Telluride Jazz Festival
Telluride Town Park, Telluride
While the four-decade-old Telluride Jazz Festival always boasts some first-rate jazz acts and also hosts “Jazz After Dark” shows around downtown Telluride, its headliners this year lean more in the direction of soul and R&B, with such heavies as Mavis Staples, Macy Gray and Lee Fields & the Expressions. Also in the lineup: Cha Wa Mardi Gras Indian Band and Hooligan Brass Band, which will both deliver lively, New Orleans-inspired funk and jazz.
RiNo Arts District
$35-$45 per day
Although Velorama, which will take over a dozen blocks in RiNo in August, is part of the Colorado Classic race and geared toward cyclists and their fans, the festival will also feature a stellar music lineup, with national headliners Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel and La Santa Cecilia, as well as local acts.
Copper Mountain Resort
For past eleven years, Guitar Town has brought in some of the world’s greatest guitarists, and this year’s lineup lives up to that. The festival will feature a diverse set of pickers, among them Zakk Wylde (who fronts Black Label Society and toured with Ozzy Osbourne); Tommy Emmanuel, one of the world’s finest finger-style players; blues masters Harvey Mandel and Bob Margolin; and Guitar Army, with John Jorgenson, Lee Roy Parnell and Joe Robinson. In addition to concerts, the three-day festival offers guitar and songwriting workshops and kids’ music activities.
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
Gregory Alan Isakov
Planet Bluegrass, Lyons
The same group that puts on the outstanding Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass festivals also produces the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, a favorite for nearly three decades. While this year’s shindig includes local acts Gregory Alan Isakov and Elephant Revival (both have headlined Red Rocks), it will also play host to some great nationally known folk, roots and Americana artists, such as Rhiannon Giddens, Loudon Wainwright II, Dave Rawlings Machine, Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter and more.
High Elevation Rock Festival
Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
With Five Finger Death Punch, fronted by former Denverite Ivan Moody, and Korn headlining this two-day hard-rock festival, things are bound to get heavy and, well, probably downright muscular, musically speaking. Also on tap are A Day to Remember, Stone Sour, Halestorm, In This Moment, Steel Panther, Black Veil Brides and more.