ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH- COLORADO, A GREAT PLACE FOR JAZZ
Dear Reader, What a wonderful month April was.
Appropriately designated as Jazz Appreciation Month it was a jazz-filled joyous month for me, filled with concerts and jazz Master classes.
Starting out with a sold out concert at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, North Caroiina with a wonderful concert, featuring jazz guitarist ASSAF KEHATI, bassist JOHN SIMONETTI, saxophonist JERRY MANDELl and drummer PETER INGRAM, we paid tribute to the great DUKE ELLINGTON and as an added joy, vocalist HERB CROSBY joined in for a rousing version of The Duke’s “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me”.
Flying to Colorado is always a pleasure. It is beautiful in the spring, The mountains are still snow-capped but everything is turning fresh and green and blossoming.
The tour started with a jazz master class scheduled at the Colorado Springs Conservatory and my introduction to a wonderful guitarist WAYNE WIKINSON. Wayne and I just musically hit it off and worked as if we had played together forever.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of LINDA WEISE the Conservatory has grown from its beginnings as a small music instruction store to a large school with hundreds of students, many of whom go on to wonderful professional careers in music.
The next day I was able to record my radio show, “LENORE RAPHAEL’S JAZZ SPOT” with Wayne and the help of recording engineer JESSE PACHECO. The show will air in future months on www.purejazzradio.org
The next day took me to Denver, a thriving, growing city with a lot of culture and diversity and a visit to one of my favorite places…radio station KUVO.FM (www.kuvo.org). KUVO is one of the best jazz stations in the country with a staff that is totally dedicated to jazz. Jazz director ARTURO GOMEZ has seen to it that the best mainstream jazz is played there. I met up with my partner on this particular trip, wonderful guitarist HOWARD PAUL.
In addition to Howard being an excellent player, he is head of BENEDETTO guitars, arguably one of the best guitars made today. We did an on-air concert with a live audience in the studio and had a great time.
Following day, two jazz master classes were scheduled at the University of Colorado in Denver and I had the joy of performing with an old friend on drums, TODD REID. Todd is a wonderful player and also now teacher at the school. Howard Paul was able to join us as well. The second class was more of a jazz theory and the students seemed more interested in hearing about my professional life.
Performances followed the next day at C\AFFE SOLE in Boulder, Colorado. It is owned by jazz-lover SUTER DuBOSE and again we had a sold out performance, including HOWARD PAUL, TODD REID on drums and the great bassist KEN WALKER.
Ending my Colorado visit, the next evening a performance at THE MEZZANINE in Colorado Springs again with HOWARD PAUL, TODD REID and KEN WALKER.
It was a wonderful jazz-filled month and I hope to return soon to Colorado.
Hoping to meet you ON THE ROAD somewhere soon.
Your Road Warrior, Lenore Raphael.