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click to enlarge So bodacious to be loquacious  Hot Club of Cowtown
  • So bodacious to be loquacious Hot Club of Cowtown

27 Thursday

Psychedelic Breakfast has plans to bring the lead guitar back to the forefront of modern music -- in their case, a blend of jazz, funk and rock -- and needs your help. The Connecticut band plays the Utopia Caf, 117 E. Bijou St. Admission is six bucks and the show starts at 8 p.m. Call 633-1080.

Don't forget, WestFest begins today (See their insert in this week's paper, and our coverage in last week's paper). Questions? Call 877/937-8337 or visit http://www.westfest.net.

Author, director and tap dancer Thaddeus Phillips is back in his home state to present Lost Soles, the experimental tapstravaganza about a dancer stranded in Cuba. Tap is used to tell the story, which received rave reviews when it opened in New York last year, both for Phillips' performance and choreography, as well as his inventive sets. The show opens tonight at Buntport Theater in Denver and runs Thursday through Sunday until July 13 (no performance on June 29). Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $10 to $15. Call 720/946-1388.

28 Friday

Southern Americana lyricist and acoustic performer Jack Williams is the featured performer at tonight's Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage, at the Black Forest Community Center (northwest corner of Shoup and Black Forest roads). Tickets are $2 to $4; call 578-0254. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Caron O'Neil's ethnically influenced found-object art and Larry Hampton's photographs, taken while he traveled the world, combine to create a show focusing on peace and contemplation at Commonwheel Artists, 102 Cañon Ave., in Manitou Springs. Descansos ... Where the Spirit Stops to Rest opens at 6 p.m. with live music by Michael Galvin. Admission is free, and the show runs through July 23. Call 685-1008.

click to enlarge Jesus hatstand? No! Its art from the Salida ArtWalk, and orgy of local, regional and national art taking place in the picturesque mountain town this weekend
  • Jesus hatstand? No! Its art from the Salida ArtWalk, and orgy of local, regional and national art taking place in the picturesque mountain town this weekend

Even more art can be found in Salida at the 10th Annual ArtWalk. Almost 50 venues are participating in this year's orgy of local, regional and national art in the picturesque mountain town this weekend. To get maps and schedules, or to find out more, call the Salida Chamber at 877/772-5432 or visit http://www.salidaartwalk.org.

29 Saturday

He was good enough for Junior Wells, Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Rogers, so he's good enough for you. By a little twist of fate, Nick Moss -- one of the most highly regarded blues session guitarists in Chicago -- and his band, The Flip Tops, play with our own Magic Dave tonight at Jr's, a cool new club in the Village 7 area at 3535 N. Carefree. (If you head east on Carefree from Academy, swing into the parking lot to your right, about a block down. Jr's is just north of Safeway, facing Carefree. Used to be Tao Tao.) Smokin' Joe & The Mighty Burners start the 9 p.m. show. Best of all, there is no cover, really. Shows like this don't just grow on trees, or even shrubbery, for that matter -- so don't miss it. Call 597-9400 or visit www.bluesgeek.com for more.

30 Sunday

Two benefit concerts to help out those affected by the still-smoldering Hayman Fire are scheduled today. In Manitou Springs, Encore! Dinner Theatre (10 Old Man's Trail) hosts a slew of local musicians -- those of rock and those of blues, and those whose blues rock -- including Rikki Dee Hall & The VooDoo Hawks, The Benders, Magic Dave & The New Mules, Johnny & The Jukes, Johnny Graves & The Blue Waves and more. Ten bucks goes in its entirety to the Ute Pass Fire Relief Fund. Supply donations for the firefighters are also being collected. The show begins at 2 p.m. Call 471-PLAY.

Up in Woodland Park, the Community Benefit Concert raises funds for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief and Animal Rescue Assistance. Radio London, Mo' Kauffey, Thunder Mountain, John Cary Band, The Riders, and Johnny & The Jukes (yup, they play both) keep the groove on from 3 to 8:30 p.m. in the field between Coldwell Banker Realty and Zak's restaurant, 18401 Hwy. 24. Call 661-1823 for more.

"Michigan's Finest Eclectic Groove Band," Smokestack -- disciples of both Dead and Phish -- plays for free tonight at 8 at Acoustic Coffee Lounge, 5152 Centennial Blvd. Get riled for the music, but try to wear nonmarking, rubber-soled shoes on your way out to your car after the show. Wouldn't want to wake the neighbors. Call 268-9951 for details.

-- Kristen Sherwood

click to enlarge Upper Room to bring their gospel jazz to the first annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival next Thursday
  • Upper Room to bring their gospel jazz to the first annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival next Thursday

Jazzing Up July
First annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival to land at AFA

Whether you've had it with the same old mob scene at the Memorial Park Fourth of July or just want something different, the first annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival at the Air Force Academy looks to be an exciting and fun-filled alternative to Tchaikovsky and canon fodder.

