Celebrating Our Museum Refresh at Red Rocks Trading Post

Photo Caption: Michael Burgermeister (event sponsor and exhibit donor), Jay Elowsky (Pasta Jay’s event sponsor and Hall of Fame board members) and Freddi Gowdy, inductee with Freddi & Henchi, in front of new exhibit of Freddi’s induction class, Going Back to Colorado. 
Photo credit: Dan Fong

Joined by old friends and new, Colorado Music Hall of Fame celebrated our new exhibits at an event on June 13, 2022 in the backyard of the Red Rocks Trading Post. Graciously sponsored by Pasta Jay’sCTS Distributing and Michael Burgermeister, the Italian Food and Wine Event included a delicious buffet of Pasta Jay’s Italian specialties, a wine tasting hosted by the 30 year-old Colorado-owned and -operated wine and spirits distributor, CTS Distributing, and delectable desserts provided by Hall of Fame donor, Michael Burgermeister.

Guests were also treated to musical performances by inductees, Jock Bartley of Firefall; Freddi Gowdy of Freddi & Henchi; Chris Daniels of Magic Music and Chris Daniels & The Kings; and Kenny Passarelli of Barnstorm and bassist for Elton John, Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Stills and Hall and Oates.

 More Photos from the Event:

Hall of Famers, Chris Daniels, Kenny Passarelli and Freddi Gowdy, entertaining our guests with some live music.
Photo credit: Dave Aldridge


Charles Burrell, the “Jackie Robinson of music,” in front of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame museum.
Photo credit: John Shackford


Scott Tobias and Paul Epstein, Board Co-Chairs of Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
Photo credit: Bob Fontneau


Jock Bartley of Firefall, 2014 Hall of Fame inductee, performing for event guests.
Photo credit: Dave Aldridge


Karen Radman, Executive Director of Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and her husband (and Hall volunteer), Michael Farrimond.
Photo credit: Bob Fontneau


Hall of Famers: Freddi Gowdy, Bob Webber of Sugarloaf, Chris Daniels and Harold Fielden of Flash Cadillac.
Photo credit: Dan Fong


Hall of Famers from The Mother Folkers: Carla Sciaky, Rebecca Leonard, Eileen Niehouse and Ellen Audley.
Photo courtesy of Carla Sciaky


101 year-old Hall of Famer, Charles Burrell, with his daughter-in-law, Jen White and family friends, Barbara and Tom Humphrey.
Photo credit: Bob Fontneau


Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon and 2021 Hall of Famer with Bob Fontneau, The Hall’s volunteer Social Media Manager.
Photo Credit: Bob Fontneau


Michael Burgermeister, Hall donor, with Freddi Gowdy, inductee, in front of Freddi & Henchi stage costume and concert poster displayed at Red Rocks Trading Post.
Photo credit: Dan Fong


Carla Sciaky, member of The Mother Folkers, 2019 inductee, in front of her induction class exhibit.
Photo courtesy of Carla Sciaky


Hall of Fame board member, Rob Blume, with inductee, Charles Burrell.


Guests enjoying the Red Rocks scenery.
Photo credit: John Shackford


Event guests.
Photo credit: Dave Aldridge


Hall of Fame board member and event sponsor, Jay Elowsky, Hall Executive Director, Karen Radman, and event sponsor and Hall donor, Michael Burgermeister, under the strawberry full moon.
Photo credit: Brooke Gordon

An Interview with Paul Epstein, founder and former owner of Twist & Shout and board co-chair of Colorado Music Hall of Fame

By Connor Lukes, University of Denver Journalism Intern

Paul Epstein is a man with roots deeply embedded in Colorado’s music scene. Many undoubtedly know his name because he owned and operated the iconic Denver record store Twist & Shout for 33 years. What you may not know is that Epstein also co-founded Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and now is The Hall’s board co-chair and go-to music historian, with a command of modern music history that’s almost encyclopedic. 

After over three decades of running Twist & Shout, overseeing everything from rainy days in the record business to the rise of international superstars, Epstein finally decided to hand over the reins of the store to the next generation and devote more time to his family and The Hall.  In this interview, the nostalgic and optimistic Epstein reflects on his long and fulfilling career cultivating Denver’s music scene and looks forward to what the future has in store.

As both a founder of Colorado Music Hall of Fame and the current board co-chair, you’ve been a key player in its growth over the past ten years. What are you most proud of?

