Arvada Center partners with Swallow Hill for 2014 summer concert series

It's not so tough to spot the link between the Arvada Center's 2014 recently announced concert series and Swallow Hill Music, who partnered with them to construct the lineup. The series owes a lot to the music school's deep roots in folk music -- performances by Don McLean and Judy Collins are testaments to those roots. But there's more promise in the new partnership between Swallow Hill and the Arvada Center. As the new co-presenter, Swallow Hill has proven that it has more to offer the series than simple folk strains, including everyone from world-renowned jazz legends to local orchestral power.

The Arvada Center's summer series has always been committed to musical diversity, featuring artists running the gamut from Weird Al to the Indigo Girls. That range of genre and style promises to increase with the announcement of a new partner for the center's coming season. Swallow Hill Music, whose newly opened satellite location at Lowry is the subject of this week's Backbeat feature, has joined forces with the arts organization in Jefferson County. The coming summer's programming shows the clear imprint of folk-based music school. "American Pie" scribe Don McLean and Denver native Judy Collins both show up on the bill for the coming season.

But the summer lineup of musicians, includes big names from the realms of jazz and world music. Swallow Hill and Arvada are set to announce the full slate of artists on April 1, but there's plenty to give you the flavor already.

In addition to Don McLean and Judy Collin's appearance on July 30, the series is already set to feature Jamie Cullum with KING on June 9; the Pat Metheny Unity Group with Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams and Giulio Carmassi on July 25; and Los Lonely Boys and Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Aug. 23.

Those names from the realms of jazz and Chicano power rock aren't the only headliners for the coming season. The series is also set to draw from a local spring of talent with an appearance from the Denver Brass on August 23. The ensemble will play its series "A Space Odyssey." Expect musical and voice cues from the iconic Stanley Kubrick film, including announcements from Hal the computer. The sci-fi show is also set to feature excerpts from Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, as well as snippets from iconic series like Star Trek.

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A.H. Goldstein