Arts in Abundance

The August 2018 Guide to Aspen's Cultural Calendar

This month's highlights include the ballet with pianist Joyce Yang, Seraphic Fire choral ensemble, Mountainfilm, and the JAS Labor Day Experience.

By Andrew Travers June 5, 2018 Published in the Summer 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

2 Trouble in Tahiti and A Dog’s Life, Aspen Music Festival and School
In this comic pairing, Leonard Bernstein’s jazzy opera about a troubled marriage—performed by Aspen Opera Center singers—shares a Harris Hall bill with a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s silent classic A Dog’s Life, accompanied by a live score., 970-925-9042

10–11 An Evening with Pianist Joyce Yang, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Yang teamed last year with choreographer Jorma Elo to adapt Robert Schumann’s Carnaval for an original ballet. The result, titled Half/Cut/Split, premiered in Aspen last March and was the pinnacle of the winter season’s performances and a monumental achievement for the local company. Yang, a favorite at the Aspen Music Festival, returns for a two-night, can’t-miss encore. The pianist will also accompany the dancers on Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land (with music by Leoš Janácˇek) and Nicolo Fonte’s Where We Left Off (set to “Mad Rush” by Philip Glass). aspensantafeballet.com970-925-7175

15 An American in Paris, Aspen Music Festival and School
The Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of George Gershwin’s beloved orchestral piece promises to be a high point of the Music Fest’s summer-long Paris-themed concerts. The 1928 homage to the City of Light boasts street noises, taxi horns, and a Roaring ’20s spirit. Also on the program at the Benedict Music Tent: Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 1 and the world premiere of a work composed by 25-year-old phenom Krists Auznieks. aspenmusicfestival.com970-925-9042

16 The Kills, Belly Up Aspen
The lo-fi garage rock duo is spending most of the summer playing to massive outdoor crowds on the festival circuit. But at this show, they’ll be in their native habitat in the tight quarters of a packed club. It’s the ideal way to see singer Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince rip and roar through their catalog of punky blues., 970-544-9800

Diane Reeves appears at JAS Cafe August 17. 

Image: Courtesy: JAS

17 Dianne Reeves, JAS Cafe at the Aspen Art Museum
The five-time Grammy winner and grand dame of jazz vocalists gives two concerts for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass club series, which hosts 15 artists across four venues this summer. Reeves’s range as a vocal interpreter is unparalleled, as evidenced by her most recent album, Beautiful Life, on which she uses her classic croon and signature scat to reinvent songs by Bob Marley, Ani DiFranco, Stevie Nicks, and others., 970-920-4996

17–22 Seraphic Fire, Aspen Music Festival and School
Choral music has been a dependably popular, yet surprisingly rare, presence at the Music Fest. But that’s changing this summer, as a partnership launches with Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire. While leading the inaugural program of the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute, the group plans several public performances, including Mozart’s Requiem with the Aspen Chamber Symphony at the Benedict Music Tent (Aug 17) and wide-ranging choral recitals at Harris Hall (Aug 20 & 22). aspenmusicfestival.com970-925-9042

18 Christian McBride, Benny Green, and Russell Malone, JAS CafE at the Aspen Art Museum
Local audiences will see a lot of bassist McBride, as he leads Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s revived Jazz Academy program this summer. But his two sets with this trio—rounded out by piano player Green and guitarist Malone—are a must-see. Separately, these longtime collaborators are renowned for their mastery of jazz history and their work pushing the form into the 21st century. Together, who knows what they’ll come up with?, 970-920-4996

Mountainfilm in Aspen screens at the Wheeler Opera House. 

22–26 Mountainfilm in Aspen, Wheeler Opera House 
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this documentary film festival, a partnership with Telluride Mountainfilm, has always been about more than what’s on the big screen. And now it’s evolved into a convocation of adventurers, artists, activists, environmentalists, and filmmakers for a week of multimedia events and screenings at the Wheeler and around town., 970-920-5770

31 Lionel Richie, Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience
From his time in the Commodores to his current stint as a judge on American Idol, Richie has been a pop music fixture for 50 years. By all accounts since he began touring again in 2013, the iconic singer behind “All Night Long” and “Dancing on the Ceiling” still has it. This long-time-coming Aspen debut, with local favorite Michael Franti opening, is the biggest musical event of the summer. jazzaspensnowmass.org970-920-4996







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