My career with The Hall has been an extension of what I also did in my career with Twist & Shout. It’s the coalescing of, maturity of, growth of and glorification of the local scene. This was a big thing when I first started the store. There was a very weak local music scene in Denver. The audience wasn’t supportive, and the bands were not supportive of each other. In the course of my career, I’ve seen that Denver’s changed a lot, and I hope we had some small part of fostering that at the store and at The Hall of Fame,…making the scene more cohesive. Denver is known as a really incredible music market with possibly the greatest venue in the world at Red Rocks. That’s something we all need to be really proud of. We also have this huge network of small theaters and scenes and genres of music, and these gigantic institutional festivals like Telluride and the Lyons Folk Fest and Central City Opera. There’s just an enormous history of all kinds of music in Colorado. I want that to be known, and I want to make it a bigger and bigger deal.

How did The Hall of Fame land at the Trading Post at Red Rocks, and are there plans to expand?

Well, there are a couple factors at play there. Our mission is, I’d say, sympatico to the destination, to Red Rocks. Our first founding member of The Hall, Chuck Morris, had a lot of sway at Red Rocks. 

It really seems kind of miraculous that we’re there, and we’re incredibly proud of what’s there. That said, we also have hopes for a larger, permanent home closer to the city, too — although I’d love to keep the Trading Post as a part of our portfolio of locations going forward.

Especially since Karen Radman became the director of The Hall, we’ve been laser-focused on becoming a more and more professional and focused group. That caused us to be very thoughtful and slow in our process about where or what, exactly, our permanent home would look like. I would say we are circling. Our ultimate vision is beginning to become clearer and clearer to us. It is in the future, it will happen, and we would like it to be part of the central Denver scene. 

With more free time as a retiree, what are you most excited about regarding your involvement with The Hall?

Well, I look forward to getting involved in the content on the website, both the creation and curation of it. Also, the project of figuring out where a home, in addition to the Trading Post, would be in Denver—what that would look like and how it would get funded. I look forward to being part of all those decisions. My interest really lies in the records, the ticket stubs, the posters, stage-worn outfits and guitars, the physical remnants….Being a music historian, those are really the things I’m the most qualified to help with. 

At Twist & Shout, you brought in musicians for in-store performances. What is your favorite memory of a Colorado musician who played at your store?

We grew as the scene grew. In our early era, it was all about 16 Horsepower—David Eugene Edwards— and they did numerous in-store appearances and built a huge following. He went on to form a band called Wovenhand, which is now gigantic in Europe. We were friendly, and I really admired him. That was kind of an alternative Gothic country sound, and Denver was really off the radar still.

After that, there were bands we specifically had a hand in helping. In each case, the bands had an independently produced release that we would start selling. They had a lot of fun playing in the store multiple times, and I’d see the crowd get bigger. Eventually a label would call and ask me about them. The ones I’m thinking of specifically are The Fray, and then the Flobots. We were there when they put out their first independently released album. We sold over 1,000 of them before they got signed to Republic Records.

In the more recent era, absolutely from his earliest days, we’ve watched Nathaniel Rateliff. His group the Wheel played in our store, and then a couple of my employees started the label that put out his very first release. Then I had him play at an independent record-store convention in Denver. He was just starting to break, and we had him play for all the record-store owners. It was a watershed moment. [With the Night Sweats, he’s grown] nationally bigger, and he’s broken into a huge star.… Of the ones that paralleled the store and that I’m most proud of, if I had to pick one, I’d say Nathaniel Rateliff. But there’s been a lot of them throughout, and I only touched on a few.

What will you miss most about your interactions with Twist and the customers? 

Well, it’s all great! Watching my employees go from being punk kids to being authors, actors, rock stars, lawyers, doctors: I’m so proud of the way they have grown up and stayed in touch.

My wife really described it well in one of our earliest newsletters. On a rainy Saturday when there’s a bunch of people in the store and the music is just right, nothing needs to be spoken. There’s just this record-store magic that happens. I’ve had so many people tell me, “I’ve heard this album a million times, but it has never sounded as good as just hearing it in the record store.” That is something I’ve noticed listening to records in that community atmosphere. It’s what I grew up with, and what many people, young people today, don’t have — but I think they may recognize in places like Twist & Shout. It is a magical thing to be in the presence of great art with other like-minded people.

After 33 years of operating Twist & Shout, what are your plans now that you’ve sold it?

