Let the fun (and games) begin! Starting this week, the Denver Dave & Buster's (2000 South Colorado Boulevard) will feature live jazz on the patio -- free! -- during Thursday-night happy hour, 4 through 7 p.m. The series kicks off with the After Midnight Jazz Trio on May 26, then continues through June with the Dave Camp Jazz Trio, the Daddy Blue Jazz Trio, the Rehka Jazz Trio and Alive on Arrival Jazz Trio. And on alternating Friday nights starting May 27, Dave & Buster's will host the Rattlebrain Theater Company (formerly based in the D&F Tower) in its showroom, where the comedy troupe will offer an entirely improvisational show called Ride. A ticket is $40 -- but that includes an appetizer, two cocktails and the show. For reservations, call Dave & Buster's at 303-759-1515.
Elway's (2500 East First Avenue), which has played host to several resident musicians (including Jennifer Lane) over the past six months, will offer its own free concert series on the rooftop patio starting Wednesday, June 15, with Wendy Woo (mayor and fan John Hickenlooper caught her show at the Walnut Room last month). The music will continue from 5 to 7 p.m. on four more Wednesdays with Robert Johnson, the 17th Avenue All-Stars, Nelson Rangell and Pan Jumbies. The patio of the Inn at Cherry Creek (233 Clayton Street) is sticking with one act: Lannie Garrett, who'll perform "Under the Paris Skies" every Friday from June 3 through August 26. The show pulls from Garrett's album of the same name -- a blend of American jazz and gypsy sounds -- and features the Gypsy Swing Revue quartet; tickets are $20 per person at 303-377-8577. The bar over at the JW Marriott (150 Clayton Lane) has been hosting a Frank Sinatra impersonator on Thursdays; starting June 3, a phony Tony Bennett, Tony James, joins the lineup on Fridays. And soon after, not just the bar, but the entertainment itself could spill out onto the hotel's enclosed patio, promises spokeswoman Sheri Hedum.
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Downtown, the patio outside Maggiano's Little Italy in the Denver Pavilions (500 16th Street) will host live Latin jazz by Mistura Fina on Wednesday nights starting June 1. Andrew Hudson's trio had a four-week residency at Maggiano's last year and proved so popular that the gig stretches fourteen weeks this summer. Rise (1909 Blake Street) launched its "Chillin' and Grillin'" evenings on the skybar last Friday with music by Leer 43; the series continues through Labor Day with the Mercury Project on May 27 and One Nation on June 3. The series should run at least through Labor Day, with bands sounding off -- did we mention there's no cover? -- from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thank God it's Friday.