Brief by Shanna Lewis
Events – July 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine
Since 1984 jazz lovers have converged in Westcliffe during the annual Jazz in the Sangres festival for a weekend of “hot jazz in a cool place.”
Now, it looks as though the festival’s days may be coming to an end. Due to dwindling attendance numbers during the last few years, festival organizers decided to give it a break this summer.
“Essentially the festival was a money loser,” said Jazz in the Sangres board member Will Sibbald, “the configuration had to change after the last festival.”
This summer the board will consider the future of the festival. Jazz fans should still plan on coming to the Wet Mountain Valley on the second weekend in August, though. Student musicians attending the Sangres Jazz Arts Camp are slated to play in venues around downtown Westcliffe in the afternoon and early evening of Saturday, August 11.
Small group performances and a big-band concert are planned. The specific times and locations are currently being finalized. All the performances are free and open to the public.
The Jazz Arts Camp brings 28 students from around the state to Westcliffe to study with six professional jazz musicians. These talented youngsters spend 14 hours a day during the five-day camp playing, listening, and jamming with the mentors and each other.
Last year’s in-town performances by the jazz camp students were very well attended by enthusiastic crowds, according to Sibbald. “We all want to support jazz education,” said Sibbald. The Jazz Arts Camp program is offered by the Denver-based Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. For more information visit the web at www.jazzinthesangres.com or www.jazzarts.org.