City Park Jazz heads into its 31st 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.
Newly formed in the late Fall of 2012, this dynamic group started with a mere 9
members and has launched to upwards of 24. That's right, just about 30 musicians
collaborating to bring you a unique sound and leave you with a smile in your soul.
These are musicians that have already contributed successfully to the scene; from Birds Of A Feather, Bonnie & The Beard, Petals of Spain, The People's Abstract and more.
Needless to say, upon taking stage - this assortment of artistry commands it's presence. Their act has been compared to reading an old school Parliament comic book. In a nutshell, this crowd's get-up is wild, garish, & funky with fresh attire that makes you believe they MUST have a costume designer amongst them somewhere. In short, they are like watching a cartoon come to life.
The Other Black clearly simply loves what they do. Their soul-funk- do-wop mix with a modern squeeze endears them. People are on their feet when The Other Black hits the stage. If you haven't seen them yet, you will.
Pete Wernick & FLEXIGRASS is a supercharged blend of bluegrass with classic jazz and "Dr. Banjo" originals. The all-star group blazes new trails everywhere they play, as young vibraphone master Greg Harris and hot clarinetist Bill Pontarelli trade licks with Wernick and the band's tight arrangements provide many surprises. Joan Wernick's sparkling vocals range from soulful bluegrass to stylish jazz and Kris Ditson (drums) and Roger Johns (bass) provide a strong pulse that doesn't overpower, but pops and sizzles!
Surprising traditionalists is nothing new to bluegrass Grammy-nominated Wernick. The Hot Rize banjoist and 15-year president of the International Bluegrass Music Association is "among the most creative and just plain fun musicians in (blue, new, jazz) grass" according to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
Based on a deep understanding of musical tradition, Wernick follows the lead of important musical innovators by fusing compatible sounds and building an original and entertaining set of sounds. The band has outlasted the skeptics and the audiences roar their approval!
With her own unique sound and quality, Linda’s sultry sound is prominent whether she is singing blues, jazz, r&b, hip-hop or gospel. With a vocal range that allows her versatility, she takes full control and mesmerizes you with her silky style. Many have said they “get chills” just listening to her sing.
Linda’s melodic and electrifying vocal and stage performance has mesmerized audiences of all ages. Her silky style and charisma is sure to grab your heart, mind and soul. After which, you will never be the same.
In 1999, Linda co-wrote and produced her first single CD self-titled Linda and in 2001, participated in a compilation CD titled, Life's Story where she co-wrote and performed on six songs. Linda released her CD titled "You're the One" in September 2005.
Linda was honored in 2003 by the Colorado Black Women for Political Action at their 24th Annual Tribute to Black Women Luncheon where she received the “Arts Honoree” award in recognition of her outstanding service achievements and contributions to the Denver community.
Taking their name from a small mountain town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, DOTSERO means “Something Unique” according to Ute Native American legend to some. It means DOT-ZERO on the earliest geographical railroad maps to others, but to jazz fans worldwide DOTSERO means Contemporary Jazz at its best, full of life energy and spontaneity that few artists in the genre have been able to match.
A no nonsense sax and guitar driven thrill ride of energy and excitement. As much fun to watch as they are to listen to. The band has performed at major jazz festivals; Red Rocks Amphitheatre, JVC Winter Park Jazz Fest, Jazz Trax Catalina Island Jazz Fest and The Cancun Jazz Festival, among others. From Ala Carte Ala Park in San Francisco to West Palm Beach’s Sunfest, DOTSERO has crisscrossed the nation performing their exciting brand of jazz.
Denver has always had a thriving jazz community, and between the 1920s and 1950s, the Five Points neighborhood was the heart of the scene. Known as the "Harlem of the West," at its peak Five Points had over fifty bars and clubs, and played host to all the greats: pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington, singers Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, saxophonist Charlie Parker, and trumpeter Miles Davis, just to name a few. Local players also kept things cooking, and soon enough the Five Points sound emerged, a brand of jazz characterized by red-hot swing and boundless joie de vivre.
Thankfully the Five Points sound is still alive today, and the main keeper of the flame is pianist Purnell Steen and his group Le Jazz Machine. Now in his early seventies, Steen is a consummate performer who has a legion of devoted fans in his native Denver. Steen is
also part of a musical dynasty, with relatives including vocalist Dianne Reeves, pianist George Duke, saxophonist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and bassist Charlie Burrell.
Imagine Count Basie's swing combined with Duke Ellington's "Love you madly" charm, topped off with a healthy dollop of Wild West spirit, and that's Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine.
The Buckner FunkenJazz band has been a long time favorite of fans in Denver and surrounding areas of Colorado. We are a diversified band, playing straight ahead jazz, blues, funk, latin as well as our own original music. We are an upbeat party band that does make the crowd move, you can't sit still when you hear our music.
If you have spent any time at all on the Denver music scene, Judge Roughneck needs no introduction. Their blend of ska & reggae pays tribute to both the early '80's British 2-Tone movement and the original jazz-laced ska of Jamaica, infused with soul, has been electrifying audiences since 1995.
They have headlined every venue you know plus opened for almost every ska and reggae legend who has passed through town including UB40, Burning Spear, Rebelution, General Public, The Skatalites, The Specials, The English Beat, Fishbone, Damian Marley, Steel Pulse, and The Wailers. They have appeared at the prestigious Reggae on the Rocks Festival at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater 15 times.
Los Bohemios is an acoustic ensemble composed of some of the best musicians in Colorado. They play traditional Cuban Son, Salsa, Cumbia and Boleros, as well as Latin Rock and Latin Jazz. Los Bohemios features Ricardo Peña on vocals, guitar, requinto and piano, Amy Biondo on vocals and hand percussion, Ed Edwards on guitar and tres and vocals, Mark Diamond on upright bass, and a killer percussion section with Jose Espino and Dean Kielian on congas, bongos and timbales.
A major feature of the band is their beautiful three part harmonies mostly in Español. If you love Buena Vista Social Club or Gloria Estefan, and the romantic ballads in the style of Los Panchos, you'll be in for a treat! Their high energy performance and diverse repertoire move audiences in concerts, clubs, or wherever they perform. Timeless, fun and beautiful music for you to enjoy!
It is rare to find a vocal artist who can maneuver between genres while maintaining a genuine authenticity of each and the integrity of her own voice. Spanning from classical to gospel to jazz through to rock, blues, pop, funk and soul, JoFoKe (bka Joslyn Ford-Keel) is such a vocalist who does this with ease.
Fabled to have been born with microphone in-hand on a snowy Denver evening, she was raised engrossed in performing and worship artistry by her classically trained, jazz pianist father, choir director mother and all around artsy blended family. This eclectic artist grew up active in music, theater and dance but, perhaps the greatest impressions were left when she was given a chance to “sit-in” with her family and friends’ bands, vocal groups and orchestras.
JoFoKe (pronounced: Joh-Foh-Kee) emerged on the professional Colorado music scene as a teen and, because of her sophisticated musical ear, attention to detail, and ability to effectively adapt her sound to most styles of music, she was quickly dubbed a “chameleon”. Having spent nearly 20 years as a session vocalist, artists consultant, clinician and in other support capacities within the music industry, JoFoKe is currently a highly sought after singer, songwriter, arranger and vocal producer.
The Alpha Schoolmarm Orchestra (ASO), based on early ’60s Jamaican Ska music, is conducted by Denver music veteran Chad Aman. This talented wall of sound truly dishes up an original musical experience. The show takes the audience on a roller coaster ride from ingenious Ska-inspired arrangements of standards (from Lady Gaga to Rossini) to innovative orchestral originals.
At points throughout the show, Aman literally “plays” the orchestra like an instrument, resulting in a remarkable feat of improvisation. You do not want to miss this one-of-a-kind musical tour de force!