Happy birthday, Woody Guthrie! Celebrate the folk legend's centennial with a week of events
Legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie was born a hundred years ago, and a century later, he's left quite a legacy. David Amram, a legend in his own right who met Guthrie in 1956 and was commissioned by the Guthrie family to write a symphony piece based on "This Land Is Your Land," will be in town for a series of musical events and film screenings that pay tribute to Guthrie. "He was way more than just a folk musician," says Amram. "He was a musician and a person for all our folk."
Here are the Guthrie-related events in Denver over the next week:
See also: - David Amram: "Playing jazz reminds me all the time of how important every note is, every person is, every situation is" - Keeping the Beat: Musician David Amram remembers Neal Cassady - Best Musical - Woody Guthrie's American Song
David Amram Quartet at Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge (Monday, September 17, 7-9 p.m., $18) Dazzle will be the site of a special show by the David Amram Quartet, which includes Tony Black, Hugh Ragin and Artie Moore. This is a great opportunity to catch Amram in his musical element, performing along with a quartet in the intimate setting of Dazzle.
Woody Guthrie-inspired ukelele lesson at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax (Wednesday, September 19, 6 p.m., free) Learn to play like Woody himself! Swallow Hill Music instructors will offer a free group lesson, teaching you how to play Guthrie's famous "This Land Is Your Land" before a screening of the documentary about the singer/songwriter. Bring your own guitar or ukelele (or simply your beautiful voice) and play or sing along to the folk staple.
Roll On Columbia at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax (Wednesday, September 19, 7 p.m., $10) This documentary captures the period in 1941 when Woody Guthrie was employed by the Bonneville Power Administration to write a song a day for a month; Guthrie ended up creating 26 songs during that span. David Amram and musician Josh White Jr. will introduce the film.
Amram's Jam at the 16th Street Mall (Thursday, September 20, 4:30 p.m., free) Woody Guthrie thought music should be readily available to everyone no matter their class or economic status, and this free jam will give everyone a chance to experience the sounds of David Amram, Josh White Jr. and members of both the Colorado Symphony and the local jazz scene -- all for free at on the 16th Street Mall. The musicians will gather at the mall's intersection with Curtis Street for this amazing jam; in case of rain, the action will move to Backstage Coffee in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie with David Amram: Public Dress Rehearsal at Boettcher Concert Hall (Friday, September 21, 7:30 p.m., free) For music-lovers eighteen and under, their adult chaperones and others who serve at- need adult populations and cannot afford the price of a ticket, the Colorado Symphony is offering free admission to the dress rehearsal of its Saturday show. Tickets are available only by special request, which must be received before Tuesday, September 18; e-mail the number you would like to Laura Bond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie with David Amram at Boettcher Concert Hall (Saturday, September 22, 7:30 p.m., $20, $45, and $65) The main event happens on September 22 at Boettcher Concert Hall, with David Amram guest-conducting as the Colorado Symphony plays his pieces "Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie" and "Theme and Variations on Red River Valley for flute and strings"; Josh White Jr. will perform songs by Guthrie and Duke Ellington. It will culminate with an audience-wide sing-along of "This Land Is Your Land," paying tribute to the often outspoken, always warmhearted Woody Guthrie.
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