Telluride Jazz: Overview

Telluride Jazz: Overview

The 40th annual Telluride Jazz Festival, August Friday 5- Sunday August 7, 2016, announces former student band all-star Veronica Swift joins the exciting line-up. She returns to Telluride with Colorado jazz greats The Eric Gunnison Trio. Tickets/passes here.  

Veronica Swift

At age 10, Veronica Swift made her Telluride Jazz Festival debut as part of the Young Razzcals Jazz Project with special guest Richie Cole. A year later she would make her first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the “Women In Jazz” series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.

Since then, Swift has made a total of 10 appearances at the Telluride Jazz Festival.

Now 22, she is being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. Taking second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition last year is proof of that, but it comes as no surprise to festival-goers who witnessed her historic duet with Paquito d’Rivera, or saw her front the Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble two years in a row.

Soon to graduate from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Swift is a testament to the nonprofit educational organization the Telluride Society for Jazz, which is responsible for producing the Telluride Jazz Festival and other year-round educational events. Continued music education in the classroom and on stages over the past decade, often with her renowned jazz player parents, has resulted in a promising future career for the young vocalist once she graduates.

Based in Denver since 1980, pianist and composer Eric Gunnison has had a distinguished career during which he has not only established himself as one of the mainstays of the Mile High City’s vibrant jazz scene as an instrumentalist, bandleader, and educator, but has also attracted a global following, performing, touring and recording with internationally renowned jazz artists, particularly vocalists.

Gunnison’s current projects include touring internationally, as well as recording with the sensational vocalist Roberta Gambarini, whom he has accompanied since 2001. Since 2005, he has played piano with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars Big Band and Sextet, touring with the group throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Gunnison has also performed with vocalist Rene Marie and the Christian McBride Big Band among others.

Active for more than 30 years as a sideman and studio musician on piano, synthesizers and other keyboards, Gunnison has also been a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Denver’s Lamont School Of Music and, since 2000, has served on the faculty of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.

Eric Gunnison

Eric Gunnison

The rare pairing of Veronica Swift as the Eric Gunnison Trio will feature Telluride native Charles Mertens and Denver’s own Paul Romain.

Veronica Swift and the Eric Gunnison Trio join the previously announced Guest of Honor Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen; two-time Grammy-winning composer/bassist and long time Miles Davis collaborator Marcus Miller; New Orleans jazz-funk fusion staple ensemble Galactic; and long-time Rolling Stones and Sting vocalist Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton.

Also performing at the 40th Telluride Jazz Festival will be rare guitar and piano jazz tag team, the John Scofield & Jon Cleary Duo; trumpet icon and Treme star Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers; the critically acclaimed Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band; masterful vocal/organ duel threat and Telluride favorite Nigel Hall Band; the pride of military bands the USAF Academy Band Falconaires; Cuban band Sobredosis del Sabor; and student bands Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz EnsembleYoung Razzcals Jazz ProjectStillwater Foundation All-Stars, and Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band with Jeff Coffin.

2016 lineup:

Guest of Honor: Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Marcus Miller


Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton

John Scofield & Jon Cleary Duo

Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet

Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers

Rebirth Brass Band

Nigel Hall Band

Veronica Swift and the Eric Gunnison Trio

Sobredosis del Sabor

USAF Academy Band Falconaires

Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band with Jeff Coffin

Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble

Young Razzcals Jazz Project

Stillwater Foundation All-Stars

About The Telluride Jazz Festival:

Primarily taking place in the renowned 36 acre Telluride Town Park outdoor venue, outfitted for an unmatched live music and aesthetic experience, and moving after hours into the historic theaters and intimate clubs downtown, the Telluride Jazz Festival combines a rich tradition of preserving the artistry of the American art form Jazz with a reputation of being America’s destination jazz event. Presented by nonprofit music education organization The Telluride Society for Jazz, 2016 will mark the 40th year of offering world class jazz, funk, soul, latin, word beat, and brass bands, with a goal of community engagement and student education in the Western Slope region. The historical mining town of Telluride, Colorado sits nestled in a scenic box canyon at 8,750 feet, surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks, and is a prized gem of the majestic San Juan mountain range for offering both unmatched scenery and a musically-charged local culture.

Additional Festival Information:

The 40th Telluride Jazz Festival is set to take place August 5-7, 2016 within the majestic mountain town of Telluride, Colorado in the San Juan Mountains of the Western Slope region. Three days and nights of live music, artist workshops, free wine and spirit tastings, a New Orleans Day 2nd Line parade, themed food, craft beer, and incredible outdoor recreation combine for one of the most unique Jazz festivals in the world.

Early Bird pricing tier for 3-Day Park Passes ($125), Weekend All-Access Passes ($175), Patron Passes ($675), Camping Per Person Passes ($69), Vehicle In Campground Passes ($79), and RV In Campground Passes ($99) are currently available for a limited time.

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