Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Hisotry and Future of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Over the past century, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has become one of the most storied venues not just in the United States, but around the world. Now it’s getting ready to open another chapter as the summer concert season kicks off in April.

Garden of the Angels

Back at the turn of the last century, John Brisben Walker realized that the 200-million-year-old formation of red rocks southwest of Denver provided the ideal acoustic environment for live performances, and began producing concerts there in addition to offering a thrill ride. In 1911, opera singer Mary Garden became the first nationally-recognized act to perform on a makeshift stage at what was then known as the Garden of the Angels. It was not long before the natural amphitheater was recognized as a Natural Wonder of the World.

Construction of The Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Later, the City of Denver purchased the property for just over $50,000. With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps Works Progress Administration created by then-President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1936 the city began constructing a formal amphitheater in the rocks, along with other buildings.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre was officially dedicated on June 15, 1941. Into the ‘50s, orchestras and opera companies typically performedat Red Rocks. But soon solo artists began appearing more frequently.

The Beatles at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Concert Ban

The earliest rock performance at Red Rocks? The Beatles in 1964. It was the only venue on the band’s first U.S. tour that did not sell out. Many legendary acts followed. But during a Jethro Tull performance in 1971, an incident between concertgoers and police resulted in a five-year ban on any rock acts performing at Red Rocks.

U2 and Lifting of the Concert Ban Red Rocks Amphitheatre

That ban was lifted well before U2’s renowned show at Red Rocks in 1983. The performance was filmed, and later released as the band’s concert film U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky.

Live CDs and DVDs Recorded at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Other acts that have produced CD and DVD material at Red Rocks include the Dave Matthews Band, The Samples, The Moody Blues, Incubus, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Boukman Eksperyans and Neil Young. B.o.B., the Zac Brown Band and Train have all filmed music videos at the venue.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s Cultural Influence

Red Rocks’ influence on pop culture extends well beyond music, too. The venue has been featured on episodes of The Simpsons, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, The Amazing Race and South Park. And with only a few exceptions for weather, Red Rocks has hosted a sunrise service every Easter since 1947.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre as a Right of Passage

For Colorado-based acts, performing at Red Rocks has become a rite of passage. John Denver; Earth, Wind & Fire; The Lumineers; OneRepublic; 3OH!3 and Judy Collins have all done shows there.

Shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for Summer 2019

Over the past decade, the number of shows booked at Red Rocks has tripled, to over 2019 slated for 2019. The season opens on April 13 with Flabbush Zombies/Joey Bada$$; go to redrocksonline.com for the complete schedule.

 

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LIVE AND ON THE AIR

LIVE AND ON THE AIR

December 3, 2018

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Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental
Induction Concert honoring

“LIVE AND ON THE AIR”

What began as a modest, 250-watt signal booming out of the little town of Boulder (with a population of under 70,000 at the time) had, 42 years later, turned into the nationally known 97.3 KBCO World Class Rock. In the process, KBCO set the standards and benchmarks that every Adult Rock station strives for: creativity balanced with radio fundamentals and commitment to the local community that led to long-term success. And KBCO was also the founding station of the Adult Album Alternative (or Triple A) format that to this day holds its annual convention in Boulder.

Scott BCO Dec 3

Back in the ‘60s, a radio fan named Bob Greenlee graduated from Iowa State with a dream to own a radio station. His search led him to Boulder where, in 1975, Bob and his wife, Diane, bought KADE-AM. But Bob knew that FM radio was where he really needed to be, and by the end of 1976, the Greenlees had purchased a 1000-watt FM station, KRNW, that had a loyal following in the progressive college community. The signal also happened to come with a Class C license, allowing an upgrade to 100,000-watts.

Pasta Jay Family

The original vision was to create a music station that reflected the unique population of Boulder, and the call letters were changed to KBCO for Boulder Colorado. On the air, it was dubbed “Boulder Radio” with a mix of soft, acoustic “Colorado Music.”

By the mid-1980s, KBCO was so successful that the station constructed an antenna that could reach the entire Front Range. The programming vision changed with the expanded audience, as KBCO could now embrace the entire Denver market and beyond, expanding the original acoustic music playlist while keeping the unique Boulder image. And it worked: By the winter of 1988, KBCO was the #1 rated station in the Denver radio market.

Nathanial KBCO Dec 3

KBCO always embraced the fun Colorado lifestyle. Boulder was and is a bicycle town, and in 1980 KBCO launched the Kinetic Sculpture Challenge: a competition of human-powered amphibious crafts made from bicycle parts and whatever else was available. The teams raced through mud, down dirt roads and over water at the Boulder Reservoir. For the winter, KBCO created the Cardboard Derby. Contestants created their crafts out of cardboard boxes and raced them down the slopes at local ski resorts. At the same time, the “I Ski with KBCO” program offered discount ski weekends, bringing hundreds of KBCO listeners together to do what Coloradans love most in winter…skiing and riding. And KBCO has hosted hundreds of live concert events, from its years presenting the 4th of July fireworks at Folsom Stadium to special performances at small clubs to hundreds of shows at Red Rocks and such venues as the Pepsi Center and Fiddler’s Green.

