Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing “economic uncertainty,” the Five Points Jazz Festival is delaying its in-person festivities in 2021.
“The most recent in-person Five Points Jazz Festival hosted more than 100,000, and we already know that type of in-person event can’t take place,” said Tariana Navas-Nieves in a news release. Navas-Nieves is the director of cultural affairs at Denver Arts & Venues, the festival’s producer. “Instead, we’re looking forward to unique ways to support this vibrant community both culturally and economically.”
The annual festival is usually held on the third Saturday of May. In 2020, the festival was virtual and aired on Rocky Mountain PBS. You can watch the full festival below.
“Unfortunately, Denver Arts & Venues has been affected by the pandemic and a number of our staff remain redeployed, supporting the City’s response to the pandemic,” explained Ginger White, executive director of Denver Arts & Venues. “We’re confident that revenues and live events will return, but right now the uncertainty of timelines for recovery make planning for events of this scale really difficult.”
The Five Points Jazz festival has taken place for more than 12 years in Denver’ Five Points neighborhood, once known as the “Harlem of the West.”
From the 30s to the 60s, Five Points reached new heights as a cultural and entertainment mecca, especially for jazz. Its flagship venue, the Rossonian Hotel, hosted a number of famous acts, including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole. The bubbling community would also nurture local legends, like Charles “Charlie” Burrell.
“Like everyone else in the entertainment business, though, 2020 has taught us how to evaluate and rethink how we celebrate the arts and culture of our neighborhoods and our city,” White said. “We remain committed to celebrating the cultural heritage of Five Points.”