Another star-studded lineup is in the works!
Invited bands as of December 2018.
After Midnight - Denver
This year launches the third decade of this incredible group’s delivering the spot-on sound of the Benny Goodman Sextet plus equally authentic renditions of Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and other greats of the Swing Era. Their popularity with Evergreen audiences has earned them “Festival Mainstay” status, and we’re delighted to have the love affair continue.
Carl Sonny Leyland Trio - California
Talk about popular demand! One of the most requested groups ever to appear in the Festival, these three mega-talents deliver a range of boogie-woogie, barrelhouse and blues that is certain to have audiences rocking again this year. Each is a genuine star in today’s jazz galaxy, so it’s no surprise that when they get together, the music is over the top! If you’ve never heard them, you’re in for an enormous treat. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome them back to Evergreen.
On The Levee Jazz Band – New Orleans (new pix to come)
Drummer and longtime Festival favorite Hal Smith (he appeared in the very first EJF) created this band in late 2017 as a tribute to the great Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band. The musicians he assembled include several with strong ties to their Ory counterparts, and all are absolutely top talents. Even the band’s name relates – On The Levee was a San Francisco club owned by Kid Ory 1958-61. This is going to be something special!
Queen City Jazz Band - Denver
Happy 60th Birthday, QCJB! It all started in a smoky roadhouse in Lakewood way back in 1958. They were named after The Queen City of the Plains, and their big New Orleans sound has been receiving standing ovations on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. The musicians have evolved over the years, but the band’s commitment to quality and authenticity remains unbending. Their great vocalist Wende Harston is regarded by many as a modern-day Bessie Smith. Don't miss their Sunday gospel service! http://www.queencityjazzband.com
Holland-Coots Quintet - Dallas
Can it get any more swingin’ than this? Piano sensation Brian Holland and Grammy-winning drummer Danny Coots return to Evergreen with a recently formed group including three other top players: Marc Caparone on cornet, Evan Amtzen, reeds and Steve Pikal, bass. Since their inaugural gig at the 2017 Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival their popularity has skyrocketed (two more festivals booked them after the second set!) We’re delighted they can now add Evergreen to their fast-growing resume. http://www.facebook.com/theHCJQ/
Ivory&Gold® - Mystic, CT
With Anne Barnhart on flute, Jeff Barnhart on piano & both doing vocals, this exceptional duo first performed to great acclaim at the Sun Valley Jazz Festival in 2001. Since then their schedule has been non-stop, covering six of the seven continents and every imaginable event and venue. Their repertoire ranges from Ragtime to Swing to Broadway with creativity, musical anecdotes and humor making each set a special experience. We’re pleased to have them back in Evergreen. http://www.ivoryandgold.net
Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles - Denver
Since its creation in 2013, this young, exciting band has gained an enthusiastic following with swing dancers in Denver and across the country. They pride themselves on being true to the genre, and their marvelous sound, authentic dress and unbridled energy have made them a Festival favorite since their first appearance in 2016. Add the fact that these guys are all in their twenties and thirties and you have another reason to get excited about them. We’re happy they’re with us again, and you will be, too.
Gypsy Swing Revue - Denver
Then: a smoky 1930s Paris jazz club featuring Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and their distinctive violin/guitar gypsy jazz sound. Now: an intimate Festival venue featuring the Gypsy Swing Revue taking us back to those glorious nights in long-ago Paris. It’s not Dixieland. It’s not Swing. It’s a wonderfully different style that demonstrates again the amazing variety that is jazz. We’re sure that Django and Stephane would say “C’est bon!” http://www.gypsyswingrevue.com
Rock Island Roustabouts - USA
The name may not be familiar yet, but we’ll bet you recognize the musicians. This new collaboration created by pianist Jeff Barnhart and drummer Hal Smith is loaded with top-name talent including Dave Kosmyna on cornet, Doug Finke-trombone, Jonathan Doyle-reeds, Bob Leary- banjo/guitar, and Ryan Gould-bass. Knowing each musician’s talent and dedication to trad jazz and its pioneers, and having had several of them perform in earlier Festivals, we can’t wait to experience what they do together! http://www.jeffbarnhart.com
The Brain Cloud - New York City
The surprise of the 2017 Festival, this amazing group simply had to be invited back. Their name relates to an old Bob Wills lyric, and their sound is an incredible take on Western Swing and a whole lot more. Audiences last year were somewhere between astounded and enchanted with vocalist Tamar Korn, particularly her “muted trumpet” and “violin” solos. The band has performed at Lincoln Center and has an avid following at festivals and clubs in the Northeast. We're glad they'll be back in the Rockies. http://www.braincloudwesternswing.com
Special Happening - Double 88
Three of the truly greatest pianists in the jazz world are with us this year – Jeff Barnhart, Brian Holland and Carl Sonny Leyland. In addition to performing with their own bands, each will play a set with each of the other two in what promises to be three of the most incredible piano bashes ever (“duets” just doesn’t work!) Two grand pianos and three superb talents in the acoustically marvelous Church. Can it get any better?
Special Happening - EJF All-Stars
In the spirit of spontaneity that is jazz, a group of talent-heavy musicians from several of the bands will get together for one rousing set, most likely on Saturday night. Check the schedule because if it’s anything like the past few years, you won’t want to miss it. The lineup for this completely unrehearsed jam session consists of Marc Caparone-cornet, Eric Staffeldt-trombone, Roger Campbell-clarinet, Rory Thomas-banjo, Jeff Barnhart-piano, Ryan Gould-bass, and Kevin Dorn-drums. Should be fun!
Special Happening - Sweet and Hot Quartet
The musicians in this special group are all performing with other bands during the Festival. But since they’re all here, they decided to squeeze in a couple of sets together. They’ve played festivals on both sides of the Atlantic and have even recorded a CD which might be available during the weekend. Jeff Barnhart on piano, Bob Leary-guitar, Anne Barnhart-flute, Steve Pikal-bass (Friday) and Hal Smith-drums (Sunday). Two sets only. Check the schedule and don’t miss out!
Spotlight On Youth
The 2018 renditions of the University of Colorado, Denver Claim Jumpers and the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars will demonstrate that young musicians have not deserted classic jazz. Both groups deliver remarkable quality despite their inevitable yearly turnover.