The festival takes place August 5-7 in Telluride Town Park, and throughout the town’s many clubs and theaters. As in recent years, there will be a Friday evening wine tasting and morning yoga in the park.
As always, Telluride’s most intimate festival will cap ticket sales at 3,000, ensuring the audience a Town Park experience like no other.
Some of the most recognizable artists on the schedule include Tower of Power, Allen Toussaint, Rita Coolidge and Taylor Hicks. The lineup also includes some of the biggest names in jazz (The Clayton Brothers, The Bad Plus and harpist Edmar Castaneda), jambands (Robert Walter, Adam Deitch and The March Fourth Marching Band) and Cajun (Lisa Haley & The Zydekats). Blues fans will rock to the guitar playing of Melvin Taylor. And, just as in past years when artists such as Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding graced the stage, the Jazz audience will be treated to performances by some of the best, as-of-yet undiscovered talent.
“This is the most musically diverse, high energy and fun program we've seen in a long time here at Telluride Jazz,” says Jazz Celebration Executive Director Paul Machado. “From straight-ahead and cutting-edge jazz trios, ensembles and big bands to funk and soul and from New Orleans to Cuba to Brazil to Bogota, it's going to be a cultural and musical feast.”
As always, The Telluride Jazz Celebration will welcome an esteemed Guest of Honor, for whom the stage will be named. This year’s Guest of Honor is Paquito D'Rivera whose life and career are a tribute to the many aspects of his talent – Latin, Jazz, Classical, Funk and beyond. He has received ten Grammy Awards and numerous honors throughout his career. As Guest of Honor, D’Rivera will perform with several artists at this year's festival, including Edmar Castaneda and a special Jazz After Dark show with the Alex Brown Quartet.
The artist’s name that might jump out on the aforementioned list is 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, who hails from Birmingham, Ala., and who was destined for the musical stage from an early childhood. His personal twist of fate came when he was in New Orleans, the night before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. With his flight cancelled, he was given a free airplane voucher. Taylor quickly used the ticket to travel to Las Vegas, where coincidentally American Idol auditions were being held. Not only does Hicks perform with his own Southern Soul band, but his credibility as a top musician is constantly validated as he is often invited to sing on stage with such legendary acts as James Brown, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Robert Randolph, Keb’ Mo’ and Widespread Panic, among others.
One of the festival’s biggest highlights will take place Sunday night, when two of the music industry’s biggest stars – Allen Toussaint and Rita Coolidge – will share a stage for the first time ever. Toussaint, who is one of America’s greatest musical treasures, has penned songs like “Working in the Coalmine,” “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky” and “Mother-in-Law.” Two-time Grammy winner, who has been described as having “the sexiest voice in the world,” is known for hits like “Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher” and “We're All Alone.”
This year’s “supergroup” entry, Walter, Roberts & Deitch, teams Greyboy Allstars keyboardist, New Mastersounds guitarist and Lettuce and Pretty Lights drummer on the same stage. The addition of a horn section will bring an extra element of funk to this super-project. Walter, Roberts & Deitch will perform a set in Town Park as well as a Jazz After Dark show at The Sheridan Opera House.
All three-day passholders will enjoy a complimentary wine tasting with over 20 varietals on Friday evening, as well as morning yoga. Tickets sales are on pace for a sellout this year, so consider purchasing your tickets early. Tickets are available on telluridejazz.org.
“Very few people are aware that we purposely sell only 3,000 tickets. They see the park half full and think they can get tickets anytime,” says Jazz Marketing Director Todd Altschuler. “That’s not the case.” So get your tickets now.