes as “high quality jazz performances and jazz education in a beautiful mountain setting, performed mainly by Colorado’s jazz musicians.”
Silvas waxes poetic, “The air is crisp, the streams are crystal clear, the sky is brilliant blue and the Aspen leaves are turning gold. Perfect for jazz. The eclectic and varied styles of jazz that will be played make the festival unique and sure to become a Colorado classic.” In contrast to the Jazz Aspen/Snowmass Festival last week, where patrons were caught far from their cars and cranky in severe weather during the Lionel Richie performance, or the Telluride Jazz Festival with Bruce Hornsby headlining, this event is styled to be both laid-back and up-close to the music. There are late night “juke joint” gigs for dancing, brunch and dinner gigs in addition to the festival lawn experience outside the Center for the Arts. Expect a “hidden gem” quality to each performance and musician interactions like you’d expect from a mountain town that is equal parts neighborly and savvy.
Featured musicians are Gypsy Jazz Social Club, Dana Landry Trio, Donna Scott, Los Chicos Malos and many more.