As we get ready to celebrate July 4, 2021, it is important to remember how close we came to forgetting the fundamental message delivered by that holiday – a message involving the creation of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people to borrow the phrase of Unitarian minister Theodore Parker made famous by Abraham Lincoln.

The salvaging of that message in the wake of efforts to destroy it certainly requires some celebration, and you can do that around town in many ways. On Friday, for example, you can catch trombonist/shell player/vocalist/professor Stafford Hunter at the Charles Cousins Plaza in Five Points. Armed with a quintet reliving the jazz-funk era, the self-explanatory Funk Jazz Explorations band indicates Hunter’s continued contribution to jazz life off-campus as well as on. Following First Friday’s Jazz Hop show, Hunter also performs with his Sonic Explorations quintet on Saturday at Dazzle. Later this month, Hunter, who has been with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for decades, offers his Young Lions series at Dazzle.

Since arriving in Denver, Hunter, like pianist Dawn Clement, has been active on the local scene and that’s a good thing.

There are also a number of things happening in the spots I usually mention, such as Dazzle, (Hunter’s Jazz Funk on Saturday), Nocturne (saxophonist Peter Sommer doing the sounds of the Colossus Sonny Rollins on Saturday), Muse (trumpeter Brad Goode, another educator who has helped spark the local scene on Tuesday), Five Points (singer Gayle Leali, sister of saxophonist Brad Leali, at the Agave Shores Restaurant in Five Points at the Five Points Plaza on Friday), Classic Piano’s “100 Nights of Jazz” (the duo of Ron Jolley and Ron Bland on Thursday) and City Park Jazz (Purnell Steen and the Five Points Ambassadors on Sunday, July 4).

Jazz Notes 7-1-2021
Norman Provizer

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