1991 – 2016
Founded in 1991 and entering its 26th season, Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of JAS is to present and preserve jazz and related forms of music through world-class events, performances, and education programs.
JAS has grown from a simple 3-day event in Aspen to a complex set of multi-day festivals in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado; a summer series of weekly performances; diverse year round music education programs; and the addition of the JAS Café Downstairs @the Little Nell, featuring outstanding jazz musicians throughout the year. For seven years JAS produced the Sonoma Jazz + Festival in Sonoma, California.
The original June 1991 festival was inspired by its prestigious sister festival in Marciac (southwest) France, a charming village of 1,000 in the rolling hilss of Gascogne, near the Basque country.
The June Experience, once set underneath a spectacular canopy tent in downtown Aspen at the Rio Grande Park, moved to the more intimate Benedict Music Tent in 2009. The event grew from a four day festival to a two week format with an opening weekend of world-class performances at the Benedict Tent, followed by a week of both public and private performances and a closing collaboration concert with the AMFS at the Benedict Tent.
The Labor Day Experience is an open air, dance oriented extravaganza of popular, R&B, rock, funk, blues, world, and soul music, taking place at Snowmass Town Park, with the spectacular Elk Mountain Range as a backdrop, catering to crowds in excess of 10,000 daily. The Experience is currently a three day event.
JAS has been consistently recognized for its unique marriage of world-class music to an unparalleled natural and intimate setting, and its impeccable hospitality for artist and audiences alike. Its corporate and VIP tent programs have no peer in the international world of live music events with recognized start talent. The Experience’s attracts a high end demographic of visitors from throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.
In 2010 JAS partnered with music giants AEG Live in an effort to bring even stronger acts to the Aspen/Snowmass community.