Over the next 10 days we will be shining the spotlight on some of the talented performers you will hear during the upcoming Five Points Jazz Festival, one of Denver’s best annual musical events. For schedule information, got to kuvo.org.
If you are a lover of big band music form the 1940s and 50s, or if you’d like to take a musical journey back in time, then plant yourself in front of the Main Stage at the Five Points Jazz Festival on May 21 at 12:30pm. The 19-piece Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra will be performing – five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones, four rhythm players and two stellar vocalists, all primed to transport you to another era. All you have to do is close your eyes and listen to the sounds of Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton and other jazz greats wafting through the historic neighborhood of Five Points.
But if contemporary music is more your thing, stick around. MJO, comprised of some of Denver’s finest musicians, also excels at contemporary big band jazz, Latin and bossa nova, with a little rock and Motown in the mix, too.
Called the “premiere jazz orchestra in the Rocky Mountain region,” MJO was formed in 2002 and has since played at countless concerts and events throughout Colorado. Committed to education and the promotion of jazz among today’s youth, the orchestra has also launched a program where they play with high school jazz ensembles at Denver’s Dazzle Jazz Club twice monthly throughout the school year. Additionally, they’ve instituted a guest artist program which brings professional jazz musicians to Denver for clinics and concerts. With a full-time musical director and dedicated staff, keeping jazz alive is a serious mission for this socially conscious orchestra.
So, whether you prefer your jazz old or new, sentimental or edgy, familiar or foreign, start your Saturday off with the sounds of a big, beautiful and brassy orchestra. Bring your parents, bring your kids – and get the whole family schooled in the visceral joys of jazz.
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