Get to the Points

"Cool, crazy and hot." More than fifty years ago, that's what legendary Five Points DJ Leroy Smith promised his show would be — and the neighborhood will once again be cool, crazy and hot today, when the fifth annual 5 Points Jazz festival takes over Welton Street starting at 11 a.m. What's cool? The assorted acts that will perform — some of the town's best jazz artists — including the Hugh Ragin Ensemble (doing an on-air gig at KUVO, 2900 Welton), Buckner Funken Jazz Band and Sammy Mayfield Blues Review on the outdoor stage (new this year), and the Dale Bruning Quintet (in the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library at 2401 Welton, where the festival got its start five years ago). What's crazy? How big this event has gotten. "It's grown to include numerous venues along Welton, as well as numerous partnerships within the local community," says Pauline Herrera of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. A shuttle will run between entertainment venues; five eateries will offer $6 lunches; three musical mainstays of the community — Dr. Sam Gill, George Morrison Sr. and Freddy Rodriguez Sr. — will be honored with tribute awards created by local artist Li Hardison; and the Black Arts Festival has also joined the lineup. What's hot? All of it's free! For details, go to
Sat., May 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008