Genuine Jazz grooves on into Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE – Jazz greats and newcomers are bringing their soul to Summit this weekend for the 21st anniversary of Genuine Jazz in Breckenridge.This unique festival combines free and ticketed indoor and outdoor concerts Friday through Sunday.The nighttime concerts are held at the Ten Mile Ball Room, while the daytime and early evening concerts take place on two outdoor stages: The Maggie Pond stage and The ResortQuest’s Main Street Station stage.The weekend’s festivities will spotlight groups with styles ranging from smooth jazz to mainstream.For more information on schedules and tickets, visit http://www.genuinejazz.com.Three of the festival’s performers for the weekend include Nick Colionne, Ken Navarro and Paul Taylor.Nick ColionneChicago’s Nick Colionne began learning to play guitar at age 9 and was touring all over the world at 15. Over the years he’s collected a number of guitars but currently has 12. He gave a few away recently to a hurricane relief fund in Florida. He has two favorite guitars, but has yet to name them like B.B. King and his guitar Lucille.”I just call them ‘guitar’ for the time,” Colionne said. “They’re my babies.” Who are your musical influences and how have they affected your style?”Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jimmy Hendrix … from the mainstream of jazz all the way to heavy metal. (My style) is somewhere in between there. I picked up the smoother side from the jazz players and the intensity from the rock players.”Do you prefer your work as a solo artist or your work with other artists like the Impressions, Natalie Cole, Curtis Mayfield and The Staples Singers?”When I was doing things with other artists I seemed to have more money! But I prefer being a solo artist, because it gives me a chance to expose the music that’s inside of me … the music in me that God put there to play for people.”Ken NavarroKen Navarro said he didn’t discover jazz until his early 20s, but with 15 albums currently under his belt, he’s been making up for lost time.He began his career in Los Angeles as a guitarist, performer and composer. He has performed and recorded with artists like Doc Severinsen, Nell Carter, Eric Gale, Vicki Carr, Dave Koz and Ann Jillian.Navarro is both a performer and producer and enjoys having the best of both worlds.”Performing is about being in the moment. I love interacting with the audience,” he said. “With producing, it’s more like painting a picture and being responsible for everything in that picture.”How would you describe your musical style?”It’s what I call contemporary jazz. It’s a combination of improvisation from the jazz world to very disciplined organized song writing from the rock and folk world I grew up in.”Do you think jazz in general has the potential to break into top-40 music?”No, not if it’s done right. Top-40 has become the most shallow kind of music there is. It has no shelf life. I mean, Miles Davis never had a hit record. It’s great that there’s a radio format for smooth jazz … I never expected that. Jazz has always been for an audience that’s very music driven. Pop music has become strictly for 12- to 18-year-olds. It’s too bad. It wasn’t always that way.”Paul TaylorSaxophonist Paul Taylor said he just tries to make “really good music.””When you think of bands like Earth, Wind and Fire, you don’t think of a genre, you just think of really good music,” he said. “I try to translate that into my own stuff.”Taylor said his passion lies with his work as a solo artist, but getting to collaborate with other musicians is just icing on the cake.Did you find your acting stint on the soap opera “One Life to Live” as gratifying as music?”In a different kind of way. It makes you very humble. Who knows if I’ll get to do that again? I was glad I got to play my horn on it, and it was gratifying when I saw it on TV. I only had a couple lines, but it was great to give myself another medium. They changed my lines at the last minute though and that threw me for a loop.”Does playing different saxophones give you a new perspective on the music?”I play mostly all the saxes and that absolutely comes into play, especially when I’m writing the music. What instrument am I going to play this on? Is it good for soprano or alto? It opens up a whole new avenue. With the soprano, it’s a higher, sweeter vibe. If the key’s a lower vibe, I go for the alto.”
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