Jazz concerts in Colorado this month: Joel Ross, Shamie Royston, City Park, Telluride and more
jazz concerts in colorado this month: joel ross, shamie royston,

Jazz concerts in Colorado this month: Joel Ross, Shamie Royston, City Park, Telluride and more

It’s always nice to discover an excellent practitioner of the vibraphone. It’s an unwieldy instrument to take on the road, and there haven’t been that many artists dedicated to performing on it in a jazz context recently. But there’s nothing like the sounds (and vibes) the vibes can produce in the right hands.

Joel Ross is only in his mid-20s, but he’s already made a name for himself on the instrument, employing a soft, contemplative approach that sets him apart. His new release on the historic Blue Note label, “The Parable Of The Poet,” re-creates a Sunday church service, and his heartfelt compositions reflect gentle spiritual jazz as well as the more raucous side of the music, as if he’s channeling ideas through the eternal Charles Mingus. “Parable” is the kind of album that demands to be heard all the way through, and in that sense, it’s reminiscent of many Blue Note releases of the ’60s, not unlike those recorded by vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, who provided the world with so many timeless sessions.

The pandemic curbed Ross’ touring schedule, but he’ll be in Denver with his quartet at Dazzle on Aug. 16. His is an instrumental voice that deserves our attention, and I suspect he’s just getting started on his way to becoming one of the major movers in the future of the music. Tickets cost $20-35 for each of his 7 and 9:30 p.m. sets. Find out more at dazzledenver.com.

Shamie Royston, a brilliant pianist, composer and bandleader who was born in Colorado and grew up as a member of the Denver jazz community, is receiving some well-deserved accolades: She will be the first recipient of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice at Ucross Award. The recognition is the result of a joint collaboration between Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and the Ucross Foundation, an artist residency program based in northern Wyoming. In addition to the two-week residency at Ucross, Royston will receive a $2,000 stipend. More importantly, this award should help to cement her reputation as one of the finest artists working in jazz at this time. The lineup of talent that has been (and continues to be) fostered in the Denver area is remarkable.

Trumpeter Shane Endsley joins in a ...Kathryn Scott, Special to The Denver PostTrumpeter Shane Endsley joins in a performance at the City Park Jazz Festival in a special tribute to the late Ron Miles on June 5, 2022 in Denver. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Denver Post)

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Here are your final, free City Park Jazz dates for 2022: the life-affirming Jakarta Band appears on July 31, and the Colorado Mambo Orchestra plays Aug. 7. Get information at cityparkjazz.org…the organizers of the Telluride Jazz Festival have assembled an eclectic lineup for the annual festivities Aug. 12-14, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Rufus Reid and the above mentioned Joel Ross. In the past, I’ve found this one to be a worthy destination event. Get tickets and lodging information at telluridejazz.org…there’s a five-course dinner and tribute to the saxophonist Cannonball Adderley at Denver’s Nocturne on Aug. 7…the popular Pink Martini entertains at the Arvada Performing Arts Center Aug. 21…the Moderno Latin Jazz Quintet is set to appear at Nocturne on Aug. 26…the prolific pianist Fred Hersch brings his trio to Denver at Dazzle Sept. 2.

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