Party in Five Points

Movement, euphoria, freedom: Jazz evokes different responses in different people. And yet it's always been a music that draws people together, as evidenced by Five Points' musical heyday in the 1940s and ’50s. Back then, people would flock to the Points to hear such artists as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis play nightclubs along Welton Street. And the Five Points Jazz Festival, which will celebrate its seventh anniversary today, aims to bring crowds back to the neighborhood.

"Five Points has a rich history of and deep connection to jazz, a uniquely American art form," says Gina Rubano, special-events coordinator for the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. "By celebrating jazz, we celebrate the past, present and future of one of Denver’s most important neighborhoods."

This year's Five Points Jazz Fest, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature art exhibits, contests, lectures, food, drink, dance and live jazz, of course — including performances by the Elevation Jazz Orchestra, Manuel Molina, Willie Houston and the Blues Prowlers, the Denver Municipal Jazz Band and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance — on outdoor stages and at various venues along Welton Street. The free festival is open to all ages; for a complete schedule, visit
Sat., May 22, 1-7 p.m., 2010