The 15th Annual Five Points jazz Festival and More | Norman Provizer's Jazz Notes

May 18, 2017

Ellyn Rucker
Credit Ellyn Rucker

This week it’s Brazilian-born pianist/singer Eliane Elias who kicks off our musical calendar with the final sets of her two-night stand at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. Her latest CD is titled Dance of Time and, at Dazzle, she has a trio with Marc Johnson on bass and Rafael Barata on drums (303-839-5100). Following Elias at Dazzle, on Friday, is the talented vibraphonist Joe Locke with a trio that has Pat Bianchi (who spent years in Denver before returning east) on Hammond B-3 organ and Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums. Since returning east in 2008, Bianchi has garnered a lot of attention playing with saxophonist Lou Donaldson, with drummer Ralph Peterson Jr. in the Unity Project and with guitarist Pat Martino. And in 2016, he captured the top spot as the rising-star organ player in the annual DownBeat “Critics Poll.” Drummer Smith is also a strong player, recording with players such as bassist Dave Holland and saxophonist Steve Coleman. Locke locks on the vibes at 7 and 9 p.m.

That brings us to Saturday and the sure fire Five Points Jazz Festival. Now in its 15th year, the free event that runs from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. ha something for everyone on multiple stages and venues concentrated on Welton from 25th to 29th Streets. There are both familiar and not-so-familiar names, films on Nina Simone and Charles Mingus, the Joe Bonner Legacy Jam Session at Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center that runs from 1 until 6 p.m. and family zone activities for the young at heart as well as the young in terms of age.

This year the 15th Annual Five Points Jazz Festival pays tribute to pianist/singer Ellyn Rucker, the late Lewis “Cool Lew” Gaiter, a long time voice on KUVO, and Maddie Gibson and the late Dick Gibson of Colorado Jazz Party fame. A detailed schedule is available at

Also on Saturday, trumpeter Bob Montgomery and a host of friends hold a Five Points after-party at Dazzle at 7 and 9 p.m. Then, on Sunday, Dazzle holds its final event at its Lincoln Street location with Tyler Gilmore and the Ninth + Lincoln Orchestra performing at 6 and 8 p.m.

In its new location at 1512 Curtis in the Baur’s Building, Dazzle is hosting a series of benefits from Tuesday through May 25. On Tuesday, there’s a Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts benefit jazz jam at 6 p.m., followed by one for the University of Colorado’s Arts and Media Program at 9 p.m. On Wednesday, it’s a benefit for the Music Appreciation Society from pianist Purnell Steen and company and vibraphonist Greg Tanner Harris group starting at 6 p.m. At 10 p.m., the Wes Watkins Ensemble takes the stage. On May 25, it’s a KUVO benefit with Ritmo Jazz Latino and Tyler Gilmore’s Candy Shop Ensemble starting at 5:45 p.m. There will be food served along with the music (303-839-5100).    

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Ritmo Jazz Latino
Credit Ritmo Jazz Latino