[JPL] Jazz festival in paradise report....

Arturo arturo893 at qwest.net
Tue Aug 8 13:36:09 EDT 2006

Just returned from my best jazz festival experience ever! The 30th Annual
Telluride Jazz Festival was a life-altering experience. I have lived in
Denver for just over 30 years and last week I made my first sojourn to
Telluride for its yearly jazz showcase. The 7 hour drive through The Rockies
to Telluride is nature viewing at its zenith, valleys, waterfalls, pasture
land with llamas(apparently they like the altitude) bison, ostrich and of
course cattle and horses. Telluride is at the foot of a rectangular box
canyon, 1-way in and out, 9.700ft high in town and 11,750 at the top of the
mountains one can hike to or take the scenic gondola to. A group of us
KUVO-ers rented a deluxe condo for the 5 days just a few minutes walk from
the music stage, evenings featured the artists playing in several smaller
venues around town. Despite the usual afternoon rain typical for the area
this time of year, enthusiasm was not dampened. It was good to see KJZZ's
Blasie Lantana at the festival, she drove 8 hours from Phoenix.

It is quite a spiritual adventure to be at the foot of mountains listening
to a wide variety of jazz and creative music surrounded by unspoiled nature,
hearing the music reverberate off the mountains. During the days, deep blue
skies contrasting with the greenery of pine trees, aspens and others. At
night the stars seemed so bright and so close one feels you could touch them
by jumping.

Some of my personal highlights were Ernie Watts Quartet, Javon Jackson Band
with the good Doctor(listen for their new release out next month, wow!),
Terence Blanchard Sextet, Regina Carter Quintet, Nnenna Freelon and the
panel discussion moderated by Dr Herb Wong with Larry Coryell, Flora, Airto
and other jazz industry folks. Herbie Hancock was the headliner of the
festival and played for over 2 hours, Flora and Airto were the guests of
honor, Soulive was probably the most surprising act for most but for me
Albuquerque's Son Como Son surprised me the most for their equally good
salsa and Latin jazz playing led by a gifted trombonist, vocalist and music
director. Telluride also includes workshops and shows at the library for
children, very commendable. Because of the altitude and hilly terrain one
gets quite a physical workout and sore legs appear at night but it's all
good, in fact I can't wait till next year to do it all over again.

Upon returning to the station this morning I discovered we lost both Moacir
Santos and Rufus Harley, no one at the festival was aware of their passings,
I would've enjoyed talking to Flora and Airto about the loss of one of their
all-time great compatriots. Recently in this forum there was a thread about
jazz festivals flourishing and jazz radio dying. I am happy to report that
Telluride remains a true-to-the-music festival that is very sucessful and
the organizers have no intention of booking the "big draw names", they are
commited to many different styles of jazz and creative music forms connected
to jazz, traditional and contemporary, but without "selling out". Kudos to
them and 30 more years!!!!!!!!!!!

Arturo Gómez
Music Director, jazz89KUVO
The Oasis In The City
Colorado's First HD FM Radio Station
Celebrating 10 Years of Live Performances!
2006 & 2005 Jazz Station of the Year!!

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