Known at Copper Mountain Resort as the “smooth mountain getaway” of the summer, the 32nd annual Genuine Jazz & Wine Festival is back this weekend from Friday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 21.
“People really enjoy it and keep coming back, year after year,” said Stephanie Sweeney, communications manager for Copper Mountain. “It usually sells out every year, and it brings in some really big jazz acts.”
Jazz stars in attendance will include Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun and Marion Meadows, to name a few. All ticketed performances are held indoors in a ballroom, so guests and performers don’t need to worry about any mountain weather variations and can enjoy wine and food tasting options alongside the music.
Music enthusiasts in attendance will get their fair share of time with the performers, as the artists often mingle, eat and take photos with festival guests.
Wine passes are available in addition to the pricing on concert packages. The tasting experience includes a commemorative glass for the festival, and varietals from labels like Ruffino, Dreaming Tree, Kim Crawford and Robert Mondavi. Satellite bars are set up right outside the ballroom, so guests can grab their wine, chat outside or head in for music.
In addition to the annual event, Copper will be hosting the first ever Craft Beer Relay on Saturday, Aug. 20. The “5k-ish” relay will take participants through obstacles, team games and individual challenges while sampling Colorado craft beers at 12 stations.
Prizes will be awarded for divisions like best costume, best team name and fastest time. The event ticket price is $279 per team. Check-in at Copper begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and the heats start at 1 p.m. Live music starts at 3 p.m. and awards at 6 p.m. For more information and to register, check outwww.craftbeerrelay.com/event/denver-co/.
Along with a lot of jazz, festival guests may want to get out and enjoy everything Copper has to offer, including a ride up the chairlift to see expansive views of the Rocky Mountains.
“I think it’s always good to take a look at the schedule and see who our stars are for each of the days,” said Mary Gary, event coordinator for Copper. “People can also come and enjoy the scenery of the resort because it definitely incorporates that resort experience within a festival.”
Marion Meadows is an American saxophonist, composer and contemporary jazz recording artist. He said Copper Mountain is one of his favorite destinations.
When he’s not on stage this weekend, you may find him out on the trails riding his mountain bike. Along with his musical talents, he is also a semi-pro cyclist and a graphic artist.
When asked if Copper’s high elevation impacts his wind-to-instrument ratio, he said his well-established cardiovascular health means the thin air isn’t an issue for him, so fans will hear the sounds from Meadows’ saxophone loud and clear.
“It’s a really special place,” he said of Copper. “Especially for Denver fans who come out — I don’t really get a chance to play for them as much as I’d like to, so it’s always special when I get a chance to come and play, and it’s such a beautiful setting.”
Meadows will take the stage on Sunday at noon, and he’ll also be playing during the All-Star Jam Session on Saturday evening alongside jazz contemporaries — the other talented musicians who Meadows said he loves to play alongside.
“Contemporaries are usually some of our best friends,” he said. “We travel around and do shows together sometimes and are up on stage at different times, but, when we actually get up there and play together, that’s such a treat for us and such a treat for the fans.”
Standing next to the other greats is a portion of the festival that Meadows always reveres.
“That’s the part of the business the we do that we enjoy the most,” he said. “People might think that we’re competitors, but we actually enjoy playing with one another, and seeing one another. With your colleagues, you not only get a chance to sit back and admire their playing, but you get to stand up and play with them.”