Well, I got my first job when I was fourteen, and I pretty much never stopped working since then… I want to continue working in the music world, but not with deadlines and a work schedule the way I’ve known it for most of my life. I plan on still being fully involved in music, still being involved heavily in Colorado Music Hall of Fame – loving music and, of course, loving my family; loving Denver and being part of the many things I’m involved with in Denver. 

So many people told me, “I don’t know how I worked all those years” once they retire. I always laughed and would be like, “Yeah man, give me an extra eight hours a day; I can’t even imagine what I would do with that.” Almost immediately, I was not bored. I was not at loose ends about what to do with my day. I do almost feel like, how did I work all those years? There’s so much of interest to me in my life still; I continue to be involved in music and my family. That’s how I see the rest of my life kind of going. 

You know you’re doomed to be a boring old fart if you only look at history, so… I never stopped listening to or going to concerts of modern bands. Although that wanes as you get older, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to sell Twist & Shout to a person of another generation. He’s eleven years younger than me, and his musical tastes totally reflect that. I want the store to go on and do what it does in the future with modern music. I want The Hall to keep its eyes and ears entirely on the horizon, not on the rearview mirror.

Music In Our Schools Month

An interview by Connor Lukes, University of Denver Journalism Intern

March is “Music in Our Schools Month.” To commemorate, Colorado Music Hall of Fame is celebrating one of our inductees — the East High School Music Program – by interviewing one of the Denver school’s historians, Dr. Marcia T. Goldstein of the East High Alumni Network.

East High, Denver’s largest public high school, is considered a “descendant” of Denver’s first one-room school, The Union School, which opened in 1859; East moved into its current location at 1600 City Park Esplanade in 1925. Over the years, East has produced some of the world’s finest musicians, including the late Ron Miles; Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Andrew Woolfolk of Earth, Wind & Fire; Bill Frisell; Judy Collins; and Paul Whiteman.

Can you tell us about some notable East High alumni who became professional musicians?
Oh, yes, Alan Titus. He was an opera singer, world-renowned. He’s still alive. He’s older, of course, and I believe he lives in Germany. He was right out of high school and went to Germany and became this really young up-and-coming opera star.

His music teacher [at East] was Marion Padboy, and she was also the inspiration for Philip Bailey. I’ve read a few interviews with [Bailey], and he recalls she taught him how to do falsetto. She encouraged him to try it. He got good at it, which, as you know, is one of his trademarks. Taught him breath control, intonation and pitch which lifted his soaring, four-octave voice.

Judy Collins is another. She was a classical musician and highly trained. Her father encouraged her to study piano. She did have the opportunity to have professional music lessons and, well, she had her own private teacher, and that was Antonia Brico. Antonia Brico was an early woman symphony conductor in our country, but she was here in Denver. A highly, highly acclaimed musician, she took Judy under her wing as a piano teacher. But she didn’t teach at East High. So [Collins] was in high school as an [already trained] classical musician, but while at East High, she took up the guitar instead of the piano. This was sort of her early days of folk music.

What is the history of the music program and why do you think it has inspired so many talented musicians?
I think one of the things was the…music teachers at East High. As with a lot of the faculty, they were there for many years — decades, some of them. So they had an influence on a lot of different people. From what I can tell with the ones who are more prominent that I’ve researched, they were really good at mentoring. They’d see a talented person, and they put them in a special category and made sure they were encouraged. Part of that is they maybe knew [the student’s] family couldn’t afford music lessons.

But don’t forget, because East has been around so long as an institution, a lot of times in those earlier years — the late 1800s and early 1900s and even through the ’20s and ‘30s — this might have been one of the only places people went to school.

What are some unique features about this Denver Historic Landmark?
[The small room in the clocktower] has been used for rehearsals. It’s a really beautiful room with windows on all four sides, and you get a 360-degree view of Denver. It’s an example of how the building itself —  the architecture and the history of the building — can be inspirational.

The choir room is up on the third floor, and the windows open out onto the front of the school. So if they’re having choir practice, in front of the school…you just hear this beautiful music coming out. The kids all hear it. The physical architecture is very storied, historic and inspirational. It’s top-quality design. The auditorium has been renovated in recent years, but it’s a classic auditorium stage for performing.

