If you ask most musicians, there's a unique thrill and community that comes with performing live. But it is difficult to imagine how much greater that feeling is when it has been more than a year with just a performance or two.
“For the band, any chance to get together and play is a joy and pleasure,” Drew Zaremba, artistic director of the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, said fondly. “Getting back in front of audiences has been great, because we like putting together programs and framing the night in a special way.”
This spring the orchestra has been returning to stages, and its third performance will 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway in Lakewood. The show is called “Basie, Blues and More!,” and according to provided information, the show will feature a variety of blues, jazz and Latin classics including Count Basie's “Blues in Hoss Flat,” Stan Kenton's “A Little Minor Blues,” and Chick Corea's “Armando's Rhumba.”
Members of the orchestra are some of the most talented musicians and soloists in the metro area, ranging from 30 years old to musicians in their 60s. In addition, several members are gifted arrangers and writers — talents which the orchestra makes use of by inviting them to do arrangements for some of the programs.
“We love playing new stuff as well as classics — we always try to look both backwards and forwards,” Zaremba said. “It's about balance — we want variety and a great representation of diverse bands and styles.”
Some notable orchestra members include lead trumpet player Andrew Fowler, who also performs with the United States Air Force Academy Band; internationally known drummer Mike Marlier has performed and recorded with artists including Dave Grusin, Benny Golson and Nelson Rangell; and bassist Eduardo “Bijoux” Barbosa, a world-class studio musician that can be heard on more than 300 recordings, according to provided information.
Zaremba became the orchestra's artistic director in 2020 and has composed and arranged pieces for the BBC Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Pyramid Jazz Orchestra in Kanazawa, Japan. What draws him to the jazz world is the uniqueness of each performance — something that can never be duplicated.
“It's a beautiful thing, because even if it's the same song, there's a new soloist that is going to do something different,” he said. “Listeners are experiencing something that has never happened before and won't happen again. That's what we want to share with the audience — our joy.”
In-person or live-streamed tickets can be purchased by calling 303-987-7845 or visiting Lakewood.org/tickets.
Mooby's makes delicious Denver stop
Fans of Kevin Smith's quasi-extended universe will be very familiar with Mooby's — it is the fictional fast-food joint that Smith created for films like “Clerks” and “Dogma” — it has been the site of some pretty wacky stuff. And now it'll be coming to Denver in pop-up form at Denver's Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St.
Mooby's will be open for dining (with reservations made in advance) from Friday, May 28 through Sunday, June 6. Each ticket includes a Mooby's Meal with the diner's selections of a Moo Main + Salt Lick Side (vegan and non-vegan options available). Mooby's soda, beer and cocktails, and desserts will also be available, as will some really fun merch options.
Visit www.exploretock.com/moobysdenver to get a spot.
Black Love Mural Festival spreads creativity over Denver
The Black Love Mural Festival is partnering with Denver Parks and Rec and digital arts nonprofit Unique.One to host this year's event at Civic Center Park, 101 W. 14th Ave. in Denver, Five Points Plaza and other locations around Denver. The aim is to provide “a safe place for black creatives to engage, educate and inspire each other,” according to provided information.
The festival begins on Thursday, May 27, when artists begin their murals, and ends on Sunday, Aug. 1. According to provided information, every weekend leading up to a Juneteenth celebration (Sunday, June 20), the organization will host live paintings, workshops and more. There will also be a cookout and DJ battle on Sunday, July 11.
Visit www.instagram.com/blacklovemuralfestival for more information.
Clarke's Concert of the Week — Tennis at Red Rocks
It is so great to write about a concert that people can see in person again. And when that show is at Red Rocks, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, well, everyone is winning. Even more so when that band is Denver's own Tennis.
Tennis — a band with the husband-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley — has been slowly building up a following since 2010, when it released its debut album, “Cape Dory.” The group returned in 2020 with the release of their fifth album, “Swimmer,” and they'll be joined by the equally enchanting Molly Burch — a folk balladeer with a wonder of a voice.
Visit www.redrocksonline.com for details and tickets.
Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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