Keeping It Cool: Dazzle's Biggest Summer Shows

Article Contributed by Baur's Listeni… | Published on Thursday, June 2, 2022

Dazzle’s 2022 Keeping It Cool Lineup includes 2 GRAMMY® Award-Winning Artists, 4 Blues Music Award-Winners, a Colorado Hall of Famer, 7 GRAMMY® Award Nominations, 15 Blues Music Awards, and an additional 3 Blues Music Awards Nominations amongst them.

Keeping It Cool highlights some of this summer's biggest shows at Dazzle at Baur’s, with a strong Blues influence. Colorado artists mix with national tours to bring the best of live music to Denver with straight-forward jazz along with all the other notes.

Tickets for these shows and more can be found at

Ben Markley Big Band ft. Ari Hoenig

June 8 - 7pm

The Ben Markley Big Band with internationally acclaimed drummer Ari Hoenig will be performing their album release performance of “Ari’s Funhouse!” The repertoire will consist of pieces from some of Ari’s most well known albums including The Painter, Bert’s Playground, and Punk Bop.

Ari won a BMW Welt Award (an international competition for best band led by a drummer) .

Ari Hoenig – Drums

Ben Markley – Piano

Evan Gregor – Bass

Steve Kovalcheck – Guitar

Wil Swindler – alto sax

Scott Turpen – alto sax

Jim Pisano – tenor sax

Heath Walton- tenor sax

Sam Williams – bari sax

Pete Olstad – Trumpet

Jake Boldman – Trumpet

Dan Jonas – Trumpet

Gabe Mervine – Trumpet

Adam Bartczak – Trombone

Paul McKee – Trombone

Zach Rich – Trombone

Jon Gauer – Bass Trombone

Kind Folk

June 9 - 7pm

Since its inception in 2014, Kind Folk, comprised of trumpeter John Raymond, alto saxophonist Alex LoRe, bassist Noam Wiesenberg, and drummer Colin Stranahan, has endured against all odds to create poignant, thoughtful music.

Their new album, “Head Towards The Center,” explores a reflection of themes born out of the changing tides the global pandemic brought: longing, joy, heartache, and hope. Beyond this, the album showcases the resilience of the group and their tenacity to continue creating despite their collective circumstances. More than ever, it’s clear that the whole of Kind Folk is greater than the sum of its parts.

Colin Stranahan won Thelonious Monk Drum Set competition in 2012

John Raymond – trumpet

Alex LoRe – alto saxophone

Noam Wiesenberg – bass

Colin Stranahan – drums

Keyon Harrold

June 10 - 7pm

While Ferguson, Harrold’s hometown, looms large in his album The Mugician, it examines our troubled times through a far wider lens than any one tragedy. Sweeping and cinematic, the music draws on elements of jazz, classical, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something uniquely modern, unmistakably American. Guests including Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark, Jr., BigK.R.I.T., Guy Torry, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper add to the record's eclectic nature, but it ultimately triumphs as a unified, cohesive whole both because of Harrold’s virtuosic skill as a trumpeter and songwriter and because of his relentlessly optimistic belief in brighter days to come.

Harrold played all of the trumpet parts for the soundtrack of Miles Davis biopic “Miles Ahead” which won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.


June 15 & 16 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Multi-GRAMMY® winning pianist/singer/composer Eliane Elias’ distinctive musical style has emerged as one of the most unique and immediately recognizable sounds in jazz. Elias blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her virtuosic instrumental jazz, her classical and compositional skills, while she consistently displays her pianistic mastery and ability to integrate the many artistic roles she takes on.

Elias’ latest album Mirror Mirror (Candid Records) just won a GRAMMY® for Best Latin Jazz Album and is a lifelong musical dream come true—an extraordinary piano duet recording of Eliane with the late legendary jazz great Chick Corea, and famed Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés. While her highly successful recordings have predominantly featured her alluring voice and piano mastery, the piano has always been her first love and working with these two incredible icons was a rare opportunity to record in a two-piano setting, something she hasn’t done in many years.

Eliane Elias – Piano

Marc Johnson – Bass

Leandro Pellegrino – Guitar

Tiago Michelin – Drums

Ron Ivory's One on One and The MilesApart Band

June 30 - 7pm

One on One is a quartet which showcases Motown, Classic Soul and Old School Rhythm and Blues “Just the way you like it”. This quintessential quartet formed in July 2003 by its leader and one of its lead vocalists Ron Ivory features songs from the 60’s thru the 90’s with a dash of today’s contemporary music. Includes songs by artists such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Whispers, The Contours, Al Green, The O’Jays, The Spinners, The Dells, Wilson Pickett and many more.

