Please Don’t Stop the Music

by Damien Williamson, Time Out Staff Writer
The Food & Wine Classic is a wrap. Snowmass Mammoth Fest is a distant memory. Aspen Institute Ideas Fest and the Aspen Music Festival and School are on deck. And the Jazz Aspen June Festival is at bat. Summer in Aspen is officially in full swing.

This weekend’s music festival, the first of two hosted by Aspen’s musical and educational nonprofit Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS), kicks off Friday, June 21, and runs through Sunday, June 23, at the Benedict Music Tent on the Aspen Music Festival and School campus. Compared to the organization’s Labor Day Festival hosted in the Snowmass Town Park, the June Fest is a much more intimate affair with artists that are just as likely to have you bobbing your heads in your seats as they are to have you twisting and shouting in the acoustically brilliant music tent.

Tickets for singer-songwriter Jackson Browne on Friday have already sold out, but music lovers won’t be disappointed by the rest of the line-up. Tickets are still available for the Saturday performance featuring Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite as well as the Sunday performance featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band and Naturally 7.

But you don’t need a ticket to enjoy free music, food and drinks before each of the shows, as Jazz Aspen Snowmass presents free Lawn Parties on the music festival grounds from 6-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 5-7 p.m. on Sunday. The Lawn Party will feature music on two stages with world-jazz from Tizer and Mezcla Afro-Cuban Allstars. A wide range of food including meatball sandwiches, fresh curry, delicious wraps, salads and much more will be available from on-site food vendors: Bangkok Happy Bowl, The Meatball Shack, Syzygy and Whole Foods Market. Full bars will be serving beer, wine and cocktails.

No parking will be available on-site (with the exception of Patron/VIP ticket holders), so walk, bike or take a shuttle. Regular RFTA service leaving on the hour will be available from Rubey Park to the Benedict Music Tent grounds throughout each evening. JAS has also arranged shuttle service to and from Ruby Park through Colorado Mountain Express (CME). CME shuttles will run continuously from 7-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 6-11 p.m. on Sunday. Additionally, JAS has partnered with WE-cycle in bringing concert goers fast, enjoyable bike rides to the concerts. Stations are located at Rubey Park and the Festival Grounds.
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite

Tickets to the concerts can be purchased in advance by calling 866-JAS-TIXX, at Belly-Up Aspen Box Office, or www.jazzaspensnowmass.org.  For further Festival information call 920-4996.

Here’s the line-up:

Friday, June 21, 8 p.m.
Jackson Browne with Special Guest Sara Watkins (sold out)

Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics.  He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007.  

Sara Watkins first gained recognition as a founding member of the trio Nickel Creek. Watkins and her band joined Browne last year on his 2012 tour. The show features multiple collaborations between the two acts throughout the set.

Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m.
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite

Mississippi-born Musselwhite is one of the most revered blues musicians in the world. The harmonica master, also a respected singer and songwriter in his own right, has won countless awards during his legendary career, including induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.

A fan of the harmonica virtuoso since childhood, Ben Harper met his idol in 1996. Despite the difference in age and background, the two hit it off immediately. The next pivotal moment came at a 1997 session for John Lee Hooker where they locked in musically, finding a common language that is seamless and remarkable. The two have frequently worked together ever since.

Sunday, June 23, 7 p.m
Tedeschi Trucks Band

In 2011, Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 11-piece group led by the husband-wife team of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, debuted with the album “Revelator.” Within a few months the group had proven themselves to be one of the hottest, most uplifting acts on the road. In 2012 they won a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the year, while Trucks himself, along with TTB bandmate Oteil Burbridge, were honored with lifetime Grammys for their membership in The Allman Brothers Band.

Naturally 7

As the special guest of internationally acclaimed singer Michael Buble, Naturally 7 has been met with standing ovations nightly in Europe, the U.K., Canada, Australia and the U.S. With their rich harmonies, an unbelievable ability to replicate instruments and a stage presence that can be felt in every seat of the house, Naturally 7, the first vocal play group ever, are quite simply amazing.