Mountain Light Music Festival 


To present jazz at Keyah Grande | By Sally Neel

Mountain Light Music Festival

It is time to put on your best toe-tapping shoes and enjoy jazz under the stars with the Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble at Keyah Grande, 13211 U.S. 160 west) next Wednesday, July 26; Thursday, July 27; and Friday, July 28. 

The evening concerts will begin at 7 p.m. Arrive early to park your car and catch a free shuttle up to the concert site. 

If you have not experienced a Mountain Light concert, you are in for a wonderful evening of entertainment provided by highly respected musicians who are at the top of their music fields. This year’s concerts feature the Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble from Baylor University under the direction of Alex Parker, senior lecturer in jazz studies. 

Guest artists include drummer Ed Taylor, professor of music theory and drumming coach at Baylor University; Chris Clark; Thomas Medeja and Sig Stefanson on trumpet; Jon Whitaker, professor of trombone from University of Alabama; and Brent Phillips, professor of trombone at Baylor University.

On Wednesday night, you will experience a laid-back, more-intimate, nuanced jazz combo featuring solo members of the ensemble, playing some of your favorite jazz tunes. Tickets for this evening are $40. 

Thursday night is Swing Night with the full dance band playing some of your favorite swing and big band jazz charts. A dance floor will be provided for those for whom simply tapping your toes is not enough. Tickets for this evening are $50.

The concert series wraps up on Friday night with a grand finale featuring the full Wayne Fisher Jazz Ensemble playing new jazz numbers as well as standards, Latin, funk, Dixieland and some swing hits. The ensemble, conducted by Parker, will include the professional guest soloists, faculty members and students. Tickets for this evening are $50.

The Mountain Light Music Festival, under the direction of Phillips, had its beginnings right here in Pagosa Springs in 2015. Phillips had enjoyed many outdoor adventures hiking the trails in Pagosa Springs during his younger years, striking up a close friendship with local wilderness guide and founder of Voice of the Wilderness Chet Russell. Their love of the outdoors and passion for music led them to form a week-long camp for serious music students wherein they were exposed to the glories of the outdoors combined with a means to discover a deeper, more spiritual expression of their music. 

Many of the students who have come to enjoy this amazing experience of playing alongside top instrumental performers, perfecting their own musical techniques and taking in the sights of one of the loveliest locations on the planet have gone on to land top positions in prestigious music schools and ensembles around the nation.

These yearly camps culminate in summer concerts for the Pagosa Springs community. Since its inception in 2015, the Mountain Light Festival has brought in 60 students, faculty, college professors and guest professionals to teach and entertain our audiences. 

Mountain Light Music Festival is a 501(c)(3) organization. After expenses, proceeds are dedicated to the growth and support of K-12 music programs here in Archuleta County.

For more information on ticket purchases for these fabulous concerts or on how you can offer your financial support to the future of the Mountain Light Music Festival in Pagosa Springs, go to or you may contact Carol Larsen at (214) 649-5041. 

Tickets also are available at Choke Cherry Tree (56 Talisman Drive Unit 8C) or at the Chamber of Commerce office (105 Hot Springs Blvd.)