Lumineers Set List Dec 3

Over the past thirty years, the top names in music have performed live on-air in KBCO’s Studio C. Dave Matthews, Sting, Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant, Mumford and Sons, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran and hundreds more have recorded unique and often cutting-edge performances at the station. Studio C is a regular stop for up-and-coming artists, who play there for their fans and the exposure … and the opportunity to be included on the annual CD that the station releases each December. The idea for the Studio C performances came when Melissa Ethridge brought her acoustic guitar into the station so that it would not be exposed to the elements. She did an impromptu on-air performance in one of the station’s small editing studios called, “Studio C.” It’s now developed into one of the best live recording and broadcast studios in the country.

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Before streaming – when CDs were the way we bought music – 30,000 copies of the popular KBCO Studio C Series would sell out in 4 hours. And in December 2018 KBCO Studio C celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a special 2 CD set that contained some of the best music ever preformed live on the radio. The KBCO Studio C CDs have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Boulder County AIDS Project and the Food Bank of the Rockies.

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KBCO’s dedication to Colorado music and musicians comes to life in there ‘Local Edition’ program airing weekly for more than 30 years – giving a voice to the local music community. In 2004, the KBCO Local Edition CD featured local artists recorded live in KBCO Studio C to benefit Music Education in the Denver Public Schools. And in keeping with the times, a vinyl album version of local Colorado musicians recorded live at KBCO supported the Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s move to Red Rocks. Through the years KBCO has showcased local artists right alongside the national acts released on the Studio C CD series.

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Radio has changed. In 1977 there was no internet, streaming, cell phones or ear-buds. Today radio is takings on new exciting roles in the digital world and in our community. Now, radio is only one of many outlets for music fans to find out about new artists. The business of radio has changed in the past 40 years as well. When Bob and Diane Greenlee bought KBCO they were only allowed, by law, to own 2 stations in any given marketplace. Today companies can own up to 8 stations per market in many different markets.

Gov and Chuck

KBCO navigated the waters of corporate buyouts and management changes to keep KBCO relevant and supportive of the local community. KBCO keeps us informed, laughing through the traffic and giving us access to the best new songs mixed with a wide variety of music spanning many decades. The station remains the essential outlet for any artist who wants to build a fan-base of loyal music fans, concertgoers and supporters of the band.

Amos Lee Dec 3

The Triple A format has morphed into a collection of mostly noncommercial radio stations across the country. But with the incredible heritage, loyalty and dedication of the KBCO staff of the past 4 decades; the loyalty and unbridled enthusiasm of the Colorado music fans who feel a personal connection to DJs like Ginger, Keefer, Bret, Scott and all the on-air staff; KBCO remains by far the most successful station of them all. For over 40 years KBCO has provided the music of several generations – the music of our lives. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental is proud to induct 97.3 KBCO for their incredible contribution to Colorado Music

John Hickenlooper was a music fan long before he became a successful brewpub owner, much less a popular politician. And as mayor of Denver and then governor of Colorado, no one did more to support this state’s music scene than John Hickenlooper.

“I have never known a politician so involved and caring of the Colorado music community as John,” says promoter Chuck Morris, who honored Hickenlooper with the Barry Fey Visionary Award at the December 2018 ceremony where Morris himself was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental. “When tragedies like the Boulder floods and fires hit, John was there, helping us reach out to artists to come and perform, helping get donations from corporations and literally emceeing and partaking in the events themselves.”

Gov with Award BEST Dec 3

In his push to elevate Colorado’s music industry, Hickenlooper did not just respond to emergency requests. As mayor of Denver, he helped propel Red Rocks Amphitheatre to its top-tier status, tripling the number of shows at this legendary venue to more than 100 a year. He used property tax discounts to encourage live music downtown, and today Denver rivals Nashville and Austin for the number of spots booking music. He also worked with established organizations like the Colorado Symphony and Swallow Hill so that they landed on solid footing. And certainly, one of his lasting legacies as governor is Take Note Colorado, a statewide initiative he introduced to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to every K‑12 student in Colorado.

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Hickenlooper’s support of the scene has earned him many fans, including musicians themselves. “Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers, One Republic, Nathaniel Rateliff, The Fray, Bonnie Raitt and Dave Mathews are only a few of the acts that he calls friends, and he is usually seen when they appear in our great city,” Morris adds. “My favorite story is when the Denver Art Museum called me to get a band to surprise him when John was awarded the Man of the Year at its 2019 gala. It took five seconds of asking The Avetts to fly all the way from North Carolina and surprise John with a beautiful show to end the evening. The look on John’s face was priceless. If there is one person who personifies the greatness of Colorado music for the last 25 years, it would be hard to top John Hickenlooper.”

