Denver Sister Cities International and Fireside at Five have joined forces to bring epic Jazz to Denver and you don’t want to miss it!
You may know Five Points as the trendy neighborhood where you can go get a great bagel and window shop down Welton St., but did you know it was once referred to by many across the country as the “Harlem of the West”? That’s right — we had one of the hottest Jazz scenes in the country during the 30s, 40s, and 50s. We had legends like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald playing in the 50+ jazz clubs that once made up the Five Points neighborhood. We have a responsibility to be custodians and caretakers of the past and the Five Points jazz legacy is too prominent and profound to forget about.
Many people don’t know that though — and it’s because we haven’t been very good listeners and we haven’t been the best neighbors either. We have a responsibility to be custodians and caretakers of the past and the Five Points jazz legacy is too prominent and profound to forget about.
For that reason, we’ve created Gin & Jazz — a community-driven Jazz Series that champions and celebrates artists who embody and carry forth the Five Points jazz legacy in modern-day Mile High. Since musicians have been some of the most severely impacted by the pandemic, Gin & Jazz is an opportunity to spotlight and support community artists, most intentionally artists from marginalized communities (ie. BIPOC/LGBTQ), and those who have ties to the Five Points neighborhood.
For August – Gin and Jazz has graciously partnered with Denver Sister Cities International to promote the long history of Jazz between Denver and our Sister City Brest, France, and will be donating a portion of the profits from all August Concerts to DSCI. Let’s say thank you by showing up to support Jazz Musicians in Denver!
We hope you’ll join us every Thursday in August in The Rainbow Alley outside of Trax from 7:30 – 9:30pm for some Gin & Jazz!
Thank you so much Gin and Jazz! We are so excited about this collaboration! Make sure you check Gin and Jazz out for the other awesome things they are doing in Denver!
This Brest Newspaper from August 2017 shares a little bit about the history of Jazz arriving in Brest, France. – please forgive the rough translation.
James Reese Europe was a jazz pioneer and an African-American fighter during the First World War. He was also an importer of music. On December 27, 1917, American troops disembarked the SS Pocahontas in Brest, France bringing with them rhythm and enthusiasm.
He became known as the “Martin Luther of Harlem” the “King of music” and “Harlem Hellfighters” resulting in him establishing an orchestra in Brest on January 11, 1919.
AUGUST CONCERT SERIES
Brothers of Brass
Brothers of Brass is a Denver-based horn and drum group specializing in smashing street music. The ensemble describes their sound as hard-hitting NOLA brass from Colorado. Their new single “Freedom,” can be described as a style of west coast underground hip-hop with horns.
Brionne Aigné (pron: ON-YAY) is a prolific singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist with a sound that quickens her audience’s soul. Don’t miss out on her Gin & Jazz performance on August 12th!
Alex Heffron is an active composer and is leading his own band which blends the tradition and the current trends in jazz. His music has been featured on stages all across the country, as well as at festivals like the Five Points Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, Evergreen Music Festival, and Boulder Jazz and Arts Festival.
Purnell Steen (first cousin to Charles Burrell, Dianne Reeves) and co-conceptualizer of the Gin & Jazz Series, has one mission and that is to preserve the “Sounds of Five Points.” We are so grateful to have Purnell closing out the Gin & Jazz Series on August 26th.