Arts weekend

Jazz vocalist Veronica Swift performs at the world-premiere of “Come Sunday,” a virtual jazz brunch this weekend. (Photo by Bill Westmoreland)

No getting around it (nor would anyone want to): the Telluride Film Festival is much missed. The fest would have celebrated its 47th year in existence this Labor Day weekend on “this spinning rock we call home,” as Academy Award-winning writer/director/producer Barry Jenkins put it on the fest’s website. Although the festival’s absence in the box canyon is palpable, the event’s programmers have offered a series of compensatory gifts: a list of the films that would have been shown, and when and where you can expect to be able to see them online. 

Several of these films are available to be screened right now (visit to learn how). And speaking of now — and Telluride — there is much on this holiday weekend. Beginning with a Sunday brunch musical performance you don’t even have to go out for, because it is coming to you. The Telluride Society for Jazz (which presents the Telluride Jazz Festival, also cancelled this year) will offer a special 90-minute concert “world-premiere” Sunday at 10 a.m., featuring “22 musicians who have studied in the Telluride Jazz Student All Star Program.” 

It’s a worthy kickoff to Labor Day, when schools are traditionally back in session. Among the young standouts performing will be jazz vocalist Veronica Swift, who in recent years has shared the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Benny Green, played Birdland and the Blue Note in New York City, and performed at the Monterey and Montreal jazz festivals. Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Rico Jones — a Telluride Jazz All-Star for five straight years, who now resides in New York City — will perform as well, and so will the program’s founder and co-director, Bob Montgomery. The concert, named for the Duke Ellington composition “Come Sunday,” premieres Sunday at 10 a.m., but you can watch anytime. Catch it on the society’s website (at, on Facebook, YouTube, or Telluride TV. 


Following the concert, hit the streets to take in art at local galleries and venues. You’ll find works on display this weekend — and in many cases, through the end of the month — by younger artists, such as photographs by Telluride native Morgan C. Pihl at Baked In Telluride (Pihl is a professional wildlife photographer, “adventurist and animal companion”). 

Other artists whose work you’ll find are renowned for their depictions of fauna, in different media: Judy Haas, for example, whose work hangs in Gallery 81435, is famous for her paintings of trout. Lately she has moved from pastel depictions of shimmering, evanescent fish to Swarovski crystals and diamond dust, which she uses in her exhibit “Embellished Posters” to evoke “the art of rock music” that has inspired her all her life. Haas’ work has hung in galleries from New York City to Aspen to Telluride, and been used by companies including Patagonia and The Nature Company. Her latest pieces could easily hang at the Hollywood Bowl, or the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., or (for that matter) the Sheridan Opera House, where the historic stage has played host for decades to singer-songwriters, jazz artists and hard rockers — and doubtless will again. 

“Embellished Posters” hangs at Gallery 81435, open Monday through Friday from 12-6 p.m. (or by appointment) through the end of the month. For a complete list of what’s on at local galleries, and to download an interactive gallery guide, visit