Denver Arts & Venues Celebrates 20 Years of the Five Points Jazz Festival
In anticipation of International Jazz Day, April 30, Denver Arts & Venues is pleased to announce the performance lineup for the 2023 Five Points Jazz Festival, which returns to the neighborhood to celebrate the music, culture and roots of Denver’s historic Five Points on Saturday, June 10 from noon to 8 p.m. This year marks 20 years since the first festival which was held in April 2004.
“Denver Arts & Venues has been bringing you the Five Points Jazz Festival since its inaugural year,” explained Ginger White, Denver Arts & Venues executive director. “The first event was small, with three bands and a few hundred attendees. But, since that first day in the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library parking lot, we have seen the festival grow year after year, and we are so excited to celebrate 20 years with Denver residents and visitors!”
Each year, festival attendees enjoy a culturally diverse experience of music, food, shopping and entertainment, grooving to the sounds of Latin jazz, bop, swing, funk, blues and more throughout the day. The 2023 Five Points Jazz Festival will feature 40 bands playing live music on 10 stages and will start with a kickoff parade down Welton Street at noon.
The Five Points Jazz Festival is brought to you by Denver Arts & Venues, which uses revenue from events at City venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Denver Performing Arts Complex to make this cultural event and many others possible, improving access to art, music and culture for all.
While inclement weather at the first event in 2004 forced musicians and concertgoers inside, where library staff quickly moved to accommodate attendees and performers, the event was still a success. Denver Arts & Venues (then Denver Office of Cultural Affairs) led the charge to bring the festival back the following year. In 2005, there were both indoor and outdoor performances, as well as an expansion of the event to include more community groups and vendor activities. At the 2005 Five Points Jazz Festival, organizers also began to use the event as a platform to honor individuals who have been significant contributors to the Five Points community and the legacy of jazz in Denver and beyond.
From these humble beginnings, the annual free festival has grown into the enduring and hugely successful day-long event it is today. Even at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Arts & Venues kept the legacy of the festival alive, collaborating with Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO to present a televised virtual event. This broadcast event garnered two Colorado Broadcasters Association awards and a Heartland Emmy® nomination.
“Seeing Five Points Jazz Festival reach twenty years makes me proud to have played a role in supporting the treasured heritage and rich legacy of this community,” said Donna Smith, who served as producer of the first event in 2004 as the performing arts and community programming coordinator at Denver Office of Cultural Affairs.
Denver Arts & Venues is also seeking volunteers to help bring the 2023 event to life. Volunteer shifts range from 3-5 hours and include sustainability ambassadors, event signage, stage/artist assistants, artist lounge ambassadors, waste station attendants, waste station sorting and office assistants. As a thank you for the dedication and enthusiasm that volunteers bring to the event, all volunteers get a festival volunteer tee-shirt and food and non-alcoholic beverages throughout their shift. Those interested can sign up online at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0944aba62aa4fdc16-volunteer#/.
Parade (from 29th to 25th along Welton Street)
12:00-12:15 p.m. - Guerilla Fanfare Brass Band
White Claw Hard Seltzer Stage (29th and Welton streets)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - The Five Points Jazz Orchestra presented by University of Denver
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Annie Booth Big Band
4:30-5:30 p.m. - The Rajdulari Experience
6:30-7:30 p.m. - Colorado Mambo Orchestra
Denver Arts & Venues Stage (25th and Welton streets)
12:15-1 p.m. - Guerilla Fanfare Brass Band
1:45-2:45 p.m. - David Bernot Quintet
3:30-4:30 p.m. - Ken Walker Sextet
5:15-3:15 p.m. - Anisha Rush and the Encounter
7:00-8:00 p.m. - Creative Love Happening
Jazz Heritage Stage (27th and California streets)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Same Cloth
2:00-3:00 p.m. - Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles
3:30-4:30 p.m. - Remy Le Boeuf Quintet
5:15-6:15 p.m. - Keith Oxman Quartet
7:00-8:00 p.m. - Rico Jones
Five Points Plaza Stage (Welton Street between 27th and 28th streets)
1:00-2:00 p.m. - James Torres and Amizade
2:45-3:45 p.m. - Medianoche Honrado
4:30-5:30 p.m. - The Delta Sonics
6:15-7:15 p.m. - Stafford Hunter & Latin Jazz Explorations
The Roxy Theatre (2549 Welton Street)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Connecting Flights
2:00-3:00 p.m. - MaryLynn Gillaspie Quintet
3:30-4:30 p.m. - The Nathan Borton Quartet
5:15-6:15 p.m. - Zach Rich Chamber Jazz Ensemble
7:00-8:00 p.m. - Mestas Abbott Quartet
Cervantes' Other Side (2637 Welton Street)
12:00-1:00 p.m. - Mistura Fina
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Wellington Bullings
brother jeff's Cultural Center (2836 Welton Street)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Concepts
2:15-3:15 p.m. - Latin Soul Express
4:00-5:00 p.m. - Splifftet
5:30-8:00 p.m. - Joe Bonner Legacy Jam Session
The Marigold (2721 Welton Street)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - The Clint Dadian Quintet
2:15-3:15 p.m. - The Renwick Brothers
4:00-5:00 p.m. - Adon Biggs Ensemble
5:45-6:45 p.m. - Briana Harris
The Marigold Roof Deck (2721 Welton Street)
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Julie Koenig Quartet
2:15-3:15 p.m. - Cocktail Revolution
4:00-5:00 p.m. - Manycolors
5:45-6:45 p.m. - Steve Glotzer and Friends
Goed Zuur (2801 Welton Street)
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Mirror Phases
4:15-5:15 p.m. - Camilla Vaitaitis Quartet
6:00-7:00 p.m. - David Mesquitic Trio
For more information and complete schedule please visit: ArtsandVenues.com/FivePointsJazz.
Festival attendees will be asked to undergo security checks at festival entrances, which are located at 25th and Welton streets on both sides of the street, 26th Avenue and Welton Street, and 28th and Welton streets. A list of prohibited items is available online.
Welton Street between Park Avenue West and 30th Street will be closed and meter parking unavailable from Friday, June 9 at 10:00 a.m. through Sunday, June 11 after event cleanup is complete.
Media interested in covering the event may request press credentials here. Press passes are not mandatory to photograph the event, but will be required to access barricade/photo pit or other designated press areas. Festival organizers and band members are available for in-person or virtual interviews. Please contact Amber.Fochi@denvergov.org to schedule an interview.