On June 29, we'll present our 25th Westword Music Showcase. The event has grown dramatically since it was founded in 1995, with just a handful of bands playing around LoDo. In 2019, more than 75 local acts will fill venues throughout the Golden Triangle, while national headliners Jauz, Bishop Briggs, Crooked Colours, lovelytheband and SHAED will play the two main stages.
Many of the artists who have participated in the Showcase have gone on to worldwide success, while others continue to perform for loyal local audiences. And some have cashed it in and left music altogether.
Jazz trumpeter, cornet player and composer Ron Miles is a Denver legend who has played Showcase in various groups over the years. In addition to performing with the likes of guitarist Bill Frisell and late saxophonist Fred Hess, Miles is a beloved professor of music at Metropolitan State University, heading up the school's jazz program. We reached out to ask Miles about his memories of Showcase, his bands' evolution and how Denver's music scene has changed over the past 25 years.
What memories and stories do you have of playing Westword Music Showcase?
Playing at the Showcase, I remember all of us being so excited. But my fondest memories of Westword are of the great writer Linda Gruno. [Linda passed away in 2014.]
How has your own band evolved since playing Showcase?
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I played with a few incarnations at Westword. Everyone has gone on to create some amazing music.
Denver's music scene has changed a lot over the past 25 years. What are your thoughts on its evolution?
Over the last 25 years, there is a real sense of local pride in the jazz community that radiates out Colorado’s borders due to a group of creative Colorado musicians who are performing throughout the world.
The 25th Westword Music Showcase will sound off in the Golden Triangle on Saturday, June 29. In honor of the 25th Showcase, the first 2,500 general admission tickets are just $25 each; supplies are limited and after those are gone, the GA price will rise to $35. VIP tickets are $65, and those prices will go up, too. So get your tickets and more details now at westwordshowcase.com.