Governor John Hickenlooper was honored with the Barry Fey Visionary Award at the December 2018 induction ceremony for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental.

By Scott Arbaugh, Program Director KBCO and Chris Daniels Executive Director CMHOF presented by Comfort Dentalstrong>

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The Lumineers Play at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

With their rootsy blend of Americana and indie rock, The Lumineers deliver foot-stomping, dynamic live performances that draw crowds to sold-out shows. Their message and authentic passion for the music resonates with audiences around the world, making them one of today’s most beloved, inspiring bands.

Passionate Storytelling

New Jersey natives Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites began collaborating and playing gigs in New York City in 2005. Moving from covers to writing original music, they experimented with various styles while working several jobs just to pay rent. In doing so, they discovered that while New York was a fantastic place to grow creatively, they couldn’t make the time to focus on their music. They moved to Denver in 2006 to explore a more affordable market.

As it turned out, the move to Denver and teaming up with classically trained cellist Neyla Pekarek was the change they needed to kickstart their professional music career. A recent college graduate, Pekarek was planning a career in music education when she took a chance and answered a Craigslist ad for a cellist. Open mic nights allowed the lineup to test new material at such Denver venues as the Meadowlark and Larimer Lounge. In the process, The Lumineers attracted the interest of Onto Entertainment and signed with the management company, which funded the band’s first recording. The eponymous album was produced by Ryan Hadlock at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle, and “Ho Hey” was released as the first single. It was part of the CW’s Hart of Dixie season finale, and a Seattle morning show DJ began playing it twice in a row daily, declaring it the best song of 2012 and fueling a national buzz. The song went on to reach #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Triple A Radio Charts for eight straight weeks, culminating in two Grammy Award nominations in 2013.

In 2016 the band released Cleopatra, and the single “Ophelia” went to #1 on the Triple A Charts for thirteen weeks. After that, The Lumineers embarked on a world tour that included shows with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and U2. Now Schultz and Fraites are working on their third album with new members and an exciting new sound, and the band is poised to become one of Colorado’s most successful acts.

Colorado’s Deep Musical Roots

For more than a century, Colorado has been a mecca for musicians.

Denver’s love affair with music blossomed in the 1920s, at the height of the jazz age with Paul Whiteman. Musicians such as Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker played at the Rossonian Hotel in Five Points, and artists as diverse as Charlie Burrell, guitarist Bill Frisell, Chet Baker, and Frank Sinatra hung out in establishments ranging from El Chapultepec to the Roxy. In the 1960s, bluegrass and folk took center stage, with Judy Collins and the Denver Folklore Center moving into the spotlight. John Denver

found a home in Aspen and artists from Townes Van Zante to Little Feat found an audience at venues like Chuck Morris’s Ebbets Field. Through the years, everything from hip-hop to punk, funk, and country have found a place here. Denver audiences have always been full of passionate, adventurous music lovers. No single style or sound dominates the scene, unlike at many other urban music centers. Artists come to Denver to make great music, so it’s no surprise that The Lumineers found their voice here.

Earning Their Place in the Spotlight

After spending years in local venues, The Lumineers have gone from a hardworking Denver act with incredible talent to an international headliner. On December 3, 2018, the band played at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental induction ceremony for longtime Colorado promoter and artist manager Chuck Morris and 97.3 KBCO. The gala also included performances by Isaac Slade and Ben Wysocki of The Fray, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Nershi from String Cheese Incident, Amos Lee, Leo Kottke, Vince Herman and Drew Emmett from Leftover Salmon, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters with Hazel Miller and Chris Daniels and the Kings. Such diversity is at the heart of Colorado’s music scene. To learn more, visit our website to read about everyone from John Denver to Dianne Reeves, as well as events and inductions coming in 2019.

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Chuck Morris & KBCO

Colorado has a rich musical history. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the contributions of legendary music promoter Chuck Morris, and 97.3 KBCO that got its start in Boulder, Colorado. Morris and 97.3 are set to be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental this December 3rd at the Paramount Theater. Read on to learn more about these two titans of the Colorado music scene and get tickets to be part of this historic community event.

Chuck Morris

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Chuck Morris established himself as a Colorado music industry institution. After leaving the Ph.D. program in political science at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Morris was offered a job managing The Sink, a restaurant and bar on the Hill where he brought in acts as varied as Tommy Bolin and Flash Cadillac. With partner Herb Kauvar, they bought and re-opened Tulagi nightclub. At Tulagi, Morris brought Boulder the first real concert hall experience, bringing in Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, ZZ Top, Bonnie Raitt, and The Doobie Brothers on their very first tours.

