What It Is | Band Bios | Schedule

What it is

The Cow Town Jazz Festival is a family-friendly foray into the best-kept secrets of Denver’s varied and established jazz and arts scene. Featuring a cross section of young and veteran musicians complemented by performing and visual artists, the Cow Town Jazz festival shines a spotlight on a surprisingly cosmopolitan cultural community for fans of all ages.


Band Bios

FRIDAY, October 5, 2012
AOA:  AOA (Alive on Arrival) enjoys steady success in the due to top-notch musicianship and audience enthusiasm. The personal and enigmatic quintet - vocals, sax, keyboards, bass, drums - exhibits and honest love of feel-good tunes.   www.aoaband.com
Jon Wirtz: Arriving on the Denver scene just a few years ago, Jon Wirtz has since performed for millions of people both locally and nationally. Over the past 8 years he has performed mainly as a sideman, having worked with Grammy winning producers like Malcolm Burn and John Macy on multiple occasions, platinum selling producer Kyle Jones, and shared the stage with artists including Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Melissa Etheridge, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Matt Morris, Charlie Sexton and even Justin Timberlake.www.jonwirtzmusic.com
Mingo Lewis:  Mingo Lewis is a legendary hand percussionist and drummer in the world of music.  A composer for film as well as a musician in the world of jazz, funk, rock, afro-cuban, fusion and other world music.  Mingo is known for his work on many brilliant albums and collaborations, and has performed live and/or recorded with:  Santana, Al Di Meola, Return to Forever, Billy Joel, The Tubes, Todd Rundgren, X.T.C, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, David Bryne, Brain Eno, Jan Hammer, Joe Satriani, Miles Davis, Third World, Inner Circle, Raquel Welch, Toni Basil, Stanley Clark, John Mc laughlin, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente and other greats.  https://www.facebook.com/mingo.lewis
The Heavy Heavies: Featuring Cow Town Jazz Fest founder Chad Aman on Keys, Professor Hugh Ragin on trumpet,  bassist Kirwan Brown, vocalist Venus Cruz and Tony Black on drums.  This expansive roster of talent and depth of experience along with the band’s deep-rooted jazz chops communicates a sound that pushes the envelope to the next level. 
Bill Hill: When Bill Hill was first given the gift of music, he didn't want it. In 1995, while he recovered from hand surgery, a friend gave him a plastic recorder. The instrument, familiar to elementary school music students the world over, was intended as a simple therapeutic tool to help Hill exercise his hands -- and exorcise some post-surgery blues.  "I tried to discourage her from giving it to me, but she kept on insisting," he says. "It sat on my bookcase for a few years, like a decoration."  But seven years later, Hill can't stop playing with the thing. The simple, nine-holed recorder has become his primary means of self -expression and tension release. It's also defied some musicians who regard the minimalist woodwind as an inferior device. In fact, when manned by Hill, the recorder is transformed -- and so is he.  http://www.westword.com/2002-12-19/music/recording-star/
Saturday, Oct. 6

Kid’s block:
  from 2 p.m. -6 p.m., featuring Denver School of the Arts R&R Quintet and special performances by youth for youth including:
·6-year old Von Mclaughlin and 9-Year-old Delaney McLaughin solo accordion performances
·Youth Accordion quartet performing jazz standards
·Solo piano performances by: Charity Friberg and Ward Jaffe
·Multi-musician Karen Morgan performs Rhapsody in Blue in its entirety.
Denver School of the Arts R&R Quintet: Amazing young and talented group of Jazz musicians from Denver's premier performing arts high school. Directed by Greg Harris. If you are a student or parent, and are interested in the program, please visit the website and see what DSA has to offer. http://dsapresents.org/bands/current-happenings-in-dsa-bands/ ,  http://dsapresents.org/bands/bands-department-practicing-artists/

Justin Donovan: Raised on Blues and Rock, and grown up on R&B and Jazz, Justin Donovan embodies the American music catalog like few others. With his unique “multi-string guitar” (made famous by Charlie Hunter) he plays guitar strings and bass strings simultaneously. Alongside his strong, soulful vocals he brings the ‘one man band’ concept to new level.justindonovan.org

Freddy Rodriguez, Sr. & the Jazz Connection: These Jazz cats have graced the tiny El Chapultepec stage for decades.  Hailed as a Colorado legend, Mr. Rodriguez is still inspiring audiences at 80 years old.   He states, “Ill play as long as I live; I don’t have any problems: my health is pretty good, I got good lungs, my heart is fine, so that’s all it takes to play saxophone he said.  I’m looking forward to playing till I’m a hundred years old…at least.”  http://yourhub.denverpost.com/lakewood/jazzman-rodriguez-is-still-making-beautiful-music-at/Oop4Ozci43mcEnnho5wGNJ-page-1

Joe Bonner & the Current Events: Joe Bonner is a Pianist and composer with long engagements with renowned musicians including the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Pharaoh Sanders and Max Roach. His new band is based on his original compositions and is a synthesis of Joe's lifetime of musical experience including progressive jazz, fusion, odd meters, and ballads.  The Current Events include a talented line up of Colorado musicians featuring: Joe Diamo on drums, Rick Weingarten on Vibes, Vince Wiggins on Flute, Chris strain on Tenor Sax and Dave Weinand on bass. www.enotes.com/topic/Joe_Bonner

14-piece Alpha Schoolmarm OrchestraThe 13-piece Alpha Schoolmarm Orchestra (ASO), based on early ’60s Jamaican Ska music, is conducted by Denver music vetran Chad Aman.  This talented wall of sound truly dishes up an original musical experience.  The show takes the audience on a roller coaster ride from ingenious Ska-inspired arrangements of standards (from Lady Gaga to Rossini) to innovative orchestral originals.  At points throughout the show, Aman literally “plays” the orchestra like an instrument, resulting in a remarkable feat of improvisation.  You do not want to miss this one-of-a-kind musical tour de force!  www.alphaschoolmarmorchestra.com