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Salt Lake City Jazz Series Comes To An End

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Jazz in Salt Lake City concert series has called it quits after a full decade of bringing the biggest names in jazz to Utah.

“It breaks our hearts to have to stop,” Amanda Lufkin, executive director of the GAM Foundation, which runs the concert series, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We don’t want to, but the money’s run out.”

Lufkin said that the foundation’s founders, her father, Gordon Hanks, and partner, Michael Mackay, are in their 60s and nearing retirement.

”They’ve put in over $400,000 over the past 10 years, and they can’t do it anymore,” she told the paper. “They’re losing their shirts…They want to retire from their jobs in the near future. They just can’t afford to keep putting money in and losing money.”

The concert series, which began in 1995 as Jazz at the Hilton, and renamed Jazz at the Sheraton in 2000 due to the hotel venue’s ownership changing, has presented 113 concerts, according to KUER-FM jazz director Steve Williams.

The decade of music showcased, “world-class musicians from all parts of the country, recording artists that are big-time, within a concert for 1,200 people on a Monday night, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And that’s over,” commented Williams.

The list of artists include Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Arturo Sandoval, Diana Krall, Pat Metheny, and Sergio Mendes.

Efforts to lure sponsors to help cover the rising performer’s fees and venue rent have failed.

Two more shows remain on the schedule, including the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band on April 18 and the final show on May 23 with the Michel Camilo Trio. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers