Telluride’s world class Jazz Celebration is now in its 37th year. Courtesy photo.

Telluride’s world class Jazz Celebration is now in its 37th year. Courtesy photo.

By Caitlin Switzer

TELLURIDE—(June 18, 2013)  Every note has meaning, and echoes exponentially in the box canyon with a power that belongs only to Telluride and the San Juans.

It is America’s most original, improvisational art form, performed in a place unique in all the world. For 37 years, jazz aficionados have returned to Telluride to celebrate jazz in its myriad forms, in an intimate, yet world-class venue—the San Juan Mountains. This year, the Telluride Jazz Celebration is scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 2-4.

Telluride Society for Jazz Executive Director Paul Machado has been involved for 25 of those years, and has served as director for 22.

“We are totally, totally excited for this year,” Machado said. “Our Guest of Honor will be Dr. Lonnie Smith—he is one of the top three organ players in the world–and we have Stanley Clarke coming back as our headliner. In recent years, we have really gotten into our Sunday “New Orleans” parade, at noon. We celebrate with plenty of food and music from New Orleans—it’s so much fun!”

Although it is not considered one of Telluride’s “major” festivals because of its highly personal nature, the Telluride Jazz Celebration is one of the most truly “Telluride” festivals held in this famed resort community.

“It’s more intimate, more laid back, and more in our image,” Machado said.

Others set to play at Jazz this year include The John Scofield Uberjam Band, The Motet, Galactic, Voodoo Orchestra, Meshell Ndegeocello, New Orleans Suspects, Springdale Quartet, The Stooges Brass Band, Mike Dillon Band, Doug Lawrence Organic Trio, Son Como Son, Nigel Hall Band, and the Telluride Jazz All Stars and All Stars Alumni. Assisting with the festival this year as intern will be Montrose singer and songwriter Yvonne Meek.

“It’s great music, and a really fun time,” Machado said. “We have plenty of room for families, and we will have a free spirits tasting on Friday. On Saturday will be our wine tasting, and on Sunday we celebrate New Orleans Day. We will have a parade at noon, with plenty of New Orleans food and music—so much fun! Everybody loves a parade.”

Also performing at this year’s Telluride Jazz Celebration will be the New Orleans-based street artist Frenchy, who created this year’s one-of-a-kind poster, and who will offer a live painting demonstration.

Donations are still needed for the free stage, he noted.  For tickets and information and a complete lineup of artists, visit www.telluridejazz.org, or call 970-728-7009.