Currently there are seven East High alumni in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Are there any others that you think should be considered as future inductees?
Pernell Steen. He plays all the time at Dazzle. He’s sort of the Five Points jazz history buff. If you ever have the occasion to induct him, he would be a good candidate. He plays piano and sings, and he has a group called Le Jazz Machine. He graduated in 1950. He’s in his eighties now, but he still performs regularly.

And then…Hattie McDaniel. She’s exceedingly important. She was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Gone With the Wind. She is best known as a film star, and she was even on the radio and TV as an actress. But she got her start as a musician in her father’s traveling jazz show. She actually dropped out of high High school to join her brother and her father. [East has] since given her an honorary diploma. Anyway, the point about Hattie is that she got her start as a musician, a jazz singer and performer.


Above photo of East High Jazz Band with Ron Miles and Don Cheadle, 1981; Courtesy of East High Tower Museum Archives


Ron Miles, Legendary Jazz Cornetist and Hall of Fame Inductee, Dies at 58

Photo credit: Elliot Ross

By Connor Lukes, University of Denver Journalism Intern

The jazz world experienced an unexpected loss as Ron Miles, esteemed cornet and trumpet player, passed away Tuesday, March 8, at the age of 58. A teacher, creator, husband and father, Miles leaves behind a monumental legacy of music and love for his community. Miles’s first instrument was a flugelhorn, which he learned to play at age 11 after moving to Denver. He studied the trumpet and cornet at East High School, the University of Colorado Boulder and the Manhattan School of Music as a graduate student — the only time since childhood he lived outside of Denver. Miles was a music educator for 35 years at Metropolitan State University of Denver, most recently as Musician in Residence, Jazz Studies.

He starred on twelve jazz albums recorded since 1987, the latest 2020’s Rainbow Sign on the Blue Note Records label. Miles was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s Jazz Masters & Beyond class in 2017. The Hall’s executive director, Karen Radman, laments the loss of Denver’s jazz titan. “Ron Miles’s talent is undeniable and his music legendary,” she says. “But what was also so striking about him was his genuine warmth, humbleness and gentle spirit. Whenever I communicated with him, he always asked after my family. His legacy will live on in not only his music but also in the music of the many, many students he taught and mentored. He will be missed. My heart goes out to his family and close friends.”

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s updated exhibits at the Red Rocks Trading Post this spring will feature Miles and display his first flugelhorn.

Read more about his career as an internationally renowned composer, collaborator and educator by clicking HERE

Additional coverage on his life and death:

The New York Times


National Public Radio

The Denver Post

Rocky Mountain PBS

The Denverite

Celebrating Black History Month: An Interview with Freddi Gowdy

By Connor Lukes, University of Denver Journalism Intern

We catch up with the 2019 Hall of Fame inductee and honoree for Black History Month Freddi Gowdy, founding member of the Freddi-Henchi Band alongside the late Marvin “Henchi” Graves. From growing up poor in the projects to performing overseas, Gowdy humbly shares his experiences as a small-town musician who grew into his groove ahead of the ‘70s funk boom. Originally known as Freddi-Henchi and the Soulsetters, the band slowly grew their influence over the course of fifteen years playing venues across the western United States. Freddi & Henchi gained a significant following in Boulder with their rockin’ performances and signature dance moves. It wasn’t long before they were named Colorado’s “Crown Princes of Funk.” Freddi & Henchi served as co-bill and opened for other iconic acts such as Steely Dan, the Nitty Gritty Band, Chicago, John Denver, and Earth Wind & Fire, just to name a few. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is proud to be featuring Freddi & Henchi as part of our renovated exhibits coming in March and April to the Red Rocks Trading Post.

When did you decide to become a professional musician?

I started off in Arizona. I was in the choir in high school, and my music teacher, a beautiful lady, her name was Mrs. Light, kept telling me ‘you have talent and you should keep going.’ I took the class as an easy grade, and I started listening to different types of music. Then one of the guys in my chorus suggested that I try out for this band that was around Arizona, and they were called the Soul Setters. I waited and waited, you know, wasn’t ready to do it. They kept calling me and calling me…a lot of it was I didn’t think I could sing like the other guy; he was a good singer, but then he got drafted. The guy that put me in the band came over to my house, and we sat down and he talked [me into joining].

As a black musician in the ‘60s, what sort of obstacles did you face? Were there any clubs that would not let you play?

