Telluride Jazz Festival: Due to Covid-19, Rescheduled, 8/13-8/15, 2021!

Telluride Jazz Festival: Due to Covid-19, Rescheduled, 8/13-8/15, 2021!

A difficult decision was made out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all attendees, artists, staff and the community. Most of the artists scheduled to perform have committed to the new dates, leaving a similar lineup in place for 2021. A statement from Peter Bell, Executive Director of the Telluride Society For Jazz, detailing the decision and current situation is below. 

To Our Dear Festival Community,

It is with deep disappointment and great sadness that I write to you today to announce we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone this summer’s 44th Annual Telluride Jazz Festival.

Our festival has persevered every year since 1977, through torrential rains, summer snow storms, airline strikes, recessions and other challenges, but this year the only way to meet the challenge of keeping you — our valued audience members, our staff, and the many performers who perform on our stage — safe is to wait until next year.

Like many small businesses, nonprofits and presenting organizations, this decision puts us in a difficult position. The Telluride Jazz Festival is owned solely by the Telluride Society for Jazz, a local nonprofit organization, recognized as a charitable entity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The Society presents our annual festival and occasional concerts with the dual purposes of presenting live improvisational music within the Telluride region, while earning funding to support our educational programs, including our flagship Telluride Jazz Student All-Stars, in-school workshops around the region and community music clinics.

We are grateful to you for your faith in our festival and for expressing your commitment to Telluride Jazz by purchasing your ticket(s) early. And we thank you for trusting us to make the soundest decision to assure the health and safety of all concerned.

We are now working through the process of “unwinding” the enormous work that has gone into bringing along this summer’s festival and adapting our organizational model to continue supporting our educational programs without the resources generated by the festival this year. The team at our production partner, SBG Productions, Inc., had been putting together a stellar festival for this year, but now has had to shift gears and dismantle the arrangements.

Most of the artists have expressed a willingness to postpone their appearance and a desire to perform at our festival in 2021 instead. Artists who know Telluride love to perform at our Town Park venue, which some refer to it as “a little slice of heaven,” an emotion with which we can all agree.

And, to provide some musical entertainment for our audience members who find yourselves “festing in place” this year, several musicians who have come through our Telluride Jazz Student All-Stars program (and are now off on exciting careers as performers and educators) are working on a virtual experience for your viewing pleasure later this summer.

Our management team at SBG will be reaching out to you shortly to arrange for you to carry your ticket purchase forward for next summer’s festival, or receive a refund, if preferred. As they do this, I wanted to reach out to see if you might consider donating some or all of the value of your ticket purchase as a charitable contribution to Telluride Society for Jazz.

It is the objective of the Society to continue presenting music education opportunities in Telluride and the surrounding region for years to come. Once we return to normalcy, it is our intent to offer enhanced programs and more opportunities for students, both locally and through our nationally-competitive programs, to help promising young musicians make up for time that was disrupted by this global health nightmare we are all facing. In the interim, we are also hoping to generate support for our All-Star alumni who are struggling with no venues at which to perform right now by offering on-line virtual performance opportunities.

If you are in a position to do so, please consider helping us out with a donation of all or part of the ticket purchase you have already made. Donors will receive special thank you perks, including early access to purchase 2021 tickets and more.

Your support will help us all stay in tune.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. We hope to see you in Telluride Town Park, August 13-15, 2021.

Kindest regards,
Peter Bell, Executive Director
Telluride Society for Jazz

Options For Ticket-Holders

At this time, festival artists including Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Budos Band, The Hot Sardines, Poncho Sanchez, Catherine Russell, Christian Sands, Kelly Finnigan and the Atonements, along with a handful of local groups and student ensembles have committed to perform at the 2021 Festival.

Additional artists will be announced leading into next year’s event. Click here for the lineup.

Ticket-holders have the options of rolling over tickets to next year’s festival which will be held on August 13-15, 2021, obtaining a full refund, partial refund and partial donation to the Telluride Society for Jazz, or a full donation to the Telluride Society for Jazz. All amounts donated to the Telluride Society for Jazz are considered tax deductible as a charitable contribution on personal income taxes. Donors and ticket-holders who roll over tickets to the 2021 festival will receive special perks, including early access to purchase 2021 tickets and more.

For more information about the ticket options, click here.

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