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JAS Aspen Snowmass: From Memphis to Motown

Jazzed Magazine • News • June 2, 2016

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jasaspensnowmassJAS Aspen Snowmass has announced the full line-up for the JAS June Experience and Summer JAS Café Series.   

Announced earlier this winter, the JAS June Experience will kick-off on Thursday, June 23, with a special performance at the JAS Café Upstairs at the Aspen Art Museum featuring the powerful singer/songwriter Gregory Porter. Porter, a California native, won the 2014 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album for “Liquid Spirit.” The NY Times described him as “a jazz singer of thrilling presence, a booming baritone with a gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift.” 

On the following night, Friday, June 24, the Experience moves over to the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen with a first ever JAS appearance for the legendary Diana Ross. Born and raised in Detroit, Ross rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of The Supremes, which, during the 1960s became Motown’s most successful act. Following her time with The Supremes Ross went on to have an extremely successful solo career with hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Coming Out,” and “Upside Down.” In 2012 she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 

On Saturday, June 25, 9-time GRAMMY-winner Sheryl Crow returns to the Benedict Music Tent (Sheryl last performed at JAS in 2011). Crow has sold more than 35 million albums, performed duets with musical luminaries such as Sting and Mick Jagger, has released 8 studio albums, a quadruple-platinum greatest hits collection and a Christmas album.

Sunday, June 26, will featuring an exciting double bill with world-renowned jazz & funk electric bassist Marcus Miller and Booker T. Jones, presenting a Stax Revue and journey through soul, blues and R&B, with (the famed Memphis label) classic Stax hits and songs by Booker T & the MGs. Jones is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and winner of four GRAMMY Awards. Marcus Miller is a two-time GRAMMY winner and the composer/producer of ten critically acclaimed and genre-defying albums. He will be releasing his Blue Note debut album in March 2016 and performing Afrodeezia at JAS, a driving blend of jazz and world music inspired by his role as UNESCO Artist for Peace and spokesperson for the Slave Route Project.   

On Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July 1, jazz trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg will perform at the JAS Café Downstairs at the Little Nell. Skonberg made her Café debut in January 2015, receiving rave reviews from audiences for her winning stage presence and adventurous style rooted in New Orleans hot jazz and blues, world percussion, soul and cabaret. Says the Wall Street Journal of Skonberg, she is “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” The June Experience concludes at the Benedict Music Tent Saturday, July 2, with another Motown icon Smokey Robinson, co-presented by JAS and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Robinson’s career spans over four decades of hits, numerous awards and an induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. 

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