“He’s more important than John Elway or John Denver in terms of what he did for Denver.” That’s what world-renowned music-industry veteran Mark Bliesener has to say about Neal Cassady, who will be celebrated January 30 during the seventh edition of the author’s memorial birthday bash. In fact, Bliesener believes that the Beat poet’s impact on American culture seems to be felt everywhere but in his home town, so the party is also meant to remind people that Cassady helped create Denver’s cool.
Having spent his formative years on the streets of the Mile High City, Cassady became a wandering literary master as well as a long-running character in fellow Beat writer Jack Kerouac’s tales. At the event, local poets, family members and other devoted artists like Jami Cassady, Molina Speaks and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn will pay tribute to the man with live performances. David Amram, a longtime friend of Cassady’s and an acclaimed composer and avant-garde musician who connected with the Beats back in Cassady’s heyday — will perform with his quartet.
The seventh annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash lights up at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit nealcassadybirthdaybash.com.
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