Before we know it, the end of April, the end of Jazz Appreciation Month, will be here.
Jazz’s designated month wraps up on April 30 each year – designated by UNESCO as International Jazz Day with events occurring across the globe. In fact, if you check out jazzday.com, you can see hundreds of those events listed by country from the start of the alphabet through Vietnam. Additionally, if people are hanging around with music on their minds, you can add a listing to the International Jazz Day posting by going to jazzday.com.
Before we get to International Jazz Day on the 30th, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) celebrates its newest class of Jazz Masters with a taped event co-sponsored with SFJAZZ and hosted by saxophonist Miguel Zenón. Among the many performers involved in the activities are past NEA Jazz Masters, including Denver’s Dianne Reeves, who earned the Masters label as part of the class of 2018.
Of course, Reeves is the most well-known jazz player connected today with jazz, but there are others here with their own recognition on the national scene. To name just a few there’s: pianists Art Lande and Eric Gunnison; saxophonists Tia Fuller, Javon Jackson, and Nelson Rangell; drummer Rudy Royston; trumpeters Greg Gisbert, Hugh Ragin, Kirk Knuffke, and Ron Miles.
This weekend at Dazzle, you can also get a taste of two added musicians of note who live in Denver: trombonist/shell player Stafford Hunter and pianist Dawn Clement. The two have a quartet paying tribute to Blossom Dearie on Saturday, April 24, at 9:30 pm. Before Hunter and Clement do Blossom, Rajdulari and Monique Brooks-Roberts are on stage at 7 pm. Brooks-Roberts and Rajdulari can cover, with their voice and violin, the spectrum of sounds.
Hunter has had a long career in the Duke Ellington trombone section and Clement was widely recognized as a key player on the Northwest jazz scene. They are more than welcome additions to what Denver offers to the sound of jazz.
Jazz Notes 4-22-2021