In 1974, he brought his prolific ear for music to Denver where he booked early tours of Richard Pryor, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Martin, and Carole King at Ebbets Field Nightclub with his financial partner Barry Fey. Morris recently told The Daily Camera, “I thought I would be doing this music thing for six months and then go back to graduate school. That was 50 years ago.”

Since then, Morris has continued to drive the Colorado music community as a world-class promoter and an artist manager, and most recently in a bid to bring a 4,000-seat theater to downtown Denver called the Mission Ballroom opening in 2019.

KBCO

97.3 first went on the airwaves in 1977 and established itself in the Boulder community as the premier station for playing both well-known artist’s deep album cuts and discovering young unknown artists. At the time, there were no stations that gave airtime to indie bands and performers, and KBCO found a massive audience hungry for new, upcoming bands and performers. The strength of KBCO’s increased transmission power brought the station to the entire Front Range and that combined with their deep community involvement, from Kinetics to the Studio C sessions released on CD. This supported The Boulder Valley Aids Project and Food Bank of The Rockies with millions of dollars in fundraising that led to 97.3 KBCO becoming not just world-class rock, but a Colorado music icon that is as vibrant today as it was when it started in the 1970s. From their featuring of local artists on “Local Edition” to their hosting of the national Triple A Radio Convention and its long history of environmental activism, 97.3 KBCO is more than just radio; it is the music of our lives.

Be a Part of Colorado History

The inductees will be honored on December 3rd at the Paramount Theater. More than seven musical acts will pay tribute including The Lumineers, Leo Kottke, Isaac Slade of the Fray, Amos Lee, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, members of Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, and surprise guests – plus

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper leading a “roast” of Morris this is a not-to-be-missed event. To attend this fun event and honor some of the most prolific members of the Colorado music scene, grab tickets here. If you’re interested in learning more about Colorado’s musical history, visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental and check out our exhibits that range from 20th Century Pioneers to John Denver.

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KBCO & Chuck Morris Induction Event

KBCO & Chuck Morris Induction Event

December 3, 2018

DENVER, CO 10/15/18– The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental will host its next induction event, Monday, December 3, 2018, at the historic Paramount Theatre. The induction of 97.3 KBCO and legendary concert promoter and artist manager Chuck Morris will be accompanied by a cavalcade of musical appearances from Amos Lee, Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd), Isaac Slade and Ben Wysocki of The Fray, Bill Nershi and members of The String Cheese Incident, Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt from Leftover Salmon, Jeff Hanna and some members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Leo Kottke along with backing band Chris Daniels & The Kings, plus more surprises to be announced.

This seminal evening will include a “Chuck Roast” of inductee Chuck Morris hosted by the Honorable Governor John Hickenlooper, who commented, “Chuck Morris is one of those prominent figures who helped transform the Colorado music and concert scene into one of the biggest and finest music worlds in the country.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 19 at 10 a.m. MDT through www.AltitudeTickets.com.

Inductee 97.3 KBCO went on the air in 1977 creating an alternative to standard rock and pop radio. Programmers and DJs were given freedom to go beyond the “hit singles” playing “album” tracks and music from artists as diverse as The Grateful Dead, Bonnie Raitt, Talking Heads, and Lyle Lovett. 97.3 KBCO, along with a handful of stations around the country, created a format now called “Adult-Album-Alternative” (or Triple-A) radio. The format was so successful that Billboard added a Triple-A Chart in 2005 and every year the Triple-A Radio Convention is held in Boulder hosted by KBCO.

Along with the countless awards and innovative programming like “KBCO Sunday Sunrise” and “KBCO Local Edition,” this year, the station is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with “KBCO Studio C, CD,” 30 years of live recordings benefiting the Boulder County Aids Project and Food Bank of the Rockies. Countless artists like Amos Lee, Dave Matthews, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters owe their careers to the men and women who programmed and played their music long before pop radio gave them a chance.

Inductee Chuck Morris was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Queens College at the age of 20. After graduation, Morris started a Ph.D. program in Political Science at CU Boulder in 1965. In 1968, Morris decided to drop out of graduate school to follow his love of music.

First at the Sink and then at Tulagi’s (that he co-owned) on the hill in Boulder, Morris made his mark at booking up-and-coming talent that would become the stars of tomorrow.

Hosting artists from the Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top to Linda Ronstadt, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Muddy Waters, and hundreds more, Tulagi’s was the launching pad for Morris’s 48-year career as Colorado’s most prolific concert promoter and artist manager.

Morris opened Ebbets Field in Denver that included a New Year’s Eve performance by Steve Martin who took the entire audience out for coffee in a snowstorm. Following Ebbets Field which brought in first tours of Dan Fogelberg, Jimmy Buffet, Emmylou Harris, Tommy Bolin, and Energy among others, Chuck joined Feyline as Senior Vice President of Promotion for 10 years.