Right, that’s a good question, because it did hold us back a couple times. A lot of the time [club owners] would look at the lineup, and they would see two Black guys, two Hispanic guys, two Native American Indian guys. They would say to themselves, ‘What the hell? Who the hell are these guys!?’ Then we had the flashy stuff! We were all flashed out. Colorado was, you know, [wasn’t] used to that. California, yes. Arizona, yes. Colorado was not used to the flashy stuff. Colorado was mainly folk music back in the day.

A couple of times we got stuff thrown at us up in Fort Collins. Really, those five clubs were, there was nothing around those places. I mean, it was out in the country [in the ‘60s].

The performance was there. Vocals, kind of there. But the live stuff, the back flips and lifts and all that stuff, we killed on that! We knew we had our ace in the hole when we performed. All the records we recorded just couldn’t get over the hump. That’s the only thing that held us back was the records that were recorded. We opened for a lot of big acts before they were big acts. You know what I mean? We were like the second bill or third bill.

Your band got its big break in Colorado in Fort Collins?

Sort of, yeah. One of the first places we played in Colorado was Fort Collins. Then, we went to Boulder and played the Skunk Creek Inn. It was owned by Al Roth. He owned Herman’s Hideaway. [Skunk Creek Inn] was rockin’. It was one of our better places to play. And it was fun. We played with Chuck Berry there…Bo Diddley, too. Their careers, you see them with the Stones and all that. But back then, they were just doing the old nightclubs the way we were doing.

Everyone talks about Henchi’s nickname from his wrestling days, but how did your nickname “Freddi Love” come about?

The agent that we were working with said Freddi Gowdy just doesn’t have that Umph! So from now on your name is Freddi Love. I hated that name! I said, “oh, okay, can you change it?” No, and when I get back to Arizona, sometimes I hear “Hey! Freddi Love!” Yeah, I don’t particularly like that name. But I had to use it.

Could you talk about your fashion from the era? You’ve loaned several items for The Hall’s display, including some of Henchi’s beautifully crafted outfits by designer Valerie McCreary. How did the band get in contact with her?

She made clothes for Elton John, Tommy Bolin, a bunch of acts. And she was very, very good. She would come and see the band. It took her maybe two weeks [to make the costumes] if she didn’t have one of the big bands from Caribou [Ranch] or something. [Henchi] would give his input on what he wanted.

Sometimes the whole band would wear [the costumes]. Especially on special shows when we were second or third bill, we would dress splashdown.

You’ve lately been performing with fellow Colorado Music Hall of Fame inductee and former Director of The Hall, Chris Daniels; how did you guys start playing together?

He called me. Chris got sick, and I went to see the band over at Elway’s and he had just got out, maybe two weeks out of the hospital. He tried to get up there and play, and it was like 100 and something [degrees] out. He got up there, and he was doing fine. Then he got sick up there on stage…I’m sitting there, and he called me over and said, ‘You think you can do a couple of numbers and help me out?’ I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll do a couple of numbers.’

Then a month later, he called me and asked me if I wanted to join the band. I really don’t sing his type of stuff. He does R&B, but he also does swing, rock and roll. He’s not locked into funk, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, so I said ‘Yeah, let’s try.’ We got together, rehearsed and then it worked out fine.

What career moments or successes are you most proud of?

When I went to play for the USO show, we went overseas to Japan [and Korea], ‘89, ‘90, something like that. We played for the troops…It’s one of the wildest things you’ve ever seen. 5,000 guys dancing with each other. It’s like, wow!

[Another moment is playing] third bill with James Brown in the ‘70s; it was in Arizona. Then there was the first time we ever played the Whisky a Go Go, and the first time we ever played Troubadour.

The Hall of Fame, for me, after all those years being on the road and opening up for these guys and coming close, very close to making it, the Hall of Fame has got to be up there. Number one for me.

Meet the Hall’s Fall 2021 Intern

Bella Zafer, a Junior Film Studies and Production major at University of Denver

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Who is your favorite band/musician? Remi Wolf

Who is your favorite Colorado band/musician? Big Gigantic

What sparked your interest in interning with Colorado Music Hall of Fame? I knew it would be an awesome opportunity to combine my passions for music and film in a nonprofit organization setting.

What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your internship? Why? I really enjoyed making the video about the new museum renovations. I was able to go film at the Trading Post and really work on my video editing skills. (check out the video here)

Announcing the Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2021!

