Jazz fest

The Beach Boys at the 2012 Grammy Awards. The band that helped shape rock and pop music is headlining the 2020 Telluride Jazz Festival. (Courtesy photo)

The 2020 Telluride Jazz Festival Aug. 7-9 is picking up some good vibrations, as organizers announced the lineup this week, including headliners the Beach Boys. The clean-cut rock ’n’ roll group from California dominated the pop charts during the 1960s with anthems like “Good Vibrations,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “I Get Around.” The group’s classic album “Pet Sounds” was named the No. 2 album all time by Rolling Stone in the magazine’s 2012 countdown of the top 500 records of all time. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, simply put, the Beach Boys are one of the best bands ever to step on stage.

But wait, there’s more: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Bamako To Birmingham: Amadou & Mariam and Blind Boys of Alabama are also headlining this summer’s festival. Other performers include the Budos Band, the Hot Sardines, Poncho Sanchez, Marco Benevento, Catherine Russell, Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, Bonerama, Christian Sands, Kelly Finnigan & The Atonements, the Harlem Gospel Travelers, the Crescent Super Band, Rico Jones Countercurrent, the Speakeasy Jazz Quintet, the McCarthy Trio, Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble, the Hooligans Brass Band, Deep Pocket, the Soul Research Foundation and Stillwater All-Stars.

Phew, that’s a slew of jazz, funk, rock, soul, and gospel. So much so that festival director Steve Gumble is having trouble deciding which act he wants to see most.

“I can't pinpoint the artist that I'm most excited about on 2020 Telluride Jazz Festival lineup, because I'm excited about them all," he said. “There's no shortage of diversity and flavor throughout the billing, offering an incredibly unique three days of music. From the iconic Beach Boys, who helped lay the groundwork for modern music, to the masters of jazz, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, along with a unique collaboration between world music superstars Amadou & Mariam and gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama, our headliners really set the tone for the assortment of styles that will be on display at this year's event.”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band is “living, breathing News Orleans music history,” according to the band’s festival bio. With roots stretching back to the early 1960s, the traveling act is still bringing Crescent City sounds to the masses. As organizers put it, “there is simply no better way to celebrate ‘New Orleans Day’ in the park than with one of the fabled city’s greatest musical treasures playing for us.”

The Bamako To Birmingham: Amadou & Mariam and Blind Boys of Alabama performance will be “a show for the ages,” according to organizers as the two acts from the opposite ends of the world have united to bring their respective brands of music to places that may never again have the opportunity to hear them live. 

Other than the Telluride Town Park main stage, which is arguably America's most scenic and spectacular live music venues, there will again be a secondary stage, Society Stage, free of admission, that will host weekend programming, including interactive artist and student band performances in the center of Telluride at Elks Park, according to a press release. The intimate performances on the Society Stage aim to further the festival's and Telluride Society for Jazz's mission of providing student education through music.

VIP and patron festival experiences will also offer elevated culinary and cocktail aspects to the weekend. A fleet of special events round out the festival with free yoga sessions, morning jam collaborations, a free historical walking tour, a New Orleans Second Line Parade and cozy late night shows.

Festival tickets are on sale now. Three-day passes are $160 and single-day passes start at $60. The following passes are limited in quantities while supplies last: Patron Experience, VIP Experience, Jazz After Dark and four-day camping passes. For more festival information or to purchase tickets, visit telluridejazz.org/tickets. To purchase tickets by phone, call 970-728-8037.