A blues veteran who has played with Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers is getting ready to set the Jazz stage ablaze this weekend.
Launching fireworks of a whole new variety, internationally touted vocalist and saxophonist Curtis Stigers and New York blues phenom SaRon Crenshaw open the Vail Jazz Festival’s 2013 Jazz @ Vail Square season with a two-hour tribute to “The Red, White and The Blues.”
Needless, to say, the latter color represents Crenshaw’s specialty. When asked about details of what the audience should expect from his performance, he simply says, “something they’ve never seen or heard.”
As far as “jazz” goes, neither Crenshaw nor Stigers are traditional representatives of the genre. Stigers, who melted the vast audience at Ford Amphitheater last year with his epic performance, has made a name for himself as not only a jazz vocalist but also as a saxophonist, guitarist and songwriter. The eclectic gamut of big names with whom he’s performed and recorded also speaks to his versatility: Prince, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and Rod Stewart to name just a few.
You also may recognize his music from the theme song and soundtrack of the hit TV series “Sons of Anarchy,” and also from his 10th studio album – “Let’s Go Out Tonight” featuring songs by Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, David Poe and Richard Thompson.
“I’ve keep poking my foot through the side of the box,” Stigers says of his genre-straddling talent.
For Crenshaw, whose career has just begun to blossom, the “blues” moniker has been the one he’s heard the most, and to prove it, his guitar is adorned with a signature from the king of blues himself … B.B. King, that is. The Independence Day show will mark Crenshaw’s first ever performance in Vail.
Stigers has performed in Vail several times over the last 20 years, is excited to return with his band, long-time collaborators, Matthew Fries (piano), Keith Hall (drums), Cliff Schmitt (bass), and John “Scrapper” Sneider (trumpet).
For the July 4 show, Stigers will focus on the influence Blues Music has had on his recordings and his sound.
“I always look forward to returning to Vail to play music and to visit the many friends I’ve made here over the years,” Stigers says. “I love this town!”
The Jazz Tent at Vail Square heats up at 6 p.m. with SaRon Crenshaw, followed by Curtis Stigers after the 6:45 intermission.
What: Jazz @ Vail Square Tribute to “Red, White and The Blues” with Curtis Stigers and SaRon Crenshaw
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4 (finishing in plenty of time to catch the fireworks!)
Where: The Jazz Tent at Vail Square, Lionshead
Tickets: $20 for preferred seating, $25 day of the show; General Admission is FREE on a first come basis. 888-VAIL-JAM, Vailjazz.org