Jazz is one of America’s quintessential creations — one that continues to influence and inspire, even for people who may not consider themselves fans of the genre. Dazzle, Denver’s jazz nightclub, has been one of the key places keeping the artform on stage in the Mile High City for the last quarter-century. And it’s kicking off 2022 with a multi-evening birthday celebration, marking 25 years of operation.
“We have a dedication to good music and people know whenever they come to Dazzle, the music will be phenomenal,” said Kelley Dawkins, marketing director with Dazzle, 1512 Curtis St. “With our menu, we’re a great way to have a fun, high energy night out without you having to put a lot of energy into it. And we’ve done such a great job building a local following that nourishes the love of jazz.”
The first performance of the birthday celebration will be Convergence featuring Roberta Gambarini at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 and 8. Rico Jones and Max Light will be featured in the 9:30 p.m. show on Jan. 7. The 9:30 p.m. performance on Jan. 8 is called “Dazzle Mixtape” and will feature violinist and 2018 Grammy-nominee Sara Caswell, saxophonist Anisha Rush, trombonist Mark Patterson, pianist Jacquelyn Schreiber, bassist Gabe Rupe and drummer Colin Stranahan. The final show will be at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9 and is Patterson’s “Group Stories” featuring Dale Bruning and Caswell.
According to provided information, Dazzle began in 1997 at 930 Lincoln St. before moving to its current location. Like every other live venue, it struggled during the pandemic, but Dazzle strove to make things a bit easier for musicians. That led them to participate in their Bread & Jam program, “a weekly VIP jam session where musicians can rekindle old musical relationships and find new ones.” They also get a hot meal out of the deal.
“We wanted to reexamine how we fit in the greater musical community in Denver because we want everybody to win,” Dawkins said. “We’re doing our best to support musicians in any way we can.”
While jazz may not be the most popular genre, it still elicits passion from fans of all ages. And Dazzle aims to remain there for musicians to share their love of the form.
“Traditional jazz often appeals to an older crowd, and while there’s definitely still an audience for that music, it’s nice to see the different ways jazz is evolving. There are so many blurred lines between genres, meaning it’s very easy to slide from jazz to R&B and pop,” Dawkins said. “Dazzle has always loved being the small club in the middle of Denver where you can hear amazing national and international acts and great local music. But now we’re moving to the place for the best local music, with occasional national and international acts stopping in.”
For tickets and information, visit dazzledenver.com.
Kiss the sky at Wings Over the Rockies
Wings Over the Rockies is showcasing a new exhibit to kick of 2022 — one that celebrates some of the biggest achievements in aerospace. Skyward: Breakthroughs in Flight is on display at the museum, 7711 E. Academy Blvd. in Denver, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
According to provided information, featured artifacts include fabric from the Wright Flyer that went to the moon with Neil Armstrong, an American flag signed by Charles Lindbergh, fabric from the Lockheed Vega that Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic and more. Visit WingsMuseum.org/Skyward for more information and tickets.
Factory Fashion celebrates drag culture
Factory Fashion is starting off the new year with a program aimed at helping teens show their true selves. Drag Tween-Teen Fashion begins on Sunday, Jan. 9 and runs for the rest of the month, with single sessions and a multi-week course that teaches participants everything from wig maintenance to drag make-up and performance techniques. The series culminates with a finale performance at Stanley Marketplace on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Part of the Aurora-based community arts collective Factory Five Five, Factory Fashion is located at the Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Suite 200, in Aurora. For information and to sign up, visit factoryfivefive.com/fashion.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Charley Crockett at the Ogden Theatre
Charley Crockett is one of the most prolific and underrated musicians in music today, living in the nebulous space between blues and country music. His crooning style is straight out of classic country music, while his guitar playing is equally indebted to blues legends. Last year he released “Music City USA,” — not only his best but one of the best releases of the entire year.
Crockett will be performing at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8. Ensure you don’t miss it by getting tickets at axs.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.