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John Rojak has played bass trombone with the American Brass Quintet for almost 30 years, and is a regular as both a performer and a teacher at the Aspen Music Festival and School. We just discovered this album in our Aspen Public Radio library, released back in 2001. Rojak says it could have been titled "Music My Mother Would Like," because all the tunes are so melodious. Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr caught up with him and asked about the faux-seductive cover shot (complete with a glass of red wine) and the beauty of the music he arranged. 

  • Grizzly Creek Fire UPDATES
  • The I-70 Shutdown Has Been Especially Devastating For Glenwood Springs
  • The Aspen Music Festival Concludes Its Summer Season On August 23
  • Aspen Health Official Says Some Are Still Feeling Effects Months After Contracting COVID-19

U.S. Forest Service

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui.

The Grizzly Creek Fire is more than 29,000 acres and still growing. A wildfire that size requires a lot of people power and equipment, but with dozens of fires burning across the west, how do national fire agencies divvy up resources to the people who need them?

Hayden Cleverly


Valley resident Hayden Cleverly recently launched a new brand called Democrastreet Wear, or “DEMSW” for short. It includes items like swimsuits that say “Nasty Voter” and coffee mugs printed with “Voting is Sexy.”

Yes, you read it right. Beloved virtuoso violinist Augustin Hadelich, who closes out the Aspen Music Festival's Virtual Season on Sunday, August 23 at 3 p.m. is also a virtuoso pianist. So, with the miracle of technology, he will be accompanying himself, thereby guaranteeing no spread of the coronavirus.

In his conversation with Alan Fletcher, President of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he talks about this recital and more. Also on the program are opera conductor Patrick Summers and Flute Master Class teacher Demarre McGill.

Mezzo-soprano Michelle deYoung has taught a number of master classes here in Aspen, and sung the music of Wagner and other composers with Aspen Music Festival orchestras. She sings all over the world, but, like other musicians, is at home waiting for the curtains to rise again on the major concert halls and theatres of Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr caught up with her to talk about her recent performance at Harris Hall in honor of Robert Spano with a worldwide virtual audience.

  • Grizzly Creek Fire Updates 
  • State Officials and Fire Managers Offer Insight On When I-70 Will Reopen
  • Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Says Areas South of I-70 Are Not In Imminent Danger
  • GreenLatinos Call For Equity In Colorado's Response To Climate Change
  • Colorado Voters Will Decide Whether To Lower The State Income Tax 

Aspen Historical Society


August 18, 2020 marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, which guaranteed voting rights for women in the United States. Aspen Historical Society and Aspen Snowmass are commemorating the occasion with educational programming at Gondola Plaza in Snowmass Base Village (August 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and the historical society’s vice president Nina Gabianelli spoke to Aspen Public Radio about the significance of the anniversary.


U.S. Forest Service

It’s been a week since the Grizzly Creek Fire first sparked in Glenwood Canyon. In the last seven days, the fire has burned 25,007 acres and is 0% contained. There were no new evacuation orders announced over the weekend, and as of Sunday, nearly 650 people were battling the fire. 

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Friday, August 21 - Governor Jared Polis announced updates to the state's online COVID-19 data dashboard, including simplified navigation and the addition of datapoints involving hospital bed availability. Polis also announced Friday that the statewide "last call" for serving alcohol at bars would be extended to 11 p.m. starting Saturday night. Previously, Polis had set a statewide last call at 10 p.m. in an effort to limit late-night coronavirus transmission at bars.

Jeremy Swanson

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual exhibits, events and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Aspen Public Radio news team spoke with Grizzly Creek Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Russell and Renelle Lott of Garfield County, and compiled a list of resources and answers to listeners' questions regarding the Grizzly Creek Fire, which sparked in Glenwood Canyon on Monday, August 10. A time-stamped updates page regarding the fire can be found here.

Courtesy of Charlotte Hanks / Defiance Rafting Company

Everyone within sight of Glenwood Canyon on Monday knew there was trouble brewing. A tremendous plume of smoke shooting up into the midday sky was not a good sign during a historically hot and dry summer.

Courtesy Lindsay Jones

Restaurants around the Roaring Fork Valley have expanded outdoor seating due to the pandemic. In Old Town Basalt and along a strip in Willits, those new makeshift patios are enclosed by concrete barriers to keep diners from spilling into the street and surrounding parking lot.

The Basalt Public Arts Commission (BPAC) saw those blank canvases as an opportunity for a new public arts project, and a way to put artists back to work that have been hit economically by COVID-19. BPAC put out a call to Roaring Fork Valley artists to create a line of colorful murals along the makeshift fencing as part of its Concrete Barriers Art Project.

Strange Dirt/Courtesy Skye Gallery

Denver artist Marsha Robinson goes by Strange Dirt, and her first solo exhibition just opened at Skye Gallery in downtown Aspen. The collection is called "Sanctuary," and features an array of flora, fauna and bugs drawn by the self-taught artist. 

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

Wednesday, September 9 3 P.M. Moisture has helped further moderate the fire. Personnel are mostly away from fire lines until conditions on the ground dry to allow better access. Suppression and suppression repair activities will resume as conditions dry. Managers anticipate those conditions to happen over the weekend.

Wolfgang Volz © 2020 Christo

On August 10, 1972, the artist Christo unfurled his work “Valley Curtain” across Rifle Gap in Rifle, Colo. The piece involved over 200,000 square feet of sunset-hued nylon fabric that was slung across a quarter mile span between the valley walls. It took more than two years for Christo to realize his work, and the piece was torn down by the wind in less than two days. 

Christo’s official Facebook page announced on May 31, 2020 that the artist had died at the age of 84. Despite the fleeting nature of his work, according to those who saw “Valley Curtain” and other installations, his impact on the art world will be hard to forget.

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society/Ross Daniels

This is Week In The Arts—a curation of virtual events, exhibits and reopenings around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

No New Cases In PitCo In Last Six Days, But Epidemiologists Warn Against Complacency

Friday, August 14 - There hasn’t been a new coronavirus case reported among Pitkin County residents for the past six days. New case numbers in Eagle and Garfield counties are also down. In Thursday’s Pitkin County community meeting, epidemiologist Josh Vance said those decreases are in line with national and statewide trends, but no reason to get complacent. 

Aspen Music Festival concertgoers are familiar with guitarist Sharon Isbin, who has put on dozens of concerts at Harris Hall over the last twenty years. In the past nine months she has released three new albums, including Affinity. This recording is a collection of world-premieres written especially for Sharon and includes Chris Brubeck's "Affinity" with Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony.

Classical Music from Aspen host Chris Mohr chats with Sharon about this album and the special joy of collaborating with a living composer.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s COVID Emergency Relief Fund has distributed $2.28 million in assistance since the pandemic took hold in March. At the end of June, the program was suspended. Officials said it was designed as a short-term emergency program while other aid organizations built capacity for longer-term help.