John Mayer & Jazz Fest - Good Love Is On The Way To Aspen
Jim Horowitz is the Founder/President and CEO of Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS).Truthfully, he is much, much more. Horowitz is “the chess master,” he chuckles, and mastermind of gatherings like Jazz Aspen Labor Day Festival with 2019 lineup: John Mayer, Sting, and H.E.R. The JAS June Experience 2019 hosts artists on stages canvasing downtown Aspen, Colorado. It is a smorgasbord of musical genres. Add to his kudos, creator of world-class music education programming. Horowitz started as a professional jazz pianist himself and with his love of music, and natural ability, he was set for music business.
With tenacity, he has built a world of music in Aspen’s backyard. “I’m still here!” he hates to take credit, but admits he has pulled it off.Jim continues to commandeer the ship of JAS outdoor Labor Day event and JAS Cafes through both economic fair and foul weather. JAS started in 1991 as a small, three day event. It has grown into far more. This is what lies ahead for this music maker and his passionate pursuit to share the credo that “music cuts across everything like nothing else does!” With changes on the horizonJim notes “three big things are going on along with everything else.”“Lots of genres will be mixed in close proximity.Like Coachella and New Orleans festivals, there are stages organized thematically. This is the same structure but on a very intimate scale. Like The French Quarter Festival, the charm of going place to place works ideally in Aspen because we have a beautiful and user-friendly pedestrian core.” Jim’s master plan is that someday with theJune JAS “Music will be everywhere!”
For now, expect six venues: Skye Gallery, The Aspen ArtMuseum, with its spectacular, rooftop Aspen Mountain views, The Little Nell, for close-range jazz performances, the St. Regis’ Velvet Buckroom, and the Belly Up. Lastly, there will be the beloved Benedict VIP tent. “We need it as a place where our donors get to gather and now they have five music choices right out of the blocks, catty-cornered between the Regis and Belly Up.”The tent is not just for the bigwigs though. Two Public events will also be held there: “A roundtable talk (lunch and interview) with all the artists as part of The Listen Up Series and AspenIdeas/Health Symposium and Sunday we are going to do a really fun New Orleans Jazz Gospel Brunch led by the great Wycliffe Gordon and bottomless mimosas...very important of course.”Jim is on a heartfelt mission to champion this new city-wide format. “Change is often scary personally and professionally, but sometimes you just know. We are creating intimate experiences because we have seen first hand that people come to Aspen from cities, but there’s no doubt they love Aspen’s combination of urban sophistication and small town ease.
The shows are staggered. The idea is that JAS thematically covers a really wide range of music. It’s Jazz, it’s Blues, it’s Soul, R&B, it’s World Music, it’s Funk And that is, of course, by design. It allows us to touch more music, to touch more audiences, frankly, from young to old (with) different kinds of settings, a variety of experiences. The fun of it is it is like a tasting menu with music!” His Excitement to share, experience and education with music is palpable. Jim lives by the phrase newly minted for marketing his JAS events that“combine the genre of music with the different ways you can move from one location to another. You can Take a Jazz Walk, Do a SoulStroll, Do a Blues Shuffle. It is all about the fun of movement. You can ramble, you can walk Rock ‘n RollRock ‘n Roll you can run, you can stroll.” Horowitz Wants us to hear it all. Like a piece of music, the event is kinetic; it moves and it moves you.“The Jazz Academy started in 1996. We Took it out of mothballs last year after a seven year hiatus. The Great Recession meant we had to put it (on the shelf) like a lot of things but we have put ourselves back together. It is coming back for two weeks. We have recently announced a very significant gift from Edward P.and Sasha C. Bass to fully underwrite the operating costs and expansion for five years and our new collaboration with the Frost School of Music at TheUniversity of Miami. Their focus on performance, as well as training musicians in the business of music. They Have an unusually high rate of placing graduates into the actually industry. That curriculum becomes part of our program under Christian McBride’s, the great jazz bassist, direction.
It is the most significant thing that has happened to our music education program.”“Labor Day is off the hook!” John Mayer, Sting, breakout artist H.E.R. LukeCombs, ZZ Ward, Weezer and PortugalThe Man are “on fire” and round out the line up. “We are still almost in a state of shock. We have literally been inviting some of them for at least fifteen years.There’s luck and timing involved but i have pulled off some really big acts...Stevie Wonder in 2016, Keith Urban and Maroon 5 in 2017, so that create awareness in the industry. I think that has something to do with it. ”John Mayer will be here! It’s very exciting for us, He is an unbelievable artist, and a killer guitar player. He has been on his own kind of upswing in the last five years, his new tour with the Dead has put him out in front of a new and different audience for him. He has stayed the course and is in a good place musically.”Sting is about to launch a Vegas residency in2020 at Caesars Palace. Jim humble explains, “We are just one little stop in their large universe. Sting is an artist whose profile is enormous, not just as a performer and all of his catalogue but Rock ‘n Roll With his environmental work, as a humanitarian, the kind of person he is and life he has led. It's Exciting that he will grace our stage.It is great to have a breakout artist like H.E.R. on the main stage, Portugal, Weezer...the only thing we can say is ‘God what are we going to do next year for our 30th!?’ It can’t get bigger. We are our 10,000 people max. It’s not a stadium.
”What do you do to fuel yourself? Jim Horowitz: I like to eat! The challenge, opportunity and responsibility (of JAS) is so big it fuels me too. I’m not experiencing boredom or feeling lost.What would you be doing if not this? What Would you be pursuing?If it didn’t involve returning to my humble roots as a piano player, I also love food and came from a restaurant family in a warmer climate in South Florida. Music, food and people are still my favorite combinations. I could see being involved with them on a smaller scale. What is on your bedside table? I don’t read novels with frequency at all. I am interested in travel, culture, boats, politics, world. Nothing prepared me for the intelligence of The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony,Thea Feldman, Graham Spence.What is your playlist?It is an endless playlist. I discovered a cool and eclectic, hip internet radio station Jazzradio.net from Berlin. Ranky Tanky, a breakout Southern band out of the culture associated with the low country of South Carolina and Georgia, theGullah culture. It’s soul. It’s like bouillabaisse! Greatest strength?I have a strong ability to have a vision of something and how to make it happen. Along The way I have learned to listen to people I respect and never be afraid to embrace and employ and bring their ideas into whatever I may have started. I never felt that it was only my idea. I like smart people and to surround myself with them and bringing them into the process that's a challenge you are taking on personally?
To really put Jazz Aspen Snowmass on a really stable footing with a permanent home and endowment.It’s in our grasp.Jim is creating and curating a musical playground for us. He challenges audiences to join him, one cannot separate “him” from the event itself, in intimate salons to throngs of the crowd, GA to VIP. Music is our best form of communicating without boundaries or elite jargon.Jim invites us to move with the music, to explore new worlds. He can’t make it bigger, but count on it being better every year. That is his endgame; he is the “chess master. http://jazzaspensnowmass.org/labor-day-experience.html