Before the Vail Jazz Party launches for Labor Day weekend, the Vail Jazz Foundation offers live shows through the summer: free on Sunday afternoons at Solaris Plaza. Last night it was Tatiana “Lady May” Mayfield.  Coming up: Brazilian guitarist Gabriel Santiago, the seven-piece Hot House West, and organist Tony Monaco with a tribute to Vail Jazz founder Howard Stone.

On Thursdays, the action moves one more exit to the west, under the tent at Lionshead Village. Crooning singer-pianist Tony Desare opens the ticketed series this Thursday. Later in July, it’s the String Queens from Washington, D.C., and pianist Sullivan Fortner with his trio. In August, Kevin Gullage and the Blues Groovers come from Louisiana to present a new spin on the blues for every generation, the amazing Lakecia Benjamin & Phoenix, the Brianna Thomas Band brings scat, swing, and a soulful soprano, and on August 24, modern sax woman Grace Kelly and her Quartet.

After the show under the tent, the Drew Zaremba Quartet holds it down next door in the Tavern inside the Arrabelle Hotel. (SOURCES:

Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon has been named a 2023 Lucas Artist Fellow by the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California outside San Jose. The Lucas Arts Fellowship is a competitive international program, with only 16 of the 65 honorees in music and performing arts.

The program is designed to magnify under-recognized artists who could become major voices in the next generation of creative thinkers. Each fellow is offered a three-month residency at Montalvo’s 175-acre public park in Silicon Valley, offering artists uninterrupted time to develop new work.

Simon, a member SFJazz Collective and on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has a new record in the KUVO library, Femininas: Songs of Latin American Women,” celebrating songwriters like Violeta Parra, Marta Valdes and others. (SOURCE:

When it comes to the mash-up of jazz and hip-hop, it should be noted that 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of DJ/producer/rapper Madlib’s album, “Shades of Blue.”  Blue Note is re-issuing the project in a two-LP format.  180-gram black lacquer vinyl, of course.

The double-LP, part of Blue Note’s ongoing Classic Vinyl series, features remixes, reimaginations and reinterpretations of classics by Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, The Three Sounds, Ronnie Foster, Bobby Hutcherson, Andrew Hill, Wayne Shorter and more.  Madlib says his love for jazz came from his parents, and his uncle is trumpeter Jon Faddis.

Madlib’s 20th-anniversary re-issue hits the street today. (SOURCES: BLUE NOTE STORE)

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