Next, Morris joined forces with the company of famed concert promoter Bill Graham to create a Morris/SFX company that re-imagined the old Mammoth Gardens into The Fillmore. Through Morris’s management work for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and their tour of Russia in support of the Anschutz Western Art Collection debut, Chuck developed a close working relationship with Colorado’s Phil Anschutz.

That friendship resulted in AEG Rocky Mountains with Morris at the helm. It has become the largest concert promotion company in our State’s history, putting on more than 800 shows per year at venues from the Pepsi Center to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, and more than 110 shows at Red Rocks in the summer of 2018.

Morris also built one of Colorado’s most successful artist management firms with clients that included Lyle Lovett, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Leo Kottke to name only a few.

This CMHOF evening will feature video tributes, interviews, and performances. The pre-concert gala (a dinner and meet-and-greet with the performers) will also include a historic array of exhibits and archival photographs to be relocated in the CMHOF’s home at the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre Trading Post.

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions, to preserve and protect historical artifacts, and to educate the public regarding everything that is great about our Colorado music.

Previous inductees include John Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre; Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center and promoter Barry Fey of Family Dog fame; the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac, and KIMN radio; folk legend Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind, and Chris Daniels; Stephen Stills/Manassas, Firefall, Poco, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and more.

This induction concert is produced by AEG Presents and the historic Paramount Theatre. Reserved tickets and premium gala seating with pre-show hors-d’oeuvres and cocktails are available through AltitudeTickets.com – additional information can be obtained on the Hall’s website, cmhof.org.

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Jazz Masters & Beyond

Inducted: November 28, 2017

Jazz Masters & Beyond

On November 28, 2017, at the Historic Paramount Theater, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental hosted a concert and induction ceremony for Colorado’s Jazz Masters – bassist Charles Burrell, guitarist Bill Frisell, cornet player Ron Miles, singer Dianne Reeves, and Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Andrew Woolfolk from Earth, Wind & Fire. East High School also received the first-ever Barry Fey Visionary Award.

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One thing that all of these Jazz Masters share in common is that they are all gifted and experienced performers in almost every genre, and it is their grounding in jazz that has made them truly exceptional.

 

The concert at the induction ceremony demonstrated how their mastery of jazz influences all of the styles that they play, from classical music to rock and roll. The induction concert proved that point in spectacular fashion.

Colorado has an incredible wealth of actors, artists, and musicians to call our own, and it’s astounding to see how many of them came out of East High School.

Many of our Jazz Masters inductees attended East High. Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Andrew Woolfolk of Earth, Wind & Fire all went to East High School, and so did Bill Frisell and Ron Miles, as well as prior inductees Judy Collins and Paul Whiteman.
While Philip Bailey was singing in the Youth Choir with future actress Pam Grier, future guitar great Bill Frisell was playing clarinet in the school band. A few years later, Ron Miles was playing trumpet in the East High Jazz Band with actor Don Cheadle on saxophone.

A long list of renowned East High alumni spanning many generations have all benefited from the remarkable music programs there.

The East High School Music Program is the very first recipient of the Barry Fey Visionary award presented to the school for making great music possible in Colorado. Jazz teacher Keith Oxman and choir program director Wil Taylor accepted the award.

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Jazz is alive and thriving well here in Colorado, and these artists are used to performing around the world, influencing genres from pop to rock and much more.

Keep music history alive! Shop at Colorado Music Hall of Fame.



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Jazz Masters And Beyond

Jazz Masters & Beyond

November 28, 2017

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Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental
Induction Concert honoring

“JAZZ MASTERS AND BEYOND”

The Jazz Masters & Beyond Induction Concert was by all accounts an extraordinary evening of music, personal stories and emotional inductions. Audience and performers alike were moved by the love and sense of community felt by all at Paramount Theatre that night.

Before the official show time, anxious jazz lovers entered the finely crafted Art Deco auditorium to the sounds of East High School’s Sixth Hour Jazz Combo proudly playing a half hour set of their own compositions.

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East High School Sixth Hour Jazz Combo

Subsequently, the brightly colored event logo lit up the stage as Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Hall’s Chair, Chuck Morris opened the show with a brief introduction and welcome to the audience, then turned over the 3 ½ hour event to hosts; the popular Former Mayor Wellington Webb and KUVO’s charismatic radio personality, Carlos Lando.

To begin the evening, the Barry Fey Visionary Award [named after the legendary Denver promoter] was presented to music directors, Keith Oxman and Will Taylor on behalf of the renowned Music Program at East High School, that had produced so many esteemed professional musicians over the last century! These include past inductees; band leader, Paul Whiteman; singer, Judy Collins; and most of tonight’s honorees.

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Former Mayor Wellington Webb, Keith Oxman, Will Taylor, Mayor Michael B. Hancock

The inductions began with 97-year-old Charles Burrell — the first person of color to be hired by a major symphony [Denver] in the United States. In his 60-plus years as a professional musician, Burrell played for many other orchestras and conductors here and around the world. After accepting his award, Burrell charmed the crowd with an impromptu jig. He was honored with a performance by local jazz maven, pianist Purnell Steen and his band, Le Jazz Machine.

