Roots & Rhythm frontman James Speiser and KUVO DJ Erik Troe both know a few things about blues and jazz, so it's no surprise that the two came up with the concept for Blue Roots Denver, a Denver-produced program that features local blues and jazz musicians. The pilot for the show, which will feature live performances, as well as stories focusing on the state's musical history, is slated to be shot at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret on Wednesday, August 28.
The pilot will be the first of dozens of hour-long produced programs, which the pair say are "designed to highlight the vitality of Colorado's greatest talent of today while sharing tales of our state's fascinating and colorful musical past." According to their release, Speiser and Troe have three main goals for Blue Roots Denver:
"First is to bring our blues and jazz scene into focus and help foster nationally the reputation that Denver deserves as a city known for dynamic, creative music. There is a family of musicians and venues being coordinated in this effort.
Second, there is a younger generation that can carry on this music, and we will include high school and college aged people in the process of performing, filming, producing and promoting each episode of Blue Roots Denver. Dr. Malcolm Lynn Baker, Director of Jazz Studies at University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, has come on board as our educational consultant and will assist in outreach programs that will bring blues and jazz musicians to our city's schools.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, there is a living heritage and deep history of blues and jazz in Denver dating back to the 1940s Juke-Joint Era along Welton Street. This legacy and its remaining survivors must be remembered and celebrated! Every episode of Blue Roots Denver will feature interviews, archival photos and film, and stories of the men and women who laid the foundation for the thriving scene we enjoy in the Mile High City today."
Roots & Rhythm, Speiser's Denver-based blues act, is set to headline the show at Lannie's this Wednesday, August 28. Doors are at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., and cover is $15. The pre-show two hour special will be on KUVO with Momma Kat's Rockin' & Rhythm show on Friday, August 23.