Let’s start off with the vocal side of the music. On Thursday, singer Kathy Kosins hits the stage at Baur’s Listening Lounge, 1512 Curtis, at 8 p.m. where, just a few weeks ago, pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa turned up the heat on that stage with his potent trio. Kosins, of course, isn’t from Cuba, but she has over her career covered a number of musical bases, from rock and R&B to jazz where she has certainly found a home. Interestingly enough, in addition to singing, Kosins is also an abstract artist; and while she might not paint her way through the night at Baur’s, it is something she has done (303-615-4000). Eric Gunnison, who definitely has a way with singers, is part of Kosins’ support team.
Then, on Friday, things shift to the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Pkwy., and singer Alicia Olatuja. Back in May of this year, Olatuja was one of the vocalists (along with Denver’s Dianne Reeves and Becca Stevens) who performed Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro with pianist Billy Childs at the Newman Center at University of Denver. While a hospital stay caused me to miss that concert, the reports I received on it were stellar. At the fine theater in the Lakewood Cultural Center, Olatuja sings at 8 p.m. (3903-987-7845).
Moving on to Saturday, Caffe Sole, 637R S. Broadway in Boulder, offers the Quirktett – a band with five singers: Marylynn Gillaspie, Terri Jo Jenkins, Janine Gastineau and John Betram plus a rhythm section with Jeff Jenkins on piano. The singers, who could form a basketball team, ate on stage at 7 p.m. (303-499-2985). And on Wednesday, Nocturne, 1330 27th St., gets on the vocal wagon with a CD release party at 7 p.m. from singer Robin Barnes (303-295-3333).
Taking a break from vocal sounds, you can catch a jazz/funk outing with guitarist Fareed Haque and his Funk Brothers band at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, on Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. (303-839-5100). Haque, with a father from Pakistan and a mother from Chile, has a lot of musical influences running through him, though a major musical influence came from Chicago in the form of saxophonist Von Freeman. Haque appeared on three CD’s from saxophonist Javon Jackson, who has deep roots in Denver, along with the groove-oriented Garaj Mahal, Sting, the Zawinul Syndicate and Paquito D’Rivera. On the funk side, the Brothers are: Rob Dicke on drums, Alex Austin on bass and Kevin Kozol on keyboards. The group is no stranger to Denver.
On Friday, the night before Haque and the Funk Brothers hit Dazzle, pianist Purnell Steen brings his Le Jazz Machine to the club on Lincoln for a Swinging Madly CD-release outing celebrating the music of Duke Ellington at 7 and 9 p.m. Saxophonist Max Wagner, trumpet player Nick Bannock, bassist Fred Fuller and drummer Kevin Smith are joined by guests including guitarist Ed Stephen, vibraphonist Dave Alkins and singer Myra Warren plus a few surprise guests. The concert also remembers drummer Jack McCutchan who passed away in February of this year.
Earlier on Saturday, from 2 until 4 p.m., there’s also a Sweet Escape” event from the women’s vocal ensemble of Denver known Round Window as Safonia at Dazzle, while on Sunday Dazzle has banjoist Jake Schepps and Round Window onstage at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, it finally ends, the election that is and you join guitarist Mike Abbott and pianist Gunnison exploring the sounds of Herbie Hancock at Dazzle at 7 p.m.
Over at the Soiled Dove Underground, 7401 E. 1st Ave., crossover guitarist Nick Colionne is on stage on Saturday at 8 p.m. (303-366-0007). And if you need a good laugh after the election ends, keep in mind the new comedy An Act of God playing at the Garner Galleria Theater through March 12. This 90-minute entirely uninhibited romp finds God taking human form and telling it like it is, or, at least, the way writer David Javerbaum imagines it to be. Javerbaum is the 13-time Emmy winner and former head writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Javerbaum’s words together with Wesley Taylor (as God) and a couple of less-than-perfect angels in the supporting cast keep the performance running on all cylinders from start to the end both literally and figuratively (800-641-1222).
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