Bill Frisell and Ron Miles perfroming at Masters of Jazz and Beyond - Colorado Music Hall of Fame
Bill Frisell and Ron Miles

Next up were inductions for the widely acclaimed and sought–after jazz musicians; guitarist, Bill Frisell and trumpeter, Ron Miles. Both are East High alums. The 4-song set with drummer Brian Blade, entranced the crowd with their amazing musical synchronicity. They ended their performance with a beautiful cover of “What the World Needs Now Is Love”, which was thematic of the night.

World renowned Jazz vocalist and 5 time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves was all smiles while receiving her well-deserved induction award from Mayor Wellington Webb and Carlos Lando.

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Former Mayor Wellington Webb, Dianne Reeves, Carlos Lando

The audience was awed by her exuberant vocals and poignant stories of growing up in Denver. She introduced her song “Nine” quietly recalling the following childhood memory, “We played out in the street all day long,…in the middle of the street…we played with our imaginations from sunup to sundown. The neighbors looked after all the children. I decided to dedicate this song to the age of nine, because it’s the last time you’re only one number.” At the end of the song the audience jumped to their feet, applauding loudly in recognition of a more innocent time.

The final Inductions honored former Earth, Wind, & Fire band members and East High grads; Larry Dunn, Andrew Woolfolk [absent because of illness], and Philip Bailey. After receiving their awards, a lighting change revealed a battalion of instruments and musicians—

Denver-based band Hot Lunch, keyboardist Dunn and vocalist Bailey. During the first part of their set Bailey delighted the audience with stories of transitioning from students to young musicians. But just when you thought it was safe to take a seat, the place exploded with dancing and singing when they lit into ,”Let’s Groove,” “Shining Star,” and “September”! After the exhilarating performance, they all took their bows and said goodnight.

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Larry Dunn, Philip Bailey, and Hot Lunch – Photo credit: Michael Martin

The house lights came up and the former shadows of dancing, waving, applauding people, revealed an audience of many ages and colors, smiling as they headed home, united by the power of music…and love!

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Jazz Masters and Beyond Press Release

Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental

Induction Concert honoring  “JAZZ MASTERS AND BEYOND”

On Sale Friday, October 13, 2017 at 10am MT

 

DENVER – 10/9/17 -The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental, will host its next induction concert “Jazz Masters and Beyond” Tuesday, November 28, at Paramount Theatre honoring world-class musicians who have tremendous ties to the state.

Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, October 13, 2017, at 10 am MT.

The evening features performances from some members of the induction class—jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, guitarist Bill Frisell, trumpeter Ron Miles, Philip Bailey and Larry Dunn of Earth, Wind, & Fire with Friends.

A closer look at all the inductees, who will be the seventh group for enshrinement in the Hall since its inception in 2011:

  • Philip Bailey, Andrew Woolfolk, and Larry Dunn longtime Denver natives left in 1972-1973 to join Earth, Wind, & Fire.  The band has won 6 Grammy Awards, 4 American Music Awards, have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band has sold over 100 million records making them one of the world’s best selling bands of all time.
  • Dianne Reeves grew up in Denver knowing that music was her path. After studying at the University of Colorado, she moved to Los Angeles and recorded and toured with various artists. Reeves was the first vocalist signed to the revived Blue Note label in 1987, and she rose to the top echelon of jazz singers, performing on some of the most prestigious stages of the world and recalling the era of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan while imparting her own versatile and original style. She received four Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. The long-time Park Hill resident moved back to Denver in 1992 after years away from home.
  • Reeves learned about jazz from her uncle Charles Burrell, a bass player revered by generations of both jazz and classical music devotees. In 1949, Burrell joined the Denver Symphony as the first person of color under contract with a major orchestra.  In his 60-plus years as a professional musician, Burrell played for conductors Arthur Fiedler and Pierre Monteux; he was an acclaimed jazz bassist appearing onstage with the likes of Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Lionel Hampton.
  • Bill Frisell became interested in guitar as a teenager in Denver, playing in rock and R&B bands. Dale Bruning, a Denver-based guitarist, and educator, advanced Frisell’s preoccupation with jazz; Frisell studied with Johnny Smith at the University of Northern Colorado. He developed a niche through his unique explorations of variations in timbre, using an array of effects. He held the No. 1 spot for guitar in the annual DownBeat Critics Poll in nine out of 10 years. In a career that spans more than 100 recordings, he continues to garner notoriety as one of the world’s most well-known and sought-after jazz musicians.
  • Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Ron Miles, a staple of the Denver jazz scene, is solicited all over the world for his unique sound. He studied music at the University of Denver and the Manhattan School of Music and gained national exposure recording on his own and performing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Ginger Baker and the Bill Frisell Quartet. For recent recordings, he has incorporated a trio of himself, Frisell and drummer Brian Blades. Miles has balanced his musical output with his career as an educator at Denver’s Metropolitan State College, where he heads up the jazz studies program.
  • East High School will be getting a special non-performer award for their long history of musical alumni. Artist who attended East High School include; Philip Bailey, Andrew Woolfolk, and Larry Dunn, three long-time members of Earth, Wind, & Fire, Bill Frisell, Dianne Reeves, Ron Miles, Jamie Laurie from the Flobots, Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy, as well as bandleader Paul Whiteman and singer-songwriter Judy Collins, both previously inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental.

