Discounted tickets for the 36th Annual Telluride Jazz Festival go on sale to locals on March 1 at The Wizard. The 2012 lineup features the very best in traditional and modern jazz along with funk, soul, big band and jam. For locals, Saturday and Sunday Passes are $45 ($55 on internet or after March 31) and Friday passes are just $35 ($40 on internet or after March 31). A full weekend of music runs locals $99 ($135 on internet or after March 31). All prices are valid in person only – at The Wizard through March 31. There is no ticket limit per patron.

Along with the special deals, Telluride Jazz Festival has unveiled their single day lineups. Friday August 3 features two bands that have redefined jazz and dazzled the jamband scene in recent years: Soulive and Marco Benevento Trio. Supporting acts on Friday are Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band, and the winner of the 2012 Band Contest.

The annual wine tasting in Town Park, which has traditionally been held on Friday, has moved to Saturday afternoon. The event is complimentary to all 3-day and Saturday pass holders and features a two-hour tasting with over 20 varietals, artisan cheeses and a souvenir wine tasting glass. Saturday’s lineup includes two musicians who many believe to be the best in the world on their instruments, Victor Wooten and Roy Hargrove. Saturday marks Wooten’s only stop in Telluride this summer (The Flecktones will not be at Bluegrass this year). Other Saturday bands are Roberta Gambarini, Eric Gunnison Trio, and this year’s incarnation of the Telluride Student Jazz All-stars.

Sunday is Telluride Jazz Festival’s first ever day-long tribute to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. A full day of world-class music, a parade and many other festivities steeped in New Orleans tradition will combine for a once in a lifetime opportunity in which the Treme spirit is captured in the San Juan Mountains.

The musical lineup for Telluride’s New Orleans Tribute showcases some of the city’s best musicians including The Funky Meters, Jon Cleary and the Philthy Phew, The Soul Rebels, and Astral Project Allstars. Inside the festival, attendees will delight in the tastes of classic New Orleans style food and drink such as Hurricanes and Gumbo.

Sunday’s festivities won’t be confined to Town Park. At noon, Telluride’s historic district might feel a little like the French Quarter as a Mardi Gras style parade complete with a brass band and floats erupts on Main Street. Inside the festival and around town, attendees will delight in the tastes of classic New Orleans style food and drink.

The 36th Annual Telluride Jazz Festival takes place August 3-5, 2012 in Telluride Town Park.


See below for individual artist info…

2012 Lineup Info:

The funky METERS’ trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe. Formed during an informal jam during the 1989 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Art Neville, George Porter Jr., and Russell Batiste Jr., founded what would be the core of the most quintessential funk band on tour today. With Brian Stoltz returning to the band as the full time guitarist in 2007, the funky METERS are stronger than ever. The collective resume between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they are on any stage.

Neal and Alan Evans first invited guitarist Eric Krasno to get down at their Woodstock, NY studio which led to the trio’s break-out record Get Down! in 1999). it was a tip to the great soul-jazz organ trios of the ’60s and ’70s (Jimmy Smith to Brother Jack McDuff). Not many bands can say they’ve recorded with Chaka Khan, Dave Matthews, Talib Kweli and John Scofield. Nor can many bands open for The Rolling Stones on one tour and have Stevie Wonder sit in with them on the next tour. The musical relationships with Derek Trucks, Maceo Parker, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Joshua Redman, Fred Wesley, Jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, funk, R & B, Blues – musically, there is not much the band hasn’t done.

Victor Wooten Band
Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner who hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours. Victor has won every major award given to a bass guitarist including being voted Bassist of the Year in Bass Player Magazine’s readers poll three times (the only person to win it more than once.) In 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine voted Victor one of the Top Ten Bassist of ALL TIME.

Roy Hargrove Quintet “Guest of Honor”
Telluride Jazz welcomes one of the greatest names in jazz as “Guest of Honor” every year since 1998. Legendary musicians such as James Moody, John Scofield and Stanley Turrentine have held this distinctive honor. Hargrove is the youngest guest of honor (42 years old) and the first trumpet player. This Texas-born, gospel-influenced product of the hip-hop generation, two-time Grammy winner has since come to share the stage with the best—Sonny Rollins, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, Jon Mayer, Carmen McRae, Michael Brecker, and Bobby Watson, to name a few. There is nobody more capable of traversing the great wide open between swing and funk. His music is “beautiful” and “transcendent.”

