For Immediate Release
Landmark 20th Evergreen Jazz Festival Set for Jul 28-30
Evergreen, CO, March 15, 2023 – Evergreen, CO, is about 1400 miles from New Orleans. But
July 28-30 the scenic mountain community will become “Bourbon Street with Altitude” as it hosts the 20th annual Evergreen Jazz Festival.
Nationally known for its combination of top bands, intimate venues and picturesque setting, the Evergreen Jazz Festival will again offer over 80 hours of live traditional jazz ranging from Dixieland to ragtime to blues, boogie-woogie and swing.
This year’s lineup features a very special guest appearance by James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band Directed by Kim Cusack. It will be the group’s first appearance anywhere since they lost their leader to cancer in 2019. They appeared in the very first Festival in 2001 and several more over the years, and having them back together promises to be an emotional and memorable Festival highlight.
Two bands will be making their Evergreen debuts in 2023. New Orleans piano great Captain John Royen has appeared in previous Festivals, but this will be the first time for his New Orleans Rhythm. Also new this year is Espresso! from Boulder, CO. Their combination of gypsy jazz and swing creates a special sound that audiences are sure to enjoy.
From New York City, the Dalton Ridenhour Trio was a big hit in the 2022 Festival and inviting them back was an easy decision. Other returning favorites include the incomparable Carl Sonny Leyland Trio from California and Denver’s own After Midnight with their spot-on sound of the Benny Goodman Sextet. Also returning are the Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet from Nashville and Colorado greats the Queen City Jazz Band with vocal star Wende Harston, the Poudre River Irregulars and Something Doin’ Big Little Ragtime Band.
In addition, piano sensations Carl Sonny Leyland, Dalton Ridenhour and John Royen will present several Double 88 sets of dueling pianos, while the University of Colorado – Denver Claim Jumpers and Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars will be featured in Spotlight On Youth sets.
Several times between sets, Dance Showcase segments will provide authentic demonstrations of Jazz Age dances such as the Charleston, Lindy Hop and Jitter Bug. Complete with period costumes, the dancers add another dimension to the weekend celebration of America’s unique performing art.
Dancing is encouraged in all venues. Friday night is designated as Dance Night in the Lake House, with bands delivering music especially for dancing. It all starts at 6:00 pm, and the Festival has extended the Lake House closing time to 11 pm Friday.
As is tradition with the Evergreen Festival, an educational clinic and performance opportunities are planned for student musicians. Clinics will be held Thursday morning and afternoon, July 23, with instruction provided by many of the musicians appearing in the Festival.
The Festival gets underway at noon Friday, July 28, with a two-hour Educational Presentation/Concert. Past presentations have been given by such notables as ragtime great Terry Waldo, New Orleans stars John Royen and Louis Ford, James Dapogny, Wende Harston and Hank Troy, Nicki Parrott and Danny Coots, and many others. This kickoff event takes place in the Elks Lodge Ballroom and is free and open to the public.
The opening set of the Festival is scheduled for 2:30 Friday afternoon on the popular Elks Lodge Patio. Meanwhile, the daily free dance lesson will take place in the Elks Ballroom. Other venues include the acoustically marvelous Evergreen Christian Church, the beautiful Evergreen Lake House, and Troutdale Tavern. The small, distinctive venues have become virtual trademarks of the event, offering audiences varied listening environments, all with an up-close-and-personal appeal. Patrons and musicians both say they enjoy the special rapport that develops during each set.
Music continues throughout the weekend until 6 pm Sunday, with three or four venues active every hour. Patrons are welcome to move among the venues as they choose, and a free shuttle makes it easy to reach those not in walking distance. Food and beverages are available at all venues, and parking is free. The complete weekend schedule is available at the festival website www.EvergreenJazz.org.
Sustaining sponsors of the Evergreen Jazz Festival are Denver’s jazz89 KUVO radio, Jazz 93.5 FM in Colorado Springs, Colorado Community Media and 50-Plus Marketplace News.
Key financial support is also derived from grants from the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, the Denver-area's unique organization for support of the arts, and from Colorado Creative Industries, dedicated to the vitality of performing, visual and literary arts.
Festival tickets can be purchased through the website or by calling 303.697.5467. Discount tickets are available through June 30.
Evergreen is located 17 miles west of Denver and is about a one-hour drive from Denver International Airport. Area maps can be found on the website.
The Evergreen Jazz Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operated by volunteers in and around the Evergreen, CO, community. Funding is through ticket sales, grants, sponsorships, individual contributions and fundraising events. The festival
website is www.EvergreenJazz.org.