City Park Jazz heads into its 29th season with a great lineup of FREE Sunday concerts in the park. Spanning 10 weeks across June, July and August, the collection of local musicians in this year’s lineup crosses cultures, styles and genres in a way that reflects the musical and cultural diversity of Denver.
Selina Albright — Vocals; Sean McGowan — guitar; Cory Baker — drums; James Roberson — keys; Casey Sidwell — bass
Selina Albright is a multi-genre vocalist and songwriter with versatility that comes from years of listening to many origins and languages of music. Her soulfulness and angelic tone add character and emotion to any ballad, yet her powerful wailing and stage presence commands attention.
Albright learned her onstage charisma and vocal technique from being exposed to legendary artists, such as Whitney Houston, Take Six, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Lalah Hathaway, and Tina Turner.
The artist appears on Gerald Albright's newest solo project, Pushing The Envelope, and contributed the songwriting for the title track of his collaboration with Norman Brown, entitled 24/7. She has also released her own original funky jazz tune "You and I," which is available on iTunes and was featured on iTune's "Top 100 Downloads" list for the genre of Jazz in 2010.
Aside from her jazz releases, the artist has also collaborated with EDM artists, showing yet another facet of her creativity! She has released covers and original music with the internationally-revered DJ duo Manufactured Superstars. Songs include "Born to Rock," "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off," and "Serious." A major highlight of her career was her performance of "Serious" for the Electric Daisy Carnival before over 200,000 high-energy ravers and fans! Her creative relationship with Manufactured Superstars continues.
Selina began singing at age two, but her professional music career began at age 14 when she performed on an educational project released in Japan by Sony. She was also the featured background vocalist on three songs from Gerald Albright’s Live To Love CD in 1997, and on two songs from his Sax For Stax CD in 2009. She has graced the stage the world over with many artists, such as pianists Jeff Lorber and David Benoit; guitarists Peter White and Jeff Golub; bassist Marcus Miller; saxophonists David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliott, and Candy Dulfer; trumpet players Hugh Masakela and Rick Braun; and vocalists Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Eric Roberson, Jonathan Butler, and The Temptations.
Annie Booth (piano), Daryl Gott (alto saxophone), Patrick McDevitt (bass), Neil Hemphill (drums)
Annie Booth is a pianist and composer based in Denver, CO. Growing up in a musical family in Westminster, CO, she began the piano at a young age and started playing jazz in high school. She went on to study music at the collegiate level, earning a BM in jazz piano performance from the Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2011.
Annie has performed all over the world as a versatile pianist on several luxury cruise lines and these days, is an active performer on the Denver jazz scene both as a sideman with several projects and as a bandleader of her own. She is a a recepient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award and is a 2015 Westword Music Award nominee in the jazz category. The pianist-composer released her debut album,Wanderlust, in October 2014 on the Dazzle Recordings label - an album that features an artistic program of nine original compositions in both trio and quartet settings.
In addition to performing and composing, Annie is an active educator in Colorado – teaching through local non-profit organizations (The Gift of Jazz and The Colorado Conservatory For The Jazz Arts) and with a private piano studio of her own.
Nelson Rangell — saxophone, flute; Bijoux Barbosa — bass; Eric Gunnison — keyboard; Mike Marlier — drums
Jazziz magazine writes that Nelson Rangell is “an artist of depth, a master of song, and an improviser non pareil.” The Times of London notes “his extraordinary facility on a range of instruments” and Rangell’s “considerable crowd pleasing power”. Saxophone Journal writes “He commands the alto saxophone with such authority there can be no denying that Rangell is a true artist,” and Flute Talk Magazine states “Nelson Rangell creates the impression that anything is possible when he improvises.” Such praise is a confirmation of what contemporary jazz fans have known since the Denver based saxophonist emerged in the late 80s: that Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
Paa Kow - drums; Peyton Shuffield – percussion; Joel Michael Timm - trombone; Noah Fulton-Beale - trumpet; Jonnie Cohen - guitar; Solomon Goldbas - keyboards;
Tom Ogunribido – bass
Special guests: Brad Goode - trumpet; Mike Schwebke - steel pan/percussion
Paa Kow is an internationally renowned drum set player, bandleader, composer, and producer. Growing up in the small village of Enyan Denkyira near Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa, Paa Kow began to play music and tour with his family’s concert band at a very early age. He has since grown to be widely recognized as one of the most remarkable drum set players to tour in Africa, Europe, and America. Paa Kow’s deep groove and prodigious talent reveal a unique ability to speak to listeners with his drums, inspiring a profound spiritual conversation. His songs are captivating and danceable and incorporate lyrics in his native language, Fante, as well as English. Paa Kow’s vision is to spread the music and culture of his homeland by touring the world with his Afro-Fusion orchestra.
Notable musicians he has shared the stage with include African greats: Amakye Dede, George Darko, Kojo Antwi, Nat Brew, Hugh Masekela, and Vusi Mahlasela, as well as American greats Victor Wooten, Brad Goode, John Gunther, Michael Kang, and many more.
