It took 13 semi-trucks to transport the national touring company of Wicked to the Buell Theater for its extended stay in Denver that ends on July 5 around the time that the blockbuster Broadway musical is expected to reach the 10 billion dollar mark in ticket sales worldwide.

At the same time that the enormously entertaining musical, built on an alternative tale of Oz and its witches, got people to their feet at Denver Performing Arts Complex (303-893-4100), pianist Jason Moran appeared just down the street for an intimate, solo-piano concert at Baur’s Listening Lounge. Instead of 13 semi-trucks, one seat on an airplane was all that it took to get the Houston-native to town.

By now everyone knows that Moran is a superb pianist, but his solo event in the small-scale space in Baur’s displayed another form of creativity as well – the ability to blend a variety of recorded segments (from a mobile phone conversation Turkish, to drummers from central Africa and an interview with Fats Waller) with his deeply evocative piano. And wearing a large “papier mache” head of Waller, created by an artist in Haiti, while playing “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “ Moran even showed that he too understood the power of theater. 

Along with Moran, Brian Blade also visited town this past week. During the current week the top visitors are guitarist John Scofield with his quartet featuring pianist John Medeski performing at the Boulder Theater on Thursday, saxophonist Stan Killian hitting Nocturne from New York on Thursday and Friday, San Francisco-based singer Lisa Engelken at Dazzle on Saturday and popular, crossover saxophonist Boney James at the Soiled Dove Underground, 7401 E. 1st Ave, on Thursday (303-830-9214).

Scofield, of course, is one of the major guitarists on the scene and one who has done it all from Miles Davis to groove bands, to Joe Lovano. He has worked with Medeski, Martin and Wood and this quartet features one-third of MMW, pianist Medeski, along with bassist Ben Street and drummer Bill Stewart. The quartet is at the Boulder Theater, 20132 14th St. in Boulder, on Thursday at 8 p.m. (303-786-7030). 

While no one coming to town can match Scofield’s reputation, saxophonist Killian, originally out of Texas and now a resident of Brooklyn, has produced several recordings, including a 2011 effort for Sunnyside that included guest trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Jeremy Pelt. The saxophonist is at Nocturne’s 1330 27th St. on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. (303-295-3333). He is working with pianist Eric Gunnison, drummer Colin Stranahan and bassist Mark Diamond

Then, on Saturday, it’s singer Engelken’s turn to shine at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, at 7 and 9 p.m. (303-893-5100). The singer’s discs have received high ratings from the Jazz Journalists Association; and at Dazzle, she and fellow San Franciscan drummer Matthew Swindells are joined by Gunnison, bassist Ron Bland a and singers Donna Wickham and Nellie Quinn.

Also during this week of Fathers’ Day and Juneteenth at Dazzle, you can find: bassist Charles Parker Mertens covering “Grunge Jazz” on Thursday at 7 p.m.; pianist Purnell Steen and his band, Le Jazz Machine, marking Juneteenth on Friday at 7 and 9 p.m.; pianist Ellyn Rucker with singer Myra Warren celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday at 7 p.m.; the Wil Swinder Elevenet taking giant steps and more with the music of John Coltrane on Monday at 7 p.m.; guitarist Matt Fuller returning to town from his stay in New York on Tuesday at 7 p.m.; and saxophonist/singer Max Wagner celebrating the release of his CD Gratitude (with Jeff Jenkins, Ken Walker and Todd Reid) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.  Wagner’s CD has just been chosen by KUVO as its June CD of the Month.

Additionally, you can spend Father’s Day outdoors at City Park Jazz, a free event that takes place every Sunday evening at City Park during the summer. This week, saxophonist/flutist Nelson Rangell gives a shout-out to Dad at 6 p.m. Rangell is among the players in town with an international reputation. Another Father’s Day event finds saxophonist Josh Quinlan and quartet in the home-concert setting at 4 p.m. in Aurora (for information, call 303-400-5288), while starting at noon on Saturday, the annual Westword Music Showcase brings several of the nominated jazz groups (such as, Annie Booth at noon, Dave Devine at 12:55 p.m. and the Organization with Jenkins at 2:45 p.m.) to Dazzle. And on Friday ay 11:15 p.m., bassist Gonzalo Teppa does the late show at Nocturne with pianst Justin Adams

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