Colorado Music Hall of Fame Announces 2021 Induction Class:
The Flatirons Sessions honoring The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, Hot Rize and the Fox Theatre

DENVER, CO (October 21, 2021) — Colorado Music Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2021 induction class: The Flatirons Sessions honoring The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, Hot Rize and the Fox Theatre. In an abundance of caution for the bands, crews and concertgoers regarding Covid-19, the Hall is postponing the induction concert and ceremony, originally scheduled for December 6 at the Mission Ballroom, until Spring 2022. The rescheduled date will be announced after the new year.

The members of our 2021 class join almost fifty musicians, bands, music industry professionals, venues and organizations that have been inducted into Colorado Music Hall of Fame since its inception ten years ago.

The Inductees

The String Cheese Incident: Over the past decade, The String Cheese Incident has emerged as one of America’s most significant independent bands. Born in 1993 in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, The String Cheese Incident has since released ten albums, six DVDs and countless live recordings from its relentless tour schedule. The act’s twenty-year history is packed full of surreal experiences, epic moments, groundbreaking involvement and huge accomplishments. Its members have been recognized for their commitment to musical creativity and integrity, their community spirit, their philanthropic endeavors and their innovative approach to the business of music.

Leftover Salmon: For three decades, Leftover Salmon has built an audience through exhilarating live shows, musicianship and an eclectic blend of musical genres. Providing a template for a new generation of string bands, such as fellow inductee Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon has been one of Colorado’s most beloved musical exports with its own potent brew of bluegrass, rock and roll, folk, Cajun, soul, zydeco and jazz and blues. Leftover Salmon’s acclaimed new album, Brand New Good Old Days, marks its return to Nashville label Compass Records.

Yonder Mountain String Band: With their latest album, “Get Yourself Outside,” Colorado-based quintet Yonder Mountain String Band continues to solidify its place as not only a pioneering jam-grass act, but also one of the most innovative groups in live music—something the group has proudly held high for the better part of a quarter-century. From selling out Red Rocks Amphitheatre at a time that was unheard of for string acts, to performing festivals like Bonnaroo, Yonder Mountain was the initial spark in an acoustic inferno that endures headlong into the 21st century—one burning brightly in an ongoing movement that is jam-grass.

Hot Rize: Bursting onto the scene in 1978, Hot Rize quickly became the “godfathers” of Colorado’s modern progressive bluegrass movement, inspiring younger bands – including fellow inductees – along the way. The band played at most of the major festivals, produced eight studio albums and three live albums, did countless tours across four continents, and appeared many times on television and radio. Accolades include the International Bluegrass Music Association’s very first Entertainers of the Year award, a Grammy nomination and a four-star album review in Rolling Stone. Hot Rize was also known for incorporating its Western swing alter-ego band, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, into performances.

Fox Theatre: The Fox Theatre, an iconic music venue located on The Hill in Boulder, opened in March 1992 and quickly became a “must-play” venue for some of the best artists of our time. The Fox regularly showcased its fellow inductees early in their careers and still does today. Named by Rolling Stone as one of the top live music clubs in the nation. The Fox has hosted a broad spectrum of world-class artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson, Chance The Rapper, Tyler, The Creator plus Radiohead, Ween, Billy Strings, Phil Lesh Bonnie Raitt, Widespread Panic and Griz.

About Colorado Music Hall of Fame:

Founded in 2011, Colorado Music Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate our state’s music heritage and inspire the future of Colorado music through our museum, educational programming, induction concerts and events. The Hall’s eleven induction concerts have drawn more than 35,000 attendees, while more than 150,000 visitors annually have flocked to the Hall of Fame museum at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre Trading Post. The free museum is open to the public 363 days each year and is undergoing a refresh with new exhibits in early 2022. The Hall has published three coffee table books about the state’s musical history, which are for sale at the museum, at our online store (cmhof.org/shop) and at Twist & Shout Records in Denver.

Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Classes 2011-2021
2011 — Inaugural Class: John Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
2012 — Setting the Stage: Barry Fey, Harry Tuft
2012 — Rockin’ the ‘60s: The Astronauts, Flash Cadillac, KIMN Radio, Sugarloaf
2013 — Colorado’s Folk Revival: Judy Collins, Chris Daniels, Bob Lind, Serendipity Singers
2015 — Country Rock in the Rockies: Firefall, Manassas w/Stephen Stills, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Poco
2016 — 20th Century Pioneers: Lannie Garrett, Glenn Miller, Max Morath, Billy Murray, Elizabeth Spencer, Paul Whiteman
2017 — Rocky Mountain Way: Caribou Ranch, Dan Fogelberg, Bill Szymczyk, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm
2017 — Jazz Masters & Beyond: Charles Burrell, Denver’s East High School Music Program, Earth Wind & Fire members: Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Andrew Woolfolk, Bill Frisell, Ron Miles, Dianne Reeves
2018 — Live & On the Air: John Hickenlooper, KBCO, Chuck Morris
2019 — Old Folk, New Folk: Walt Conley, Mother Folkers, Swallow Hill Music, Dick Weissman
2019 — Going Back to Colorado: Tommy Bolin, Freddi & Henchi, Wendy Kale, Tony Spicola, Otis Taylor, Zephyr
2021 — A Virtual Induction: eTown
2021 – The Flatirons Sessions: Fox Theatre, Hot Rize, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band

Meet Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s Summer 2021 Interns

Tori Everson
Senior at the University of Denver majoring in Journalism and International Studies and minoring in Marketing
Hometown: Orono, MN

Who is your favorite band/musician? SZA

Who is your favorite Colorado band/musician? The Lumineers

Tori Everson

What sparked your interest in interning with Colorado Music Hall of Fame? I have family that works in the music industry in Nashville and they always have the most interesting and unique stories, so I thought it would be fun to start working in the music industry in Colorado. I also love attending concerts, Red Rocks being my favorite venue, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to gain internship experience in a field I am interested in and genuinely enjoy!

What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your internship? Why? My favorite project I have worked on during my time with CMHOF would be researching all of the Hall of Fame’s around the nation. This was fun to see how other states have designed their hall of fame’s. Towards the end of my internship, I began designing and typing content for a docent training guide. This was fun as I got to further research the artists/bands inducted into CMHOF.

Lorne Fultonberg
Master’s student at the University of Denver studying Media and Public Communications with a focus on strategic communications
Hometown: Superior, CO

Who is your favorite band/musician? The Beatles

Who is your favorite Colorado band/musician? Earth, Wind & Fire

Lorne Fultonberg

What sparked your interest in interning with Colorado Music Hall of Fame? First and foremost, it was a love of music! I wanted to see what life was like in a nonprofit with a mission I believed in. And the Hall’s work was so valuable (and so cool!). I realized that, despite growing up in Boulder County, I knew nothing of the Hall. I wanted to change that and use my skills to spread the word.

What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your internship? Why? Personally, researching and updating several of the inductee pages on the Hall of Fame site has been a true treat. It’s been so much fun learning more about the artists and venues that make our state great! Professionally, I’ve enjoyed strategizing ways to put the Hall and its great work in front of a larger audience.



Abbie Smith
Junior at the University of Denver, Political Science and Journalism double major
Hometown: Richmond, VA

Who is your favorite band/musician? The Beatles

Who is your favorite Colorado band/musician? Judy Collins

Abbie Smith

I’ve always been passionate about music and journalism, and when I discovered the internship with the Colorado Music Hall of Fame I thought it was the perfect way to explore both areas of interest. I was absolutely right! I have been able to discover more about Colorado music history and have exponentially improved my writing and editing skills over the course of my internship.

What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your internship? Why? My favorite project that I worked on this summer was the interview I conducted with museum archivist Dave Aldridge. I felt very lucky to be able to sit down and discuss music history with Mr. Aldridge and to hear about his experience and involvement in the Colorado music scene.

An Interview with Colorado Music Hall of Fame Volunteer Dave Aldridge

By: Abbie Smith, University of Denver Intern

Longtime history and music lover Dave Aldridge joined the Colorado Music Hall of Fame team as the museum’s volunteer archivist during the summer of 2020, after responding to an ad in the Hall’s newsletter seeking volunteers for various projects. “I was hoping to explore more of Colorado music history beyond the ‘big names’ of John Denver, Judy Collins, and Stephen Stills,” he says. A forty-year resident of Colorado and veteran concert attendee, Aldridge claims to have attended over 100 concerts at Red Rocks alone; he’s clearly not a stranger to Colorado music.

Despite having no training as a museum archivist, Aldridge’s volunteer work has been pivotal in the organization of artifacts and photos donated and loaned to the Hall. “I’ve organized and inventoried records, CDs, photos, textiles, posters, and other items given to us for our exhibits… but there is no ‘normal day’ for me,” Aldridge explains. He does what is needed, whether that means documenting and properly storing the Hall’s artifacts at the storage space or outsourcing to find new artifacts from donors in the area.