Roberta Gambarini with the Eric Gunnison Trio
Celebrated throughout the world by fans, critics and many of the world’s greatest musicians, Roberta Gambarini became a fast-rising star – and a GRAMMY Nominee – with the 2006 release of her debut album.  In 2008, she made her major label debut with ‘You Are There,’ a superb duet with the legendary pianist Hank Jones.  Mr. Jones – who accompanied most of the celebrated vocalists of the 20th century such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, and Billy Eckstine – declared Ms. Gambarini as the best singer to emerge in over 60 years. Joining Roberta will be Eric Gunnison on piano, Mark Simon on bass, and Telluride favorite Paul Romaine on drums.  .

Jon Cleary and the Philthy Phew
“Jon Cleary is the ninth wonder in the world.” – Bonnie Raitt….In the hallowed ranks of New Orleans ‘piano professors,’ Jon Cleary is on the tenure track. Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Jon Cleary is a triple threat, combining soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. He balances a career performing on solo piano, playing with his new power trio The Philthy Phew, with a career as a notorious hired gun for artists such as Bonnie Raitt and John Scofield. Cleary has toured with Bonnie Raitt since 1999.

Astral Project All-Stars featuring Sasha
Since 1978, Astral Project has been New Orleans¹ most exciting, inventive and respected modern jazz group. Down Beat calls Astral Project “one of the most distinctive and cohesive groups in jazz.” The daily paper in hometown, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, calls Astral Project simply “the city¹s premier modern jazz ensemble.” The monthly music magazine Off Beat says Astral Project is “the finest modern jazz ensemble in New Orleans..” Astral Project Allstars are: Steve Masakowski-guitar, James Singleton-bass, John Vidacovich-drums and Sasha Masakowski-Vocals.

Marco Benevento Trio
The Telluride Jazz Festival is pleased to welcome back Marco Benevento. For an exhilarating glimpse into the future of jazz keyboards, look no further than Benevento. A melodically inventive musical adventurer who artfully employs pedals, amplifiers, rejiggered electronic toys and sundry effects, Benevento has forged a fascinating repertoire of songs by the likes of Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and Beck, interspersed with wildly original compositions.

Soul Rebels
The Soul Rebels get right to the heart of New Orleans music, playing ferocious funk and second line grooves that will lift you out of your seat. They bring fresh elements to the mix – hip hop, go-go and reggae beats – along with some unexpected song selections, all layered on top of a hundred years of street-wise jazz tradition. Each member of this eight-piece ensemble brings serious chops to the party. At the forefront of the city’s musical revitalization, the band brings a resurgent energy to ‘Unlock
Your Mind’, filling it with the most exciting, head-spinning, body-pumping music to emerge from New Orleans.

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is a nine-piece powerhouse that puts a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Raleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow) whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of the Dirty Birds, a flock of eight men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. While the Birds are capable of lighting up the stage with jaw-dropping displays of musicianship, they’re focused on delivering the band’s infectious music. Simply put, the band’s live show is explosive.

Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band
Twenty-two teenagers from Utah can make a lot of noise – especially when they happen to be members of the Crescent Super Band.  Under the direction of founder Caleb Chapman, the band has stunned audiences worldwide, from New York to the Netherlands. With a youthful energy and nearly unbelievable performance level, the band has performed hip, intelligent arrangements of the American standards for thousands.  As a result, they have frequently been hailed as the top band of their type in the world.

Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble: This program, in it’s 15th year, is for the serious student and is directed by renowned jazz educator and performer Bob Montgomery and Alumni Josh Quinlan. A national talent search is conducted for students age 13 and up via audition tapes. Students selected receive scholarships to this special week-long program culminating with a main stage performance at the festival. Audition information available at

Paquito D’Rivera photo from 2011 Telluride Jazz by Clint Viebrock

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