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Aspen Fest Features Jazz & Boz Scaggs

In Aspen, Colo. they have a different view of what is and what isn’t jazz. Maybe it’s because they hardly leave the hills. Maybe they just don’t have a decent record store in town, one stocked with fresh copies of JazzTimes. Maybe they simply hear a hip name like Boz Scaggs and say “He must play jazz.”

Scaggs, as well as legendary jazz artist Joe Cocker, each have headlining slots at this year’s Janus Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival. But please don’t let the presence of Scaggs or Cocker dissuade you from attending. Honest-to-God jazzers Chico O’Farrill, Brad Mehldau, Patricia Barber and Tony Bennett will be there too.

It’ll be summertime in the Rockies, June 19-22 to be exact, and the ski slopes won’t be ripe with the white stuff for a few months. That’s OK because fun can be had by day on golf courses, tennis courts and with Hollywood stars on vacation who love signing autographs.

A number of free concerts, including performances by trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers and vocalist Tierney Sutton, will be presented on a small, outdoor stage in the afternoons, if golf, tennis and autograph-hounding aren’t your thing. Also, blues diva Shemekiah Copeland is scheduled to play an evening set on June 22-she ain’t jazz, but we’ll forego lumping her in with Scaggs and Cocker, mostly because we get her CDs sent to us for free.

Tickets are already on sale, locally at the Wheeler Opera House, (970) 920 5770, and globally by calling the JAS Box Office at 1-866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499). For Patron Tickets (formerly VIP) and general information, call the JAS Office at (970) 920-4996 or visit

Originally Published