Telluride Jazz 2013: Weekend Overview

Telluride Jazz 2013: Weekend Overview

2013 Poster FINAL copySince 1977,  the Telluride Jazz Celebration has ranked among the world’s most memorable musical events. The intimate setting and world-class sounds, plus the opportunity for alpine recreation combine to create a truly unique weekend experience, Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 4. Performances take place on two outdoor stages during the day; in historic theaters and clubs at night. Free wine and spirit tastings on Friday and Saturday and Sunday’s tribute to New Orleans are part of the fun and back by popular demand.

The aural elixir that is the Telluride Jazz Celebration announces its lineup for the 37th anniversary year. And  please note: Telluride Jazz Celebration impresario Paul Machado is no purist. In the context of Telluride, “jazz” rhymes with “good.” “Very good.” The 2013 program features some of the best of the best in classic, mainstream, and progressive jazz, but also blues, cajun, pop, funk, and soul, all performed by artists as wide-ranging as  Stanley Clarke, John Scofield, Galactic, The Motet, and Meshell Ndegeocello.

The 2011 Guest of Honor is Dr. Lonnie Smith, who joins a celebrated list of past honorees, including Roy Hargrove, Paquito D’Rivera, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Herbie Mann, Stanley Turrentine, and James Moody. Dr. Lonnie is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over 70 albums and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Jazz Times once described him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban!”

The Jazz celebration kicks off Tuesday, July 30, 6:00 p.m. at the Wilkinson Public Library with a free screening of the Academy Award-nominated film,” Chico & Rita,” “an animated Valentine to Cuba and its music.” Featuring the music of Bebo Valdes and appearances by (in animated form), Chucho Valdes, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Chano Pozo, Tito Puente, Theloneous Monk… and many other greats of the period.

For details on the weekend line-up, read on:

Stanley Clarke Band: Winner of the 77th 2012 Downbeat Magazine Readers Pole for Electric Bass and for four decades, Grammy-winner Stanley Clarke is among the most changeable renaissance men of music. Renowned as a jazz bassist on upright and electric instruments, his career has touched the full spectrum of music, including classical, film Scores and chamber, R & B, pop, funk and all variations on the them of jazz – straight ahead, fusion and smooth. His epic collaborations with Chick Corea, Lenny White, Flora Purim and Airto, and legendary band Return to Forever are timeless.

The John Scofield Überjam Band featuring Andy Hess, Avi Bortnick, Adam Deitch: 2013  reunites modern jazz guitar master John Scofield with his legendary “Überjam” band, on the road and in the studio. The group pioneered Scofield’s fusing of jazz, funk, and electronic music to become one of the defining bands of his career. The original Überjam record was released in 2002 with Up All Night the following year,  recordings documenting Scofield’s fruitful collaboration with guitarist/computer manipulator Avi Bortnick, drummer Adam Deitch, and bassist Andy Hess.

Galactic: For the past 18 years, Galactic has been wowing audiences with their unique brand of New Orleans jazz. They are a collaborative band with a highly improvisational and unique format. They’ve been together so long they’re telepathic. Over the years, the band’s sound has evolved from organic New Orleans funk to a more modern style, incorporating elements of hip hop, electronica, fusion, all rooted in classic jazz. Galactic is comprised of Robert Mercurio, Jeff Raines, Richard Vogel, Stanton Moore and Ben Ellman. ( See related upcoming post, including a podcast with keyboardist Rich Vogel.)

 “A Dedication to Nina Simone” : A true artist, 10-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello is a musical chameleon. A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her signature warmth and groove to everything she does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood Ulmer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan.  (See relate upcoming post, including a podcast with Meshell.)

The Motet: Founded and led by drummer Dave Watts, the group began over 10 years ago and has not let up since. Featuring complex compositions written and arranged by Watts himself, the music tells a story through syncopated rhythms and melodies. As music and technology evolve at an astounding rate, so too has The Motet, which has pioneered its unique sound while continuing to defy categorization. With roots in jazz, Afro-beat, funk, salsa and samba, The Motet keeps its audiences in a dancing frenzy with a style that is uniquely their own.

Doug Lawrence Organic Trio: Tenor Saxophonist Doug Lawrence spent over 20 years in New York City, during which time he worked with such artists as Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Roy Eldridge, and many others. He has also been a featured performer at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Village Vanguard. Lawrence is currently the featured tenor soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra, a chair once held by such musicians such as Lester Young.

Nigel Hall Band: Jazz, Soul, Funk . . . These are not just words to the young and immensely talented keyboardist and vocalist Nigel Hall. Those are the three square meals  he consumes everyday. Those are his oxygen and water. The world of music is where Nigel resides and it is the reason for his every move. From the time he was a child, music, just as sunlight, has been the thing that wakes him up in the morning. When asked about himself, Nigel reflects, “I’m just someone who lives, eats, drinks music.” The ethic becomes clear when Nigel takes the stage.

The New Orleans Suspects: It’s been said that the musicians of New Orleans are all members of one gigantic band that breaks up into smaller groups on a nightly basis. If that were really the case, The New Orleans Suspects would be in a class all their own. The group is comprised of musicians with experience and versatility that rival any other band the Big Easy has ever produced. The group consists of “Mean” Willie Green (drummer – Neville Brothers), Reggie Scanlan (Bassist – Radiators), Jake Eckert (lead guitarist – Dirty Dozen Brass Band), CR Gruver (Pianist – Outformation) and Jeff Watkins (12 years leader – James Brown). Together these five musicians create music that firmly rooted in the modern New Orleans sound with compelling originals and covers.

