Roberta Gambarini to Headline Annual Jazz Fest
Grammy-nominated jazz singer Roberta Gambarini will headline the Estes Park Jazz Fest scheduled for May 14 and 15. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and camp out for the afternoon at the open-air Performance Park Amphitheater for this free, two-day event that kicks off the Colorado jazz festival season. Music starts at 12 noon both days of the event.The lineup for Jazz Fest was announced by “Max the Sax” Wagner who directs the Jazz Fest. Wagner has a 20-year history in Colorado, for bringing big name groups to town for the event.Complementing the jazz is the Art Walk, a self-guided tour of Estes Park galleries. Stroll from gallery to gallery, chat with artists, and watch them display their talents. Tours begin at 10 a.m. both days with tour maps available at Performance Park or at any of the participating galleries.The Boston Globe named Gambarini the “true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae” with her 2010 Grammy-nominated album “So in Love.” She was also named Best Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year at the 2010 Jazz Journalists Awards.The Jazz Fest kicks off noon Saturday with the Estes Park Big Band’s classic sound. Following is the Chris Lee and Colleen O’Brien Band, which performs classic and contemporary jazz standards. Then Pernell Steen and le Jazz Machine finish up the day with the crowd-pleasing sounds of Harlem.On Sunday, saxophonist Wil Swindler and his Elevenet jazz ensemble offer a modern sound that swings softly and delightfully. Aakash Mittal follows with wild mainstream jazz and then Headliner Roberta Gambarini performs. Closing the day is jazz pianist Eric Gunnison performing his original music with his group Wake Up Call.Poppy's Pizza & Grill will provide food and drinks at the park.For more information on the Jazz Fest, contact the events office at 970-586-6104. For information on the Art Walk and a gallery map, contact the Cultural Arts Center at 970-586-9203.