“It’s not just entertainment, it’s an experience” ~Ron Ivory

Ron Ivory-Lead Vocals & Keyboards

Linda Styles-Lead Vocals

Henry Hudson III-Vocals, Saxophone

Jimi Alexander-Vocals

Robin Garcia-Keyboards, Saxophone & Flute

Ben Mitchell-Guitars

Lam McCrary-Bass

Greg Canchola-Drums

Otis Taylor

July 2 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Otis Taylor grew up in Denver, but like the old blues song said, he was born in Chicago in 1948. According to Taylor his parents were both jazz fans. My dad worked for the railroad and knew a lot of jazz people. He was a socialist and real bebopper. His mother loved everything from Etta James to Pat Boone. The first instrument Taylor learned to play was the banjo, but he soon rejected the banjo for its association with the racist American South. Taylor would eventually return to the banjo upon discovering its African roots.

Like so many musicians in Denver, Taylor drew inspiration from time spent at the Denver Folklore Center founded by Harry Tuft, where he first heard Piedmont, Delta, country, and Chicago blues artists like Son House, Muddy Waters, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. He learned to play guitar and harmonica and while still in his teens he formed a band called the Butterscotch Fire Department and later the Otis Taylor Blues Band.

Otis Taylor has won 12 Blues Music Awards and countless others.

Rico Jones

July 7-9 - 7pm & 9:30pm

(7th is with local cats, 8-9 is the all-star band)

Rico Jones is steadily becoming one of the top young saxophonists of his generation. Raised in Denver, he studied at Denver School of the Arts and with the Colorado Conservatory for Jazz Arts (CCJA). He headed for New York City for his undergraduate and graduate works at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has earned a remarkable six Downbeat student awards. While in New York, he has performed as a leader with such notable artists as Jeff “Tain” Watts, Bobby Watson, Yasushi Nakamura, Ari Hoenig, Lage Lund, Kush Abadey, Sullivan Fortner, Colin Stranahan, Rick Rosato, Rich Perry, Dave Kikoski, and many others. Rico is joined by a truly all-star lineup of New York musicians for this run of shows.

Rico Jones- Saxophone

Vincent Herring- Saxophone

Max Light- Guitar

Joe Martin- Bass

Dan Weiss- Drums

The Delta Sonics

July 15 - 7pm

The Delta Sonics music takes a Chicago Blues base and seasons it with Swing, Delta, N’awlins R&B and some early Rock n’ Roll . They were Westword’s best blues band in Denver the last six of eight years. The band made the semi-finals in the Memphis (International Blues Challenge) in 2012 and have been featured at many of the major festivals in Colorado and Wyoming .

Al Chesis- Harmonica / vocals

Bob Pellegrino – guitar

Alissa Chesis -bass

Stefan Flores- drums

Awards: Best blues band in Denver - Westword Magazine Music Showcase 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016, Colorado Blues Society International Blues Challenge Winner & Representative in Memphis IBC 2012, Bob Pelligrino won “best slide guitar player” 3 years in a row from Colorado Blues Society

Nelo & Kerrie Joy Present: Dop $h!t w/Friends

July 16 - 7pm & 9:30pm

In the spirit of friendship, Nelo & Kerrie Joy bring to you a night of joy, community, love….and dope $h!t with friends. See you there, friend!

Samara Joy feat. the Pasquale Grasso Trio

August 5 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Samara Joy is a singing star in the ascendancy, with a voice as smooth as velvet and endless charm. The young vocalist attracted attention in 2019 after winning the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Now, the 21-year-old announces her self-titled debut release, which puts her spin on jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. Produced by Grammy-nominated veteran Matt Pierson, she’s joined by jazz guitar virtuoso Pasquale Grasso and his trio (Ari Roland and Kenny Washington) for a release that furthers Joy’s reputation as one of America’s most promising young jazz vocalists.

Samara Joy- Vocals

Pasquale Grasso - Guitar

Ari Roland- Bass

Kenny Washington- Drums

Samara Joy was Winner of 2019 Sarah Vaughn international vocal competition, best vocalist at JaLC’s Essentially Ellington

Benny Benack III Quartet

August 10 - 7pm

Trumpeter and Vocalist Benny Benack III has already become a leading voice in Jazz for his generation, and at 31 years old, his trademark ebullience and energy onstage assures his audiences he’s got “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” still to come! His sophomore album of that title featured the likes of Christian McBride and Ulysses Owens Jr. and even had a viral smash hit w/his vocalese rendition of “Social Call” ft. Veronica Swift that’s been transcribed and covered by artists around the world. Finishing 3rd in the 2021 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition and being voted #5 Rising Star Male Jazz Vocalist in the most recent Downbeat Critics Poll proves Benack’s chops as a crooner are just as viable as his trumpet playing, making him the rare true double threat.