The Stooges Brass Band: The Stooges Brass Band immerse crowds in a high-energy, cut-loose vibe that’s contemporary yet deeply rooted in the culturally rich musical legacy of New Orleans. The group has gained notoriety across the USA, even around the world, as a full-blown musical party whether leading a second-line parade or performing their spirited stage show. Recently the Stooges were awarded the title of “Best Contemporary Brass Band” at the Big Easy Music Awards and will be leading Telluride Jazz Festival’s annual Sunday Noon parade down Colorado Avenue.

The Mike Dillon Band: Mike Dillon is one of the most dynamic and multifaceted percussionists in the country, best known for his unforgettable live performances, unorthodox percussion rig and distinct original sound. Over the last 27 years, his creative song-writing and the artists he has worked with – on tour, stage or in the studio, Galactic, Karl Denson, Charlie Hunter, James Singleton, George Porter Jr. and Johnny Vidocavich – reveal his eclectic musical inspiration and skillful versatility.

Son Como Son:… SALSA! This eight-piece band led by the exceptionally talented Cesar Bauvalette of Albuquerque, New Mexico, performs original and classic salsa Cubano – merengue, bolero, cha cha, son, timbar – all the rhythms and sounds that move your feet and raise your body temperature. The happy result is infectious and uplifting. One of the top dance bands in the Southwest is best when experienced live and has been a Telluride favorite.

“This band will, I predict, convert even the most recalcitrant wallflowers into dancers,”-David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal. 

Springdale Quartet: The Quartet’s sound and style, based foremost on a compositional foundation with its roots in the jazz and blues traditions, has been described at times as “vintage”. But the real stuff, the music itself, cannot be so easily pigeon-holed. Drawing additionally from the musical institutions of Heavy organ, upbeat funk, and progressive rock, Springdale’s live show is anything but antiquated. In fact, it’s dance music! And, in 2013 the band will release its  second full-length record produced and mixed by Soulive’s Alan Evans.

Voodoo Orchestra: Taking its cues from bands like the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Atomic Fireballs, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Voodoo Orchestra revisits the high-energy jump swing of the ‘30s and ‘40s. With Rat Pack swagger, this dynamic entertainment conspiracy features 20 top-notch musicians who faithfully celebrate the music and style of one of America’s golden ages of music. They have shared the bill with acts as varied as the Robert Cray Band and the Neon Trees.  The band was recognized in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Downbeat with the award for “Outstanding Rock/Blues Band.”

Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble: The program, now in its 19th year, is for the serious student and is directed by renowned jazz educator and trumpeter Bob Montgomery and alumni saxophonist Josh Quinlan. A national talent search is conducted for students age 13 –19 via audition tapes. Students selected receive scholarships to this special week-long program, July 29-August 3, 2013 culminating in a main stage performance at the festival. 2013 Audition Information available at

Telluride Allstars Leader & Alumni Band: The unique group is lead by founder, educator and trumpeter, Bob Montgomery (since 1995) and now co-director, saxophonist and alumni himself, Josh Quinlan (1995). The exciting Allstar Reunion is joined by Annie Booth (2010) on piano, Patrick McDevitt (2008) on bass and Alejandro Castaño (2009) on drums. The combination is a prelude to what’s coming in 2014 with the incredible 20th Anniversary of the Telluride Student Allstar Program.

New Sound Underground: (2013 Band Contest Winner) New Sound Underground is a genre-defying, Minneapolis-based ensemble who has built a reputation around their energetic and riveting live performances, quickly becoming one of the most respected names among musicians and audiences alike. While their influences include instrumental music such as Soulive and RH Factor, their music is a well-developed fusion of varied inspirations, classic funk, infectious R&B grooves, rich harmonies and captivating melodies, which add up to an ultimately soulful, inventive balance.

MSquared: The three-piece fusion trio based on one simple premise: to create music that pushes its listeners to higher levels of musicianship and inspires the musicians and/or music lovers who hear them to do the same. This is accomplished by a love of music, lots of preparation, and the use of loop technology to build layers of sound in both studio environment and live settings. The band is comprised of Troy Valente (drumset), Barb Valente (violin/piano), and Thom Sandrock (double neck bass/guitar), all contributing flavors and elements of jazz, blues, classical, bluegrass/Celtic, rock, and funk.

Tickets on sale*: or call 970-728-7009

Patron Pass $750 Limited number available:

Special stage-side seating at Town Park performances with “Wine & Dine” food and beverage catering in the Patron Pavilion. Patrons have First Priority entry to all participating Night Venues and events. In addition, patrons are invited to parties and special sponsored events throughout the weekend.

Weekend All-Access Pass $185:

Entry to Town Park Stage and participating night venues, on a first-come first-serve basis after top priority Patrons, Sponsors and Artists are seated.

Three-day Park Passes $135:

Entry to all Town Park Stage performances.

Single Day Passes:    

Friday – $45
Saturday – $55
Sunday – $55  “New Orleans Day”

*Note: All tickets are subject to 5% handling and processing fee.

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