Provizer's Jazz Notes
Katie Glassman, appearing at Coffee at the Points, 11am Saturday
This weekend you can catch a variety of free sounds at not just one, but at two festivals: the Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver on Saturday and the Estes Park Jazz Festival in Estes Park that takes place on Saturday and Sunday. The festivities at the Points run along Welton Street from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at six locations, including the main stage at 29th Street. On that stage, Southern Journey gets things going at 11 a.m. followed by the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Park Hill Brass and Conjunto Colores. Singer Hazel Miller and her band then close it down with a rhythmic bang. There’s music and activities everywhere in the area. For example, Katie Glassman is at the coffee shop in the Points also at 11 a.m. With all that’s going on, it’s a great way to spend a day (artsandvenuesdenver.com for a detailed listing of all of the events). On Friday, leading up to the festival, there’s a showing of the film The Girls in the Band at the McNichols Building, 144 W. Colfax, at 6:30 p.m. with a reception at 5:30 p.m. ($20).
Meanwhile, up in Estes Park, there’s music at Performance Park just west of downtown from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The lineup on Saturday is the Estes Park Big Band, the Jazz Guitar Summit (with Marcus Firillo, Dave Corbus and Steve Kovalcheck), Ginga and the O’Tone Brass Band. On Sunday, the groups on stage are Myra Warren and Ellyn Rucker, Laura Newman and AOA and the festival’s headlining act the Cookers at 1:45 p.m. The Cookers is an all-star group consisting of saxophonists Billy Harper and Craig Handy, trumpeters Eddie Henderson and Dan Weiss, drummer Billy Hart, bassist Cecil McBee and pianist George Cables (though, I’ve noticed that Orrin Evans has been at the piano at recent concerts).
The Cookers (named for the classic 1965 album, Night of the Cookers, from trumpeter Henderson) obviously offers a special treat as well exhibited on its most recent CD Believe on Motema.
This summer the Cookers will be featured at some of the most well known European jazz festival, including the North Sea festival in the Netherlands and the Umbria Jazz event in Italy. Estes Park is a lot closer.
In between the music in the park on Saturday and Sunday, saxophonist Max Wagner, who has been a driving force behind the festival in Estes Park, brings a quartet to Mama Rose’s, 338 E. Elkhorn in Estes, from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. (970-586-3330).
Along with the day long festivities in Estes Park and Five Points, saxophonist Hashem Assadullahi visits Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, on Thursday from New York. Assadullahi, originally from Texas, has a couple of CDs out with his group that includes Denver’s own Ron Miles on trumpet. The saxophonist (whose father is from Iran) draws from several musical wells and performs at Dazzle with Miles on trumpet, Eric Gunnison on piano, Greg Garrison on bass and Paul Romaine on drums. The sets are at 7 and 9 p.m. ($10, 303-839-5100).
Assadullahi’s second CD, Pieces, is on the OA2 label. Saxophonist Lynn Baker from the University of Denver also has a disc out on that label titled Lectrocoistic. At Dazzle on Saturday, Baker celebrates the release of that CD with his quartet that has Gunnison on piano, Bijoux Barbosa on bass and Paul Mullikind on drums. The sets are 7 and 9 p.m. ($15 which includes a copy of the CD).