The “Wow” factor prevailed at the 26th Annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience recently when Diana Ross, Sheryl Crow, Marcus Miller and Booker T. Jones roared into Aspen, Colorado for the three day event that generated huge amounts of excitement and sell-out crowds at the Benedict Music Tent. The Jazz Aspen Snowmass team pulled off three great days and nights of music that opened on Friday June 24, 2016 with an awesome performance by Motown legend Diana Ross. Grammy award-winner Sheryl Crow performed Saturday night and bass player Marcus Miller and organist/singer/guitarist Booker T. Jones closed out the event on Sunday night.
World-renowned, award-winning singer Diana Ross launched into her show after a crowd-pleasing number featuring her daughter/singer Rhonda Ross-Kendrick. Diana Ross sang several of her #1 hit singles including “I’m Coming Out,”“Stop In The Name of Love,” “Touch Me In The Morning,” , "Love Child," “It’s My House,” “Upside Down,” “Ease On Down The Road” from the film The Wiz, “The Look of Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “Hush Now, Don’t Explain” from the award-winning film Lady Sings The Blues. The audience went wild! They were dancing, singing along with her amazing vocals and applauding the effortless multiple, show-stopping costume changes. Ross’ band and background singers were also great. Among the more memorable moments were the extended performance of “Love Child,” and the saxophonist’s solo during “The Look of Love.”
At the end of her set, Diana Ross brought several members of her family on stage including actor/musician Evan Ross-Næss, Ashlee Simpson-Ross-Næss, Chudney Ross-Faulker and her husband, actress/singer Rhonda Ross-Kendrick, and many more. Overall, Diana Ross was on fire, met every expectation and put on an excellent show that generated over 90-minutes of excitement and love that kept Aspen residents and visitors praising her unforgettable performance for the entire weekend.
Pop/Country Rock guitarist/singer and 9-time GRAMMY Award-winner Sheryl Crow rocked out Saturday night and brought the audience to its feet many times. She sang several of her hits including songs from Feels Like Home album, and crowd-pleasers “If It Makes You Happy,” “Her Favorite Mistake” and “Every Day Is A Winding Road.” The audience was on its feet throughout her set and during the extended jam when Sheryl played harmonica, it was at a frenzied level with patrons dancing in the aisles and their seats. She was in a word – AWESOME.
Bass player/composer Marcus Miller played a decent set to a somewhat sparse crowd on Sunday night that featured songs from his Blue Note recording titled Afrodeezia. Russell Gunn played a sterling “Jean-Pierre,” while Marcus brought out emotions when he told the story of his visit to the museum called La Maison Des Esclaves - "The Slave House" and then played the song that trip inspired called “Gorée” on both the bass clarinet and his electric bass.
Booker T. Jones closed out the three-day event with songs from his Stax Records days that were both sentimental and appealing. Among the songs he played were the theme from “High Em High,”“Green Onions,” “Born Under A Bad Sign,” “Gee Whiz, Look at His Eyes” featuring Charlotte Gibson on vocals, “Respect,” and closed with an emotional tribute to Prince with “Purple Rain.”
The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience was a huge success and the ‘wow’ factor it generated is sure to keep the festival in minds for months to come. For more information, please visit the Jazz Aspen Snowmass website.