Music News

Yuzo Nieto Seeks Artists as He Reboots Denver Does Denver

Yuzo Nieto (left) of Pink Hawks is rebooting Denver Does Denver in September.
Yuzo Nieto (left) of Pink Hawks is rebooting Denver Does Denver in September. Gisele Jara
In 2009, Pink Hawks frontman and Westword MasterMind Yuzo Nieto launched the first Denver Does Denver, a music festival where Denver bands played short sets, covering other local acts. Nieto saw the festival as a way for hometown bands to show love for each other while also giving musicians a chance to dig deep into each other’s sounds.

After hosting a massive Denver Does Denver event in 2010, which included acts like the Lumineers, Night of Joy, Pythian Whispers and Hideous Men, Nieto got busy teaching music full-time and working on both a master’s degree and Illiterate, the magazine that helped sponsor the festival but eventually fizzled out.

Over the past decade, Nieto says, people have reached out to him about doing other Denver Does Denver events, but none ever panned out. Last year, hi-dive co-owners Curtis Wallach and Suzanne Magnuson, who opened the Trinidad Lounge earlier this year, partnered with Indie 102.3 to do an online quarantine version of the fest last October.

Now Nieto is planning to hold the first in-person Denver Does Denver in more than ten years on Sunday, September 12, at Town Center Park, 5050 Argonne Street in Green Valley Ranch. While he’s already got some bands lined up for the outdoor festival, he’s putting out a second call for artists. This time around, Nieto is looking not only for musicians, but for visual artists, thespians, dancers who are “encouraged to remix, cover, or otherwise interpret the work of other Denver area artists or musicians and perform the results in a day-long music and arts festival.”

Nieto says artists interested in performing at the festival should contact him before August 29 via [email protected] with their band name and who they want to cover. Bands will play twenty-minute sets. 

Nieto hopes Denver Does Denver will help spread the word about the Radical Arts Academy Denver, the kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school he’s aiming to open by fall 2023 in far northeast Denver following an application process with Denver Public Schools next spring.

The school's website states that it will work to "provide high-quality arts-based learning to address the needs of the whole child/learner. This is done through a lens of critical consciousness that promotes concrete pathways for historically underserved populations to learn and develop through the arts to realize self-actualization and career readiness within the arts, life, and beyond."
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon