As I write, I’m on the Flatirons Flyer bus from Boulder to Denver. I’m heading to the last Friday Lunch Bunch: Purnell Steen and the Five Points Ambassadors at the Dazzle Bar’s Building location. The Baur’s location was always a temporary home, albeit one that lasted 6-years for Dazzle. Now they are ready to move into their new location at the Denver Art’s complex starting next week. Along with the new location, they’ve also announced a whole new schedule. I’m delighted that Ron Carter is one of the artists appearing.

Dazzle Denver’s new location at the Denver Performing Arts Complex downtown. March 29, 2023. Picture Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

In addition to the new location and new schedule, Dazzle will be bringing back the legacy of El Chapultepec. The Denverite has the full story and pictures. At least as I understand it, the El Chapultepec piano late night shows will be free. There may be a cover but the late 11pm to 1pm sets will hopefully enable some of the local young guns to sit in and earn their chops.

Herbie Hancock in Boulder

I’ve said before, getting great jazz musicians to Denver is like waiting for a London bus. You wait forever for one to come along, and two come along at the same time. I have tickets to see Herbie Hancock on September 12th at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. As of writing, there are still tickets available.

The last time I saw Herbie play live was back in 1984 on the deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum docked in the Hudson River, in his “Rockit” period. It was an awesome time to be in New York City. It will be a very different concert this time I’m guessing.

September is always a busy month for us, our whole family are libra. Hancock’s concert is the night of my daughter’s birthday; my wife is the 13th, and I’m the 23rd. I am though especially looking forward to returning to Chautauqua, since that will be an early wedding anniversary for Kate and I. We were married up at the Flagstaff  Sunrise Circle Amphitheater and had our wedding lunch at the dining hall at Chautauqua.

Ron Carter and the Golden Striker Trio

Without a doubt the most anticipated event of the year will be seeing Sir Ron live. I had tickets to see Ron from I think before the pandemic, but Ron had to cancel because he had medical issues, which I assume were related to his recent back problems. I’m delighted to see maestro is back (no pun intended).

Ron is already on a fairly extensive tour. He will be in Denver September 12-14th and will play 6x sets, 7:00 and 9:30 each night at the new Denver location for Dazzles. The tickets only went on sale this morning, and I already have ours for the 14th. Ron will be appearing with Donald Vega on piano and Russell Malone on guitar. Russell was part of the last CTI All Stars lineup, Ron of course was part of the first.

Tickets are available for all the Golden Striker Trio sets from the Dazzle Denver website.

Support Live Music

I see lots of people sharing their vinyl albums online, especially on Instagram. It’s great celebration to see people enjoying jazz music, and especially some of the giants of the genre. However, to keep jazz alive, and it is, we as a community need to do more. Again, I’ve said it before musicians cannot survive on streaming revenue. As much as I treasure my vinyl collection, and I have a lot. Buying used vinyl is no better than telling a musician “thank you” after you see them pan-handling on the street.

I came here by bus today because it’s an easy and cheap way to travel. Public transport has to get better in the USA, and it won’t if we just keep saying “I would use public transport if it was more frequent or went where I’m going”. The only way that will happen is by taking what’s available now. The more demand, the better the service.

Weirdly, the same is true for jazz music. It doesn’t matter how enthusiastic young musicians are, if we don’t support the places they play, and provide opportunities for them, there will be no jazz in the future. I for one am looking forward to coming to the next Friday Lunch Bunch: Purnell Steen and the Five Points Ambassadors and hopefully other events at the new Dazzle location before Ron rides his upright bass into town in September,

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