Two artifacts stick out as particularly interesting during Aldridge’s time exploring the Hall’s archives: an Elton John pinball machine owned by Barry Fey and an oxygen tank (to preserve the voice) used by John Lennon at Caribou Ranch recording studio. He was so taken by these items that he chose to feature them in the first two installments of “From Our Collection” in the Hall’s newsletter. That column was started in January 2021 to showcase artifacts not currently on display at the museum.

Aldridge’s passion for Colorado music history is evident when he speaks about everything from meeting Ginger Baker in an aisle at the grocery store to watching the moon rise over Red Rocks at a John Denver concert in ‘82. His stories are remarkable, and the depth of his knowledge of the music scene is profound. Although he stumbled into his volunteer role as an archivist, Aldridge believes in the importance of preserving this history for future generations of Colorado music lovers. Over the past year, Aldridge has become a fundamental part of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame team; his dedication to his volunteer work is a real gift to the Hall.

Photo Caption: Volunteer Dave Aldridge with his wife Nancy at the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour at Red Rocks

The Women of Colorado Hip-Hop

Mic Check 1,2: The Colorado Hip-Hop Scene is Made by its Women

By: Haley Birt, University of Denver Journalism Intern

When thinking about the Colorado music scene, it’s common to refer to the labels of folk, country, and rock; however, Colorado is a little-known hotbed for hip-hop artists. In honor of Colorado History Month, we’re looking at two women who have been rewriting the definition of what it means to be a hip-hop artist.

From the soulful melodies of singer/rapper/songwriter Aja Black to the lyrical gymnastics of Lily Fangz, these artists are weaving powerful social commentary into ear-catching beats that keep heads nodding and minds turning.

Colorado Springs-based artist Aja Black put herself on the map over a decade ago when she and her husband, Big Samir, founded their group The ReMINDers. Black’s strong vocals and creative lyricism are consistently impressive. Her flow between rapping and singing plays into her remarkable ability to capture the fullness and complexity of life. In just a few stanzas, she can sing about everything from skyping her kids backstage to racism in America.

The group’s most recent release, 10k, is one more testament to Black’s talent. Within the first 30 seconds, Black is serving up her lyrical dexterity in the form of both rap and song. Her ability to convert emotions into music has been key in helping propel the group onto stages alongside musical legends Nas Lauryn Hill, and Snoop Dogg, to name just a few.

Black sings, raps, and composes with a passion and authenticity that transcend the airwaves. She brings what is traditionally invisible in hip-hop music — being an artist, emcee, mother of three, and wife — into the forefront of her work. It is her musical prowess that allows her to effortlessly marry and make visible all of these important and diverse life roles. From this, she and Samir have built the foundation for the signature sounds and rhymes of The ReMINDers.

Much like Aja Black, Denver-based Lileana Krenza, better known by her stage name Lily Fangz, stretches her talent far beyond the bars she spits on stage. If her loyal fanbase is not proof enough of her skill, her resume contains such feats as opening for Nas and SchoolboyQ at Red Rocks, hosting CHOMPcast and speaking at TEDx.

Fangz made a name for herself when she released her song “Lay It Down,” which reflected on the fatal drug use of a close friend. From that moment forward, Fangz continued to captivate audiences with her vulnerable and thought-provoking compositions. Alongside her lyrical skill, Fangz shows exquisite talent in blending her poetic prowess into her sonic beats.

In her February release, “RAW V.5,” Fangz exemplifies her adaptive competency. RAW V.5 is part of a larger project that Fangz describes as “experiments in courage.” She approaches this project with a refreshing vulnerability, weaving captivating stories into acoustically driven beats, spotlighting the thematic rawness of the project. She even goes so far as to abandon the beat at times and fall entirely into spoken word. It is Fangz’s openness to stylistic evolution paired with inventive poetics that leave anyone who listens breathless, reeling, and wanting more.

The authentic and grounded music of Fangz and Black creates a strong basis for their success. Their music offers a powerful coupling of authenticity and musical ingenuity; these women are the living examples of what it means to refuse to be silenced. Their work, and the work of many other women in hip-hop, is confident, bold and impactful.

During Women’s History Month, we honor their bravery, as well as that of the women who came before them and the women who will come. May they refuse to be silenced and empower others to do the same.