Organized by Rob Isacoff, a relative newcomer to Colorado Springs, the all-day festival boasts an all-star lineup of renowned local and national jazz acts as well as a juried art show, plenty of activities for children, lots of food, corporate giveaways and -- best of all -- free admission and parking.

"I'm trying to model this after some of the big festivals you see on the coast," said Isacoff, who started the event because he wants to do everything he can to promote music and art in the Pikes Peak region.

Isacoff was initially planning an event that would require paid attendance, but happened to contact the Air Force Academy at a time when they were looking to expand their Fourth of July festivities.

"Putting this event on at the Air Force Academy really changed my budget and my scope. Their Fourth of July attendance last year was 18,000, and we're anticipating about 30,000 people this year."

Because of the large anticipated turnout, Isacoff was able to secure a significant amount of corporate sponsorship, allowing him to keep the event free.

Another exciting element of the event is the sound design. Audio Analysts -- a rather low-profile Colorado Springs company that's done sound for everyone from 'NSYNC to No Doubt and Britney Spears -- gave Isacoff a great deal because they want to support local events.

click to enlarge He was good enough for Junior Wells, so hes good enough for you  Nick Moss plays Jrs this Saturday
  • He was good enough for Junior Wells, so hes good enough for you Nick Moss plays Jrs this Saturday

"Audio Analysts are one of the best audio companies in the world, and I couldn't have put on this event without them. I cannot give them enough props," said Isacoff. "This stage setup is going to blow people away!"

Among the artists scheduled to play are Atlanta-based Cuban jazz artists Miguel Romero, the Denver-based Darren Kramer Organization and Suzanne Morales, both of whom play everything from Latin sounds to funk. Upper Room (who performed at the Olympics) will bring their gospel jazz from Salt Lake City. The Colorado Springsbased jazz and blues group Johnny and the Jukes will team up with vocalist Brenda Miles, and Graner Music School will bring a group of local high-school jazz musicians to show off up-and-coming talent.

"I don't think we're even competing with Memorial Park," said Isacoff. "I think we're going to tap a market for people who are looking for something different this year because we're not bringing the same type of music.

Though fireworks have been cancelled due to high fire danger, there will be a laser light show at 9:30 p.m. Isacoff has also announced that $.75 from every $2.00 flag sold at the event will go to benefit the local Firefighters' Memorial Fund.

--Noel Black

capsule

Colorado Springs Jazz Festival
U.S. Air Force Academy Soccer Fields
Thurs., July 4, 12:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Laser Show at 9:30 p.m.
Valid U.S. Government I.D. required to enter AFA Base
No tailgating, pets, or coolers allowed.
For more, visit www.coloradospringsjazzfestival.com, or call 473-0557.

TGIF
Festival Fridays heat up the Steel City

click to enlarge Al-Tune & The Kool Kompany, perform at the July 19 Festival Friday
  • Al-Tune & The Kool Kompany, perform at the July 19 Festival Friday

What started 22 years ago as a lunchtime concert series has blossomed into one of the top TGIF destinations this summer. A splendid combination of atmosphere and regional music talent makes this years Festival Fridays at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center something to sing about.

Each show takes place outdoors on the paseo, an architectural valley of stairs, waterfalls and fountains designed to mimic the centers natural namesake. Performers and revelers alike share the flowing and intimate space. Elevated above Pueblos historic downtown, the venue is ideal.

Aesthetics aside, however, the six-week concert series draws diverse music talent from across the region. Dotsero opens the series July 5, continuing their tenure as house band of the festival. The Denver fusion jazz quartets blend of jazz, pop, R & B, and rock earn the band a huge local following and national recognition; theyve played with such acts as David Sanborn, Wynton Marsalis and David Benoit. The next three weeks feature local acts Lannie Garretts Platforms and Polyester Disco Revue (disco), Al-Tune and the Kool Kompany (R & B and soul) and Hot Stuff (rock divas).

The big draw this year, however, is New Mexican artist Tobias Rene on Aug. 2. Rene performs traditional Spanish ranchera and cumbia music and is often compared to such Tejano legends as Little Joe and Ruben Ramos. The 27-year-old "Ricky Martin of New Mexico" captured seemingly every award the New Mexico Hispanic Entertainers Association had to offer in 1999 from Male Vocalist of the Year to Original Song of the Year (the list goes on). Expect lots of horns and high energy from his eight-piece band. A big fish in a small pond, Rene currently tours the Southwest and usually plays bigger venues such as Red Rocks.

Wallace Cotton and the Royals finish off the concert series Aug. 9 with James Brownstyle soul.

The music alone justifies the short journey south, but combined with the ambiance of the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, theres no reason to stay home.

-- Aaron Menza

capsule

Festival Fridays
Outdoors at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo, from 6 to 9 p.m.
July 5, Dotsero
July 12, Lannie Garrett's Platforms & Polyester Disco Revue
July 19, Al-Tune & The Kool Kompany
July 26, Hot Stuff
Aug. 2, Tobias Rene
Aug. 9, Wallace Cotton & The Royals

Tickets: Tobias Rene is $10. All others are $4 in advance, $5 at the gate. Call 719/542-1211.

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