Happy Birthday to Charles Burrell, known as the “Jackie Robinson of classical music,” turns 103 years young on October 4, 2023.

Purnell Steen, who is Burrell’s cousin and active historian of jazz in Denver’s Five Points Historical Cultural district, visited KUVO’s “Morning Set” to share the details about various Burrell birthday events this week, including the film screening of the documentary about Burrell’s life “The Longest Walk” at Denver East High School on Thursday, October 5 (6:30 p.m.), and the sold-out birthday brunch at Dazzle on Friday, October 6.

In the conversation on The Morning Set, Steen also tells the story of how Ron Carter – the most recorded jazz bassist in history – and Charles Burrell met for the first time in September when Carter’s national tour visited Denver. Carter emerged in the 1950s as a classically trained cellist, but the racial climate of the times moved Carter toward jazz and popular music.

Original air date 10/3/2023 — Audio from Purnell Steen’s conversation with KUVO’s Carlos Lando, Steve Chavis and Abi Clark on The Morning Set

“Photos © John Shackford”
— this page: Ron Carter, Vohn Regensburger, Charles Burrell, Purnell Steen, & Russel Malone
—homepage: Ron Carter & Charles Burrell

Poster from Denver East High School of Thursday’s film screening snapped by Keith Oxman

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