The Five Points Jazz Festival has settled in to its regular spot on the calendar, the second Saturday in June. This coming 10th of June marks the 20th anniversary of one of the largest single-day free jazz festivals in the world. There will be forty – count ‘em – 40 bands playing on ten stages in the Five Points Historic Cultural District, once known as the “Harlem of the West,” where all the world-famous jazz and blues stars stayed and played when they came to Denver.

A few bands and artists you might know: Splifftet! Carl Jackson! Wellington Bullings! Mistura Fina! Mary Lynn Gillaspie! Stafford Hunter! The Delta Sonics! Rico Jones! Same Cloth! Remy LeBoeuf! Harold Summey! David Bernot! The Ken Walker Sextet! Anisha Rush! Keith Oxman! And on the Main Stage: The Annie Booth Big Band, The Rajdulari Experience, and headlining, The Colorado Mambo Orchestra! The parade steps off at noon on Saturday, June 10 with Guerilla Fanfare.

The ten venues are the usual mix of indoor spaces and outdoor stages, providing non-stop music from noon to 8:00 p.m. The new space this year is the bar and plant store called Marigold in the 2700 block of Welton, including a rooftop space.

The band and venue schedule will be posted soon at



The First Friday Jazz series at historic Sonny Lawson Park kicks off its third season on May 5. The Curtis Park Neighbors have put together food trucks, children’s activities, and the lineup begins with Jon Romero and the Taco Cats. On the bill through November are Purnell Steen and the Five Points Jazz Ambassadors, Vashti Danette, Tony Exum Jr., the Allison Young Quartet, Vince Wiggins and His Social Groove, and a special November show for Dia De Los Muertos.



Jean-Michel Basquiat’s homage to the Charlie Parker tune “Now’s the Time” is going up for auction. Art News reports the large, seven-foot tall canvas could fetch at least $30 million when it goes on the block next month at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction. This 1985 piece deviates from Basquiat’s busy, colorful, street art style, with it’s simple black and white theme depicting a wobbly oval disc, black with white lettering, “Now’s the Time – Charlie Parker.”

Reportedly, the young artist had 3,000 LPs in his collection at the time of his passing in 1988.


Homepage Image: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Now’s the Time, 1985. SOTHEBY’S

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