Benny Benack III: Trumpet/Vocals

Julius Rodriguez: Piano

Alex Claffy: Bass

Joe Peri: Drums

Joel Ross ‘Good Vibes’

August 16 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Joel Ross continues refining an expression that’s true to his sound and his generation. Ross has topped the DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star category for vibraphone — graduating beyond the Rising Star to well-honed artist in 2021 — as well as the Jazz Journalists Association Critics Poll for Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He recently became one of the youngest artists to earn a coveted Residency Commission from The Jazz Gallery and a spot in The Jazz Gallery All Stars band through which he performed live at The Kennedy Center.

Joel Ross- Vibraphone

Jeremy Corren- Piano

Kanoa Mendenhall- Bass

Jeremy Dutton- Drums


August 19 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Emmaline is a 22-year-old singer and songwriter possessing a smoky, jazz-infused, genre-fluid voice admirable as much for the range of traditional sounds she draws upon, as for her startling freshness—fresh, as in new and innovative as well as in attitude and sly humor. Her songs are bold in statement and soft in feel, her flow supple and precise. She prides herself in being one who has listened with deep intention to her heroes—Anita O’Day and Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo—and has already learned to rise above questions of category with a healthy sense of musical identity and forethought.

Emmaline has headlined countless, sold-out shows at some of the country’s most notable jazz clubs such as The Jazz Standard (New York City), Scullers (Boston), Blues Alley (Washington D.C.), The Jazz Kitchen (Indianapolis), and Keystone Korner (Baltimore). She has performed in a wide range of situations on stage and online—with big bands and orchestras, singing Jessie J’s “Domino” (à la Billie Holiday) for Postmodern Jukebox and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” with the world renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra —and has amassed a substantial social media following.

Harp Tribute to James Cotton with The James Cotton Band

Aug 25 - 7pm & 9:30pm

The iconic harmonica man James Cotton passed away in 2017 at the age of 81. Cotton’s considered by most the last great harp titan of the generation that produced Little Walter( who James replaced in Muddy Waters Band), Sonny Boy Williamson 2( who raised Cotton from 12 yrs old), Jr Wells, Big Walter and many more. James’ career spanned more than six plus decades and put him on the map of All Time Blues Greats!

The James Cotton Blues Band is Rico McFarland, Tom Holland( guitars), Cros Charles Mack (bass), Mark Mack (drums), plus Mark Hummel playing and singing James’s role as front man. Hummel produced The Blues Harmonica Blowouts (Mayall, Musselwhite, Huey Lewis, Lee Oskar, Magic Dick) for 30 years that featured Cotton on seven national tours as part of that event. James commented “Mark is All About The Music”. Mark has a Grammy nom in 2013 and two Blues Music Awards, 30 albums to his credit.

Kyle Rowland -“Blues harmonica player of the year” and “Blues New Artist of The Year” in 2009 from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, Kyle Rowland, has been dominating the stage since the tender age of 10 years old. With help from a few of his heroes such as James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Lazy Lester and many others he learned the tricks of the trade.

Rico McFarland & Tom Holland-guitars

Cros-Charles Mack-bass

Mark Mack-Drums

Mark Hummel-Harp

Kyle Rowland-Harp

Al Chesis-Harp

The Cash Box Kings

Aug 26 - 7pm & 9:30pm

Hailing from the ‘Windy City,’ Alligator Recording artists the Cash Box Kings are keeping REAL DEAL, old-school Chicago blues alive and thriving. With their top shelf musicianship and trademark good humor, The Cash Box Kings are a one-of-a-kind blues band and bona fide blues royalty.

In the words of MOJO magazine, the band is “flawless.” Mixing tough Chicago and Delta blues, jumping proto-rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, soul and steamrolling “bluesabilly” (their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly), they attack every song they play with contemporary authority and old school authenticity. “One of the best blues bands in the land. Any of these musicians could have played with the great bands of the golden blues era. Together they keep a sound alive that many thought was no more.” – Living Blues Magazine “Unflinching blues distilled to its essence and steeped in tradition.”-Chicago Tribune “One of the top blues bands of this era.”- Blue Music Magazine “The Cash Box Kings rule the roost!” Dan Aykroyd

Oscar Wilson: Vocals

Joe Nosek: Harmonica and Vocals

Gerry Hundt: Guitar and Vocals

John W. Lauler: Bass

Derek Hendrickson: Drums

Kenny Saydak: Piano, Organ