Five Points Jazz Festival
2015 Five Points Jazz Festival: Saturday, May 16
The 2015 Five Points Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday May 16th. The schedule is still in the works, but some early highlights include the USAFA Falconaires with legendary jazz vocalist Ernie Andrews, Sammy Mayfield, Ritmo Latin Jazz, Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles and Willie “The Blues Man” Houston. Please check back in and follow us on facebook for more on the bands, vendors and festival details in the coming months.
The free festival takes place the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music’s legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more.
Since its inception in 2004, the Five Points Jazz Festival has grown each year in size and popularity. In 2014 we saw attendance increase to nearly 26,000 and 35 bands performed throughout the course of the day. To accommodate for these increased numbers, we added 20 additional vendors, three more stages and expanded four blocks. We hope to see the same exciting growth for 2015 to make it the best year yet.
2015 Events Leading Up to the Festival:
Five Points Jazz Festival Presents: Rendezvous Sessions
Join us for a series of live performances and a film screening in anticipation of the 2015 Five Points Jazz Festival on May 16. Hosted at the McNichols Building from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., enjoy a taste of what you can expect at the upcoming free festival! Drinks & hors d'oeuvres will be served. $10 for each event, $25 for all 3 events (plus applicable fees).
Thursday, March 12: Conjunto Colores accompanied by Senora and Jig. Internationally acclaimed Conjunto Colores is one of the few bands that specializes in “Salsa Dura” (Hard Salsa) emphasizing strong percussion and horns over vocals. Local salsa experts Senora and Jig will perform and get the crowd off their feet to dance.
Thursday, April 9: Buckner Funken Jazz. Led by respected jazz musician Rod Buckner, Buckner Funken Jazz has earned a reputation for blazing the club, theater and festival circuit with a sound that brings old-school funk and be-bop crashing together. Purchase tickets at axs.com.
Five Points Jazz on Film
Thursday, May 14: Keep On Keepin' On. Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, “Keep On Keepin’ On” depicts a 23-year-old, blind piano prodigy, Justin Kauflin, and music legend and teacher Clark Terry. Recently passed, Terry spent his life working with and teaching the most totemic figures in jazz history, most notably as Quincy Jones’ first teacher and mentor to Miles Davis, as well as one of the few performers ever to have played in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands. “Keep On Keepin’ On” highlights Terry’s friendship with the preternaturally gifted Kauflin, who suffers from debilitating stage fright and not long after Kauflin is invited to compete in an elite Jazz competition, Terry’s health takes a turn for the worse. As the clock ticks, we see two friends confront the toughest challenges of their lives. Purchase tickets at axs.com.
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