Denver’s no stranger to groove.
Going back to the halcyon hey days when Philip Bailey laid plush bricks for the foundation of Earth, Wind and Fire, the Mile High’s been a steady scene for groove, even if it’s taken a back seat to mountain jam grass in the last decade or two.
This latter evolution is precisely why The Messers’ emergence in 2011 was so welcomed.
Obsessively committed to the details. That’s what jumps out when you take a moment to deconstruct what seems elegant in its simplicity— after all, The Messers get down, first and foremost. But beyond the ability to drop a wickedly addictive groove, is an orchestration that reveals incessant hours in the woodshed. There’s serious work behind all the fun.
Up front is Kate Calhoun, arguably the single most talented vocalist in the Centennial State right now. That’s not hyperbole. Listen to her. Her versatility is peerless. Her tone’s honey smooth and her pitch is quantum-precise. It’s unreal.
From there, it’s a punch list of beloved Denver bands represented through the rest of the group: Stu Miller – guitar and vocals, Jody Calhoun – bass, Kurt Moorehead – keyboards, saxophone and horns, Jay Ruybal – drums, and MC Mo Hatcher.
Savage Henry. The Fong Jones Band. The Psychedelic Zombiez. Wish We Were Floyd. The Byron Shaw Projex … Just to name a few of the bands, past and present, that have benefitted from the efforts of this group of musicians.
The Messers dropped their debut EP New American Soul Vol. 1 in 2012. It’s a strong reproduction of what happens on stage when they add their Mile High Horns to the mix—as witnessed by their recent success at the Herman’s Hideaway Best of the West prelims. The Messers have practically waltzed into the semi-finals with six other groups… from an original field of 60 or so. (We went on to win the Best of the West and played Red Rocks on July 14th 2014)
Despite the crushing talent, eminent groove and soul-saturated sound, The Messers remain a relatively fresh face in Denver. That is to say, not nearly enough people have discovered them yet. Which means you can still get in on the ground floor with the next great band to come out of Denver. And trust us on this one. You’ll love them.
The Messers ain’t messin’ around.
Eric Trujillo and the mambotet is a Latin jazz super band featuring masterful improvisation and Latin rhythms featuring world renowned musicians such as Brad Goode, Nelson Rangell, Manny Lopez, Mike Marlier, Justin Adams, Gary Sosias and the leader of the Orchestra Eric Trujillo.
About Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA)
Founded in 1999, CCJA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization powerfully serving young Colorado musicians and the greater community by:
Lynn Baker – saxophone; Bijoux Barbosa – bass; Eric Gunnison – keyboard; Paul Mullikin – drums
Lynn is an award-winning composer, performer, and educator winning the 1987 Westside Composer Award (Minneapolis, MN), the 1995 COVisions Award for Jazz Composition, the 1980 Ruth Loraine Close award in performance from the University of Oregon, and the 2005 Downbeat Magazine award for Outstanding Achievement in Jazz Education – College Level and students and ensembles from Lamont are frequent Downbeat Student Music Award winners.
Malcolm Lynn Baker is the Director of the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Program at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver, where he directs the Lamont Jazz Orchestra, coaches combos, and teaches Jazz Improvisation and Composition class, Jazz History classes, and Jazz Techniques classes.
Ellyn Rucker – piano; Ken Walker – bass; Jill Fredericksen – drums
Ellyn is the City Park Jazz Guest of Honor.
Ellyn Rucker has been playing Jazz in Denver since the ’70s, starting with the Robin's Nest on Lookout Mountain. Over the years, she had the good fortune to work with Spike Robinson, Clark Terry, James Moody, Red Mitchell, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Carl Fontana, Richie Cole, Mark Murphy, Benny Carter, Pete Christlieb, Kenny Burrell, and many more. Rucker held down the piano bench for years at Denver's El Chapultepec, backing local and national players. She performed on the Marian McPartland Piano Jazz show in New York and toured throughout the UK and Europe, including three tours at the Northsea Jazz Festival in Holland, and a 5-month stint in Shanghai. You will find her recordings on the Capri Records Label.
Sam Mayfield - guitar; Ed "Mr.Wonderful" Wingfield - vocals; Bill Shannon, - bass; Karen Cherish - keyboards; Michael Johnson – Drums; Jon Braddy - Trombone; Steve Illich – trumpet; Toby Hopper – Saxophone; Jimmy Betts – M.C.
Sam Mayfield started his career as a blues artist in the early ’60s. Throughout the years, Sam has backed such blues greats as Esther Phillips, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and Jimmy Witherspoon just to mention a few. He has also opened shows and impressed the likes of B.B. King, Denise LaSalle and others. Sam was the musical director for the legendary Solomon Burke for over 20 years. Sam Mayfield and the Soul Alive Orchestra toured extensively throughout Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada and were in Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sam and the band are currently recording a new CD; his last recording Blues by the Bushel received stellar reviews. Sam is the host of "All Blues" on Saturdays from 4–6 p.m. at www.kuvo.org.