EVENTS: The Five Points Jazz Festival Returns for 15th Anniversary
On May 20th Denver Arts & Venues will be hosting the 15th Annual Five Points Jazz Festival. The Five Points Jazz Festival, while being a mecca for jazz enthusiasts is also significant, as it returns the Denver jazz scene to its origins in the Five Points neighborhood, one time known as the Harlem of the West. Taking place across nine stages in the Five Points area from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the family-friendly event will feature more than 40 of jazz music’s brightest stars as well as yoga classes, drum lessons and even South African dance routines. Not to mention, the event is completely free.
Five Points, previously known as a predominately African-American area in the past has played host to many Jazz legends from Miles Davis and Theolonius Monk, to Duke Ellington and many more. The Five Points Jazz festival is a testament to the mark those artists imbued on the area and nothing short of a celebration of the cultural history of the Five Points Neighborhood. In fact, historical neighborhood fixtures like the recently revitalized 715 Club will even be incorporated into the festival as one of the nine stages and the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library will be showing documentaries on the likes of African American Jazz staples like Nina Simone and Charles Mingus.
As for the bill of music, it features a great and diverse lineup across the Jazz spectrum. Some of the highlights include Portuguese Jazz melting pot Mistura Fina, who’ve recently released their eclectic sophomore effort A Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That, as well as super group Judo chop, composed of members of Analog Son and The Magic Beans. Elsewhere, Colorado’s own 14-piece band Groove N’ Motion & The Rocky Mountain Horns will be closing down the main stage with what is sure to be a triumphant performance.
The festival will close down Welton St. between 25th and 30th Street from May 19 and 20, and will kick off with a parade down the street. Last year, the festival boasted an attendance of 50,000 and with increasing numbers throughout the years, they only expect that number to grow.
Check out the Full Schedule at the website below:
By Kori Hazel