Music News

Jerry Kern Has Made a Lot of Noise With the CSO, But Can It Survive Discord With the City?

As the brass quintet launched into a sweeping rendition of an old Hollywood score, camera crews captured the historic action. This was one of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's controversial Classically Cannabis fundraisers, possibly the first-ever symphonic marijuana celebration anywhere -- even if the private event, held at the posh new Space Gallery on Santa Fe Drive, was for the most part unremarkable. There were no psychedelic numbers squeezed into the quintet's program of jazz and ragtime favorites, no noticeably pot-fueled shenanigans from the several hundred well-dressed attendees as they sipped wine and socialized.

Out on the gallery's open-air patio, though, patrons were free to smoke the marijuana they'd brought for the occasion -- and from the media's perspective, that was all that mattered. Reporters in attendance made note of the marijuana boutonnieres pinned to many of the guests' chests, the special green neckties the musicians wore for the occasion. Such details would end up in the New York Times, the Times of London, even on TMZ.

This was far from the first time the symphony had turned heads -- and it won't be the last.

See also: Colorado Symphony Orchestra's Pot Concert Begs the Question: Why Is This Still a Big Deal?

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner