For nearly two decades, the Five Points Jazz Festival has celebrated the history of the neighborhood once dubbed the "Harlem of the West." While the event is usually held at multiple venues around Five Points on the third Saturday in May, this year's festival will be presented virtually by Denver Arts & Venues and Rocky Mountain Public Media on TV, radio and online.
The two-hour event will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, on a statewide television broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS, a two-hour radio show on KUVO JAZZ 89.3 from 8 to 10 p.m., streaming at kuvo.org, and as an on-demand video event through Denver Arts & Venues and their social-media channels. KUVO will also play segments from past festivals on May 16.
"This is a city-wide event that has grown in popularity and attendance, and it’s like a coming out party for music lovers of all ages. The best way to keep the party going is for all of us to get together, bringing the festival into your home, connecting you to our Five Points neighbors and to people throughout the city.” said Carlos Lando, general manager of KUVO, in a statement. “We are especially pleased that the entire state will be part of the Five Points Jazz Festival this year!”
The virtual event will showcase the past, present and future of the Five Points neighborhood, with entertainment from local jazz bands, comedians, poets, community members and others, including Dianne Reeves, Hazel Miller, Ben Markley Big Band, Ritmo Jazz Latino, the CCJA Jazz Arts Messengers (students of the Colorado Conservatory of the Jazz Arts), JoFoKe aNem, Ron Miles Quartet, Venus Cruz & the 5 Pointers, Josh Blue, Denver Comedy Lounge, Bobby LeFebre, Mayor Michael Hancock, Ginger White Brunetti, Candi Cdebaca, hosts Tamara Banks, Arturo Gomez, Carlos Lando, Nikki Swarn (aka Amerykah Jones) and more.
“For nearly twenty years, the Five Points Jazz Festival has celebrated the music, culture and roots of this historic neighborhood,” explains Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement. “The Five Points Jazz Festival is truly in the spirit of Denver’s Cultural vision – bringing accessible and inclusive art, culture and creativity to the people of Denver. Even though we won’t be able to celebrate together in person this year, through this virtual medium, we are able to gather as a music-loving community and connect with people who may not have typically been able to attend.”
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.