Mandolin pushes boundaries of traditional jazz |

Mandolin pushes boundaries of traditional jazz

Lu Snyder

BRECKENRIDGE – Some musicians start their career in the depths of the big city subway. Jamie Masefield, of the Jazz Mandolin Project, began his career while living on a tree farm in the mountains of Vermont.

It’s an unusual beginning for an unusual band. The mandolin is not an instrument normally associated with jazz.

Considering this, it should come as no surprise to learn that Masefield’s band is not a traditional jazz band – it’s more.

The trio started small – playing for free in a coffeehouse in Vermont – but in less than 10 years, it has collected fans old and young, from the East to West coasts, and around the world.

“One of the things that makes us unique is that we’re one of the few jazz bands that can play a jazz festival and be considered a jazz group and the majority of our fans are young people,” Masefield said. “It’s kind of rare to be throwing out fairly complex harmonic material and having young people really dig it.”

The sound is a unique blend of genres – jazz, blues, rock, techno, classical and more – threaded together with bold improvisations.

The result is fearless and fresh – a dynamic and organic music with a raw energy that has audiences coming back for more.

“It’s a challenge to defy the odds in making a big sound with three instruments that you wouldn’t expect that of – upright bass, mandolin and drums,” Masefield said. “It’s kind of a different twist on things.” as part of the Breckenridge Music Institute’s Blue River Series, the Jazz Mandolin Project will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Tickets are $17 in advance, $19 on the day of the show. For tickets, or more information, call (970) 547-3100 or visit the Web site at

When and Where

– Event: Jazz Mandolin Project

– When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22

– Where: Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge

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