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental is a non-profit organization that educates the public on everything that makes our state’s music great and is currently located at the Trading Post at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Inductees include John Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre; Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center and promoter Barry Fey; the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac and KIMN radio; Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind and Chris Daniels; Stephen Stills/Manassas, Firefall, Poco and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; and “20th Century Pioneers” Glenn Miller, Paul Whiteman, Max Morath, Billy Murray and Elizabeth Spencer and Lannie Garrett; Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm and Caribou Ranch.

Produced by AEG Presents reserved seats are available at AltitudeTickets.com starting 10 am MT Friday, October 13.

Additional information can be obtained on the Hall’s website, www.cmhof.org.

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NATIONAL PUBLICITY: Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications phil@lobeline.com310-271-1551 ext. 13 

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The Rocky Mountain Way

The Rocky Mountain Way

August 13, 2017

The Rocky Mountain Way - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

The Rocky Mountain Way

at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre 


The
Colorado Music Hall of Fame hosted an induction concert honoring Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm and Caribou Ranch on Sunday, August 13, 7 p.m. at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre.

The event, “The Rocky Mountain Way,” featured Garth Brooks, Amy Grant & Vince Gill, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Randy Owen of Alabama, Richie Furay, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Michael Martin Murphey and surprise guests paid tribute to the late Dan Fogelberg and James William Guercio’s Caribou Ranch, the legendary recording studio. The classic Colorado lineup of Barnstorm—Joe Walsh, Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale—reunited and performed, and famed music producer Bill Szymczyk received the CMHOF Award of Excellence.

A closer look at the inductees, the seventh group enshrined in the CMHOF since its inception in 2011:

Dan Fogelberg - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

DAN FOGELBERG

The son of Lawrence, a bandleader, and Margaret, a pianist, Fogelberg left his studies at the University of Illinois and headed for the West Coast, finding inspiration during a week in Colorado before moving on and securing a recording contract. For his second release, Souvenirs, Fogelberg enlisted producer Joe Walsh, who had recently recorded at Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colorado, and “Part of the Plan” went to the top of the charts. While touring through Colorado in the mid-1970s, Fogelberg bought a house from Chris Hillman, situated 9,000 feet up on top of the Rocky Mountains. His time there resulted in the songs on Nether Lands, a platinum seller. He recorded part of his next venture, Phoenix, in Colorado, and the songs “Heart Hotels” and “Longer” were pop hits. The Innocent Age, released in 1981, included four of his biggest singles—“Same Old Lang Syne,” “Hard To Say,” “Leader of the Band” and “Run For the Roses.“ Fogelberg bought land in the San Juan Mountains and constructed his Mountain Bird Ranch. High Country Snows, made with some of his favorite acoustic pickers, became one of the best-selling bluegrass albums of all time. He built a home studio at his spread; The Wild Places, released in 1990, was the first album he self-produced and mostly tracked there. His rendition of the Cascades’ 1963 hit, “Rhythm of the Rain,” peaked at No. 3 on the adult contemporary chart. Fogelberg’s long career was interrupted in 2004, when he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He finally succumbed to the disease in December 2007.

JOE WALSH & BARNSTORM - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

JOE WALSH & BARNSTORM

Joe Walsh built a considerable reputation as lead guitarist and lead vocalist for the Cleveland-based James Gang. Such tunes as “Funk #49, “Tend My Garden,” “Walk Away” and “The Bomber” brought wide popularity and endless touring, and, as the big bucks beckoned, Walsh turned the other way. In 1971, encouraged by his friend and producer Bill Szymczyk, Walsh made the difficult decision to relocate to the open air of Colorado’s Boulder County. He formed a new group called Barnstorm with drummer Joe Vitale, a former Kent State classmate, and Colorado bassist Kenny Passarelli. Barnstorm was the first album ever recorded at the legendary Caribou Ranch studio near Nederland. Walsh freely indulged himself with beautiful choruses, country tinges and pastoral pop hooks on “Mother Says,” “Here We Go” and “Turn to Stone.” Accompanied once again by Passarelli and Vitale, Walsh officially went solo the following year with his second album, The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get. The first Top 10 album of Walsh’s career, it went on to sell more than a million copies. “Rocky Mountain Way,” co-written by Passarelli and inspired by Walsh’s move to Colorado, opened up a massive audience for Walsh and his band. Barnstorm disbanded amicably in 1975, allowing Walsh to produce Dan Fogelberg’s Souvenirs album. So What, his third solo album, included “Welcome to the Club” and a remake of “Turn to Stone.” At the end of 1975, the Eagles drafted their old friend to join them; Walsh’s tenure with the popular West Coast country-rock quintet gave him enhanced visibility, and he continued his pattern of successful solo albums.

CARIBOU RANCH - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

CARIBOU RANCH

Owner James William Guercio got his start producing a string of hits for the Buckinghams circa 1967; he became a staff producer for Columbia Records and began working with Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Through five albums with Chicago, he gathered up enough money to buy Caribou Ranch for a reported $1 million in 1971. Caribou, in its idyllic setting nearly 9,000 feet up near Nederland in the Rocky Mountains, had been the largest privately owned an Arabian stud farm in the country. Guercio installed the studio in 1973 and then transformed the place into an opulent retreat for pop music’s aristocracy. Caribou Ranch, the first “destination studio,” gained prominence when Elton John recorded three albums there, including the gratefully titled Caribou in the spring of 1974. The life-in-the-fast-lane ambiance that usually accompanied a recording session disappeared at Caribou. There wasn’t a nightclub down the street, and artists didn’t have to send for food or commute back and forth from a hotel or even worry about the laundry. During the studio’s glory days, an entourage got full use of the facilities for a basic rate of $1,500 a day, and record companies were only too willing to shell out the money during their boom years. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Caribou Ranch hosted the biggest names in music, including such legends as Chicago, the Beach Boys, Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire. The studio was in operation until the control room suffered extensive fire damage in March 1985.

CMHOF AWARD OF EXCELLENCE BILL SZYMCZYK

CMHOF AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

BILL SZYMCZYK

Famed music producer Bill Szymczyk’s first major success came when he convinced blues legend B.B. King to cut contemporary-sounding albums; the result was King’s first major pop crossover, “The Thrill Is Gone,” a hit in 1970. Szymczyk then signed and produced the James Gang, featuring Joe Walsh. He came to Colorado in 1971 and worked as a disc jockey for free-form radio station KFML and was a co-founder of Denver’s Tumbleweed Records, a small independent label based out of a funky old house just east of downtown Denver on Gilpin Street; the label folded in 1973. Szymczyk went on to have great success in the 1970s, both as an A&R man and behind the board, regarded for his great success working with Joe Walsh. When the Eagles wanted a more rock ‘n’ roll sound, they hired Szymczyk, and the unprecedented chart success of the 1974 On the Border and 1975 One of These Nights albums made both parties millions.

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Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country

Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country

June 10, 2017

CMHOF’s VIP reception “Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country” was a huge success for attendees, judging by the number of smiling faces and superlatives offered.

Board member Paul Epstein was the driving force behind this event, offering his encyclopedic knowledge of the Dead and his wealth of artifacts to craft a memorable experience for Deadheads. Everyone in attendance was smitten by the timeline exhibit that will now be displayed at CMHOF’s home in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre Trading Post.

Board member “Pasta Jay” Elowsky and his staff did their typically brilliant job in creating a festive, celebratory atmosphere for the band and its fans with the incredible Dead-inspired cuisine, balloons, etc. It was easy to entertain a room of happy, well-fed people!

After opening remarks, renowned Grateful Dead authority David Gans (“The Grateful Dead Hour“) performed a few songs in tribute to the band, then moderated a panel of Paul, Grammy winner David Glasser (Airshow Mastering) and promoter Don Strasburg (special thanks to Don and chairman Chuck Morris for working with band management on CMHOF’s behalf).

Celebrity Deadhead Bill Walton made an appearance and graciously posed for pictures and signed autographs.

The three original members of the Grateful Dead—Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann—arrived and offered their good-natured insights into the band’s defining events in Colorado. Fans were over the moon!

The afternoon ended with the distribution of “swag” envelopes containing a “Red Rocks 7/8/78” 3-CD set and commemorative comic, menu and postcards. The attendees then got to see a wonderful performance by Dead & Co. in their club level seats.

The silent auction figures are being tallied, but CMHOF made well over $6,000. The Jerry Garcia etching of “The Guys” fetched $3,500, and Scramble Campbell’s donated painting of the Dead at Red Rocks was sold for $1,500.

Lots of people helped to make this event a special Thank you to all involved.

G. Brown
CMHOF director

Colorado Getaway Event Photos

Bill-Kreutzmann at Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Mickey-Hart from the Grateful Dead at the Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Bob Weir at Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country Exhibit - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

David Gans Performs at Colorado Getaway event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Don-Strasburg-David-Glasser-and-Paul-Epstein at Coloraedo Getaway - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Grateful Dead panel at Colorado Getaway - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Grateful Dead panel - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

The Dead at Red Rock painting - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Deadhead swag from the Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

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