Utah Gears Up for the Moab Music Festival

The 18th installment will use the region’s iconic red rocks as a backdrop

By: By Skye Mayring

Moab Music Festival // (c) 2010

Moab Music Festival

From Sept. 2-13, the red rock country of Moab, Utah, will serve as a scenic backdrop to a very different kind of music event, the Moab Music Festival. Sunset jazz concerts along the Colorado River, chamber music concerts held in a red rock grotto and music-filled nature walks are all part of the avant garde festival that has been drawing crowds for 18 consecutive years.

“This September is a jam packed musical experience that rivals the splendor of our surroundings. Everyone who loves music of any kind will find something to savor,” said co-founder and music director Michael Barrett

Artist performing at various Moab venues include Paquito D’Rivera, Ethel, William Bolcom, Lukas Foss, Synchronicity, Maria Bachmann, Robert Black, Amy Burton, Christopher Layer, Ayano Ninomiya, Axel Strauss, Ian Swensen, Leslie Tomkins, Tanya Tomkins, Paul Woodiel and Eric Zivian.

Venues range from the more traditional (Historic Star Hall) to the scenic (Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa, Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge and Old City Park) to the unusual (a “secret” natural concert hall, accessible by a shuttle and short hike).

Unique to this festival are appearances by Ethel; Cuban jazz great and recent White House visitor, Paquito D’Rivera; and previous composers-in-residence, including William Bolcom, Lukas Foss, Lou Harrison, Lowell Liebermann, John Musto, Kenji Bunch and Jon Deak. The festival is topped off with a trip for adventuresome music lovers — a four day raft trip downriver to Lake Powell, enjoying daily concerts along the way.

Moab Music Festival