Music Blog

Celebrating National Hispanic American Month: Tito Puente -- Humanitarian and King of Latin Jazz

And when the heavens open I saw
Celia Cruz
I heard her say "Asucar turn this on."
Tito Puente's dressed in white
Playing timbales while the angels
Sing with Selena
Ay Mamma. Is you carnival shoes on.

                          --Wyclef Jean, "Selena"

As a depