During the time that René Marie lived in Denver, the Mile High City could lay claim to being the home of two of the strongest and most creative vocalists in jazz – René and Dianne Reeves. You can hear Reeves on her home turf on May 5 when she joins forces with pianist Billy Childs and fellow singers Becca Stevens and Alicia Olatujo to once again explore Childs’ impressive music for Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. That show is at the Newman Center at University of Denver on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. (303-871-4154).

As for René Marie, she is appearing in Aspen at the Jazz Café located at the Little Nell on Thursday and Friday at 7 and 9:15 p.m. under the umbrella of Jazz Aspen Snowmass (jazzaspensnowmass.org). In Aspen she’s focusing on her Eartha Kitt tribute I Wanna Be Evil with a trio that has Jazz Aspen Snowmass founder Jim Horowitz on piano. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Marie moves into Denver for two nights at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, for her Experiment in Truth music. Marie is certainly one of my favorite vocalists in jazz and her new CD on Motema, Sound of Red, is due out in mid May. At Dazzle, she is on stage on Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. and on Sunday at 6 and 8 p.m. (303-839-5100). Additionally, Marie is part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs Jazz Concert (along with Ernie Watts, Don Grusin and many others) on Tuesday at Macky Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. If you are not connected to the Conference or didn’t capture a ticket in the lottery, access will be limited.

If Marie were the only visitor to town over the coming seven days, it would be a good week for music. But she’s not alone. On Friday, bassist Chris Lightcap, who has played in Denver with a number of bands, brings his group Bigmouth to Dazzle for sets at 7 and 9 p.m. The Pennsylvania-born bassist has worked with a wide range of groups from Regina Carter, Matt Wilson and John Scofield to Anthony Braxton and Archie Shepp. Bigmouth’s current disc is titled Epicenter and it features a very strong group of players: tenor saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek, keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver. That’s a number of terrific players packaged in one band and they will all be on stage at Dazzle.

Then, on Monday, things keep cooking with pianist Steve Kuhn and his trio at Dazzle at 7 p.m. After graduating from Harvard, Kuhn connected with trumpeter Kenny Dorham, followed by stints with John Coltrane (as a member of Trane’s original quartet), Stan Getz, Chet Baker and Art Farmer. For his visit to Denver, Kuhn has David Wong on bass and Billy Drummond on drums. Kuhn is a first-rate player.

The week in music comes to an end on Wednesday with the top-notch, mainstream-oriented pianist Lenore Raphael at Dazzle with guitarist Wayne Wilkinson (who lives in these parts) and bassist Ken Walker. Her stop at Dazzle is one of several she is making during her visit, including some master classes. On Saturday, she and Wilkinson are at Caffe Sole, 637R S. Broadway in Boulder at 7 p.m. (303-499-2985), while on Sunday they are the Mezz, 20 N. Tejon in Colorado Springs at 8:30 p.m. (719-577-4556).

Spring Béla Fleck and his banjo are also in town on Friday and Saturday to perform with the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Hall in the Denver performing Arts Complex at 7:30 p.m. (303-623-7876). And next week starts off with Omar Sosa and his Quarteto Afrocubano at Mount Vernon Country Club on April 7 (303-526-0616).



Copyright 2019 KUVO . To see more, visit KUVO .

Become a Member

Join the growing family of people who believe that music is essential to our community. Your donation supports the work we do, the programs you count on, and the events you enjoy.

Download the App

Download KUVO's FREE app today! The KUVO Public Radio App allows you to take KUVO's music and news with you anywhere, anytime!