January 29, 2023
Piltzecker returns to Roaring Fork Valley for TACAW’S Pumpkin Jazz

It’s exceptional how a seemingly innocuous occasion can change the course of 1’s life.

Famend jazz vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker initially performed trumpet in his high-school marching band. After he bumped into one other musician throughout apply and dropped and broke his trumpet, he ended up “noodling round with a vibraphone” on the restore store. His dad and mom apparently favored his spontaneous efficiency as a result of, two months later, he discovered a vibraphone underneath the Christmas tree. After that, he packed up his trumpet and gave it away.

Ted Piltzecker with trumpet, 1968.
Ted Piltzecker, Excessive shcool with trumpet

After graduating from the Eastman and Manhattan Colleges of Music, Piltzecker grew to become an artist in residence on the Aspen Music Pageant in 1978. By that point, it was already an establishment.



“It was smaller after all; all we had was a tent that everybody crowded into, but it surely was prestigious and nicely attended by musicians and music followers, alike. By the Nineteen Eighties, it was a world occasion,” he stated.



Piltzecker mountaineering with is spouse Susan Thomassen. Aspen, 1978.
Ted Piltzecker and spouse, Aspen 1980’s

In 1984 he grew to become the director of the Jazz Program.   

“My job was to herald nice musicians each summer season — to search out great, younger musicians to play within the band, in addition to carry in additional famend jazz artists. Many nice musicians got here from our little program; it was an incubator,” he stated.

In actual fact, famend jazz saxophonist Chris Potter — who has performed with everybody from Purple Rodney to Steely Dan — was Piltzecker’s up to date.

“It was an actual nurturing and high-level expertise for me, which I’ll always remember. I grew up there in a musical sense — a formative time for me in so some ways,” he stated.

Piltzecker performing, Aspen Music Pageant, 1990.
Ted Piltzecker on vibraphone

In 1992, after 14 summers, he moved on to a really profitable profession that took him all around the world, however he by no means forgot his time in Aspen.

“It was truly actually onerous for me to go away Aspen. However, I notice my time there was such a present. It was a second in time, a really beautiful second,” he stated.

Quick ahead to March of 2022: Piltzecker was performing in Denver and determined to drive as much as go to an outdated pal residing in Willits. The pal informed him a few new arts campus that just lately opened up within the neighborhood.

Early the next morning, as he walked across the neighborhood, he requested a person the place the brand new arts heart was. Serendipitously, it turned out to be Kendall Smith, director of programming for The Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW).

“I used to be strolling to get espresso,” Smith stated, “and he stopped me and requested the place the humanities campus was, and I instantly took him and confirmed him round.”

Piltzecker was impressed by the wonder and effectivity of the constructing.

“I don’t assume many individuals know,” Smith stated, “however TACAW is the primary, net-zero performing arts heart in america, fully-solar and electric-run with a zero-carbon footprint. We’ve got one thing particular right here.”

They stayed in contact, and, as quickly as Piltzecker informed Smith he was going to be in Denver to file an album this fall, they thought it was an excellent alternative to carry him and his septet up right here to carry out in TACAW’S annual Pumpkin Jazz occasion.

Ted Piltzecker and band, Buy School, New York , 2004.
Ted Plitzecker

Plitzecker returns to the Roaring Fork Valley stage, with a septet of completed Colorado-based musicians, together with Brad Goode, affiliate professor of Jazz research at The College of Colorado, Boulder on trumpet, Paul Mckee on trombone, John Gunther on tenor sax, Will Swindle on bari sax, Gonzalo Teppa on bass and Paul Romaine on drums. He performed alongside a number of of them a few years in the past throughout his time in Aspen.

Pumpkin Jazz takes place at the moment and also will function a dozen native jazz musicians who will likely be acting at varied venues. Between 5-7 p.m., audiences can get pleasure from music at 4 areas: two in historic downtown Basalt and two in Willits city heart. Basalt performances will happen at The Artwork Base and out of doors by Codgers Nook. In Willits, they’ll happen at Keating Gallery and Triangle Park.

Piltzecker and his septet take the stage at TACAW at 7:30 p.m. at the moment and carry out two units, adopted by an open jam session. The occasion is free to the general public because of the beneficiant funding by the Basalt Public Arts Fee. Seats are first come, first served, so Smith urges all to “come early and keep late.”

Though vibraphone grew to become his profession, Piltzecker by no means misplaced his love for wind devices and the intimate relationship a musician has with their horn. He describes the present as “4 fastidiously organized horns with some requirements and a few originals, as nicely. The venture known as Vibes on a Breathe, and the entire premise is to carry extra humanity to this percussion instrument I bang on.”

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