Twenty-five years ago, violinist Leslie Tomkins and her pianist/conductor husband Michael Barrett took a rare vacation to Moab. Like so many before them, they fell in love with the red rock and the magical landscape of southeastern Utah, and decided to pay homage to the breath taking surrounding by adding to it the joys of music-making. And so in 1992, they created the Moab Music Festival. “Starting a music festival seemed like the perfect way to make sure we would return again and again,” Tomkins says. This year, from August 31 and September 11, the award-winning festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with a stellar program, featuring the world-class artistry and extraordinary outdoor backdrops you don't want to miss out on.
Why has the Moab Music Festival stood the test of time? Simply put: it's a fantastic event that stirs something in people. Recall the magic of Disney's Fantasia, where animated stories came to life with the grandiose music of composers you may not have been able to identify, but it didn't dampen the experience. That's what the Moab Music Festival is all about, except that instead of just watching it on a screen, you're actually there in this spectacular, almost otherworldly setting. It doesn't matter if you are or aren't able to identify who wrote the orchestration. What does matter is how it makes you feel in the moment and the memory you take away with you.
This year's line-up will give audiences a taste of a variety of genres, from chamber music (including works of living composers) and jazz to Latin music. Events will take place at indoor and outdoor venues around Moab, with the Festival’s signature Grotto Concerts, taking place in a pristine wilderness grotto 30 miles down the Colorado River, accessible only by jet boat. A four-day / three-night Musical Raft Trip through Cataract Canyon immediately follows the Festival, and includes Music Hikes where patrons are taken to a secret location for a concert, at area ranches, private homes, and at Moab's historic Star Hall. “Our 25th Anniversary will be a rich celebration of 'Music in Concert with the Landscape,' with guest artists Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, the Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegal with her Brazillian Trio, my favorite jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, Cuban Pedrito Martinez, plus my classical favorites Bach, Brahms, and Bernstein will all be singing their music," says Michael Barrettt, pianist and music director of the festival. "And all in our amazing Red Rock country. This is the only MUSN'T MISS of the season."
Tickets for the Moab Music Festival's various concerts are on sale now and available for purchase via their website. Don't miss this grand marriage of nature and music!