Wednesday, May 2, 2012

From 5280 Magazine: "Sweet Sounds" -- jazz in Denver

Benny Goodman and his 15-piece outfit worked at Denver's Elitch's Gardens from Friday, July 26 through Thursday, Aug. 15, 1935. They bombed -- the conservative Denver audiences wanted sweet jazz, waltzes and novelty numbers. Goodman, who had enjoyed success and national exposure via his "Let's Dance" radio band remotes from New York City on NBC, fell into despair here. He thought he would have to disband after finishing his bookings in California. On Aug. 21, 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, the crowd went ballistic over his hard-driving swing sound , inaugurating a decade during which cutting-edge jazz and popular taste were one.
I was lucky enough to get to write a wonderful feature story about jazz in Denver, past and present. Space did not permit me to go into as much detail as I would like; I have appended below information about local venues for those who want to get out and hear what's happening!

P.S.: If you have more information about local jazz clubs, nights, events, performers or ensembles, please feel free to share this info in the comments section.


930 Lincoln St.

Jazz @ Jack’s
500 16th St., Ste. 320

El Chapultepec
1962 Market St.
“Straight-ahead” jazz Wednesday and Thursday evenings

2057 Larimer St.
Jazz, blues, funk and more on mixed schedule; Open Jam every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.

1575 Boulder St., Ste. A
Jazz and blues, 6:15 – 10:15 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays

Burnsley Hotel
1000 Grant St.
Jazz Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings

2701 Larimer St.
Jazz jam every Monday at 9 p.m.

Tennyson’s Tap
4335 W. 38th Ave.
Laura Newman Trio w/Ellyn Rucker
Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The Bitter Bar
9th and Walnut, Boulder
Mark Diamond Jazz Duo, Tuesdays, 7 to 10 p.m.

Boulder Outlook Hotel
800 28th St., Boulder
Jazz jams, 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays, 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Blues jams, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

All the artists listed below came from Denver, spent a significant part of their lives here, or currently reside and work here.


George Morrison, Sr.
Paul Whiteman
Jimmy Lunceford
Andy Kirk
Glenn Miller
Paul Quinichette
Ted Alexander
James Romaine
Billy Tolles
Spike Robinson
Phil Urso


Bill Frisell
Paul Warburton
Dianne Reeves
Dave Grusin
Don Grusin
Freddy Rodriguez, Sr.
Rene Marie
Ellyn Rucker
Fred Hess
Ron Miles
Art Lande
Ralph Sharon
Cedar Walton
Bill Graham
Charlie Burrell
Sam Gill
Pat Bianchi
Laura Newman
Paul Romaine
Hazel Miller
Kenny Walker
Mark Simon
Mark Patterson
John Gunther
Eric Gunnison
Matt Wilson
Tyler Gilmore
Andy Weyl
Brad Goode
Eduardo “Bijoux” Barbosa
Jeff Jenkins
Keith Oxman
Marc Sabatella
Justin Adams
Ron Bland
Colin Stranahan


Tom Lundin said...

Aw, you left off my favorite Denver "past master" Phil Urso...

BradWeis said...

oops! thanks for your input! i just added him to the Roll of Honor . . .

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