Curtis Stigers

Curtis Stigers, a 28-year veteran of the jazz industry, first appeared at a Jazz Aspen Snowmass Cafe performance in 2012.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass will celebrate 30 years of music as well as 10 years of its Cafe series this year with a mix of new musicians and old favorites.

“We wanted to bring back some of the artists who were fan favorites,” said Jim Horowitz, president and CEO of JAS. “Most of the artists, if they’re returning, it’s because they had great success here.”

One such artist is Curtis Stigers, a 28-year veteran of the jazz industry who said that he has been performing for JAS since the mid-2000s and first appeared at a Cafe performance in 2012. The award-winning singer, songwriter and saxophonist has 14 records, which are a mixture of jazz and pop. 

He said that he prefers to play jazz that is “not terrifying.”

“My approach is about telling the story of the song,” said Stigers, who is now based out of his hometown of Boise, Idaho, after a career in New York. “We play a bit of everything. It’s sort of how my record collection is and how my brain works.”

Stigers will play on Thursday and Friday at the St. Regis as part of the JAS Cafe winter series. He will be performing with a quartet he’s been playing with collectively for several decades.

Because Stigers has shows on Valentine’s Day (Friday), he said he’s been digging through his song list and pulling out as many romantic songs as he can. He added that he hopes the show will be a good date night for folks. 

His repertoire also will include music from an album coming out in April as well as music from his entire career.

Stigers has one performance on Thursday night at 8 p.m. with an artist discussion at 7:15p.m. beforehand. On Friday night he has two performances set for 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., although as of press time the 7 p.m. show was sold out.

Tickets are available at axs.com/jascafe or by calling (970) 920-4996.

Stigers’ show will mark the end of the first half of the winter series. He said he’s excited to be back in Aspen and is honored and grateful to Horowitz and JAS for having him. Horowitz said JAS is excited to have him as part of its celebratory year, calling Stigers a great singer and saxophone player whose secret sauce is that he “pulls it all together with a very engaging stage performance.”

“So far it’s been going really great,” said Horowitz of this season. “All the shows have been really full. “It’s great that [the Cafe series has] gone as long as it has and found a consistent audience.”

Chapman is the web editor for Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at chapman@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @Nescwick.