This year’s annual Metro State Jazz Celebration has percussionist Jose Madera as its special guest. For many years, the New York-born Madera helped propel the Tito Puente Orchestra, along with serving as the band’s music director. After that long run, Madera spent the first decade of the 2000s with the Latin Giants of Jazz. And more recently, he is has been a member of the Mambo Legends Orchestra made up of many of the players who worked with Puente.
On Friday, Madera, a noted arranger, performs with the Metro State Big Band at 1 p.m. in the concert hall of the King Center on the Auraria campus. The free event is part of the jazz celebration that focuses on the school groups that come to campus. Speaking, of course, of jazz celebrations connected to universities, the first-class UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival presented by Jamey Aebersold also occurs this month. The main concerts of that event take place on April 24-26 and feature, respectively: the Swingle Singers; saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s mighty quartet; and bassist Christian McBride with the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I. The concerts are in Greeley’s Union Colony Civic Center (800-315-2787).
Returning to the Latin side of things, Friday finds the area-based Mistura Fina Latin Jazz group at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln. Drummer/percussionist Frank Ayala founded the band, which is now co-led by bassist Andrew Hudson, in 2000. The rest of the sextet is made up of saxophonist Alex Nekrasov, trumpeter Andre, pianist Marc Sabatella and percussionist Zay Alejandro Dicamara Rios. The group is on stage at 7 and 9 p.m. ($10, 303-839-5100).
Before the sounds move south of the border, Thursday finds drummer Ed Breazeale at Dazzle with a group that includes saxophonist Josh Quinlan, guitarist Dave Devine, vibraphonist Greg Harris, bassist Matt Smiley and vocalist Mina Bradley-Belcaid. The band plays at 7 and 9 p.m. ($10). Quinlan is back at Dazzle on Friday night at 10:30 p.m. with his Bitches Brew Project.
Then, on Saturday, saxophonist/flautist Nelson Rangell moves into Dazzle with a quartet that performs at 7 and 9 p.m. ($15, the 7 p.m. show is sold out). Rangell’s playing always reminds not to get too carried away with labels. Though known for his crossover, popular-jazz style, Rangell (like David Sanborn) can just plain play. His quartet has the very talented Eric Gunnison on piano, Bijoux Barbosa on bass and Matt Houston on drums.
On Sunday, saxophonist Danny Meyer is back from Brooklyn with Swiss vibraphonist Jean-Lou Treboux, bassist Jean-Luc Davis and pianist/drummer/and all around great player Art Lande. Vibraphonist Treboux has worked with players such as Grachan Moncur III and Eddie Henderson. The quartet’s set is at 7 p.m. ($15/$10 students).
Also, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra is in its regular Monday-night spot at Dazzle that involves a rotating cast of groups from local high schools. This week, students from Columbine fill that role. The music is at 7 p.m. ($15). On Tuesday at Dazzle, it’s the Colorado Jazz Workshop’s Big Band and AM Combo. The groups connected to the Workshop start at 7 p.m. ($10). And on Wednesday, the Shadows and Images jazz vocal group from Green Mountain High School is at Dazzle at 7 p.m. ($7).
Lastly, pianist Annie Booth continues her month-long residence at Dazzle with her trio on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. and singer Teresa Carroll sings at the Black Crown Lounge, 1446 S. Broadway, at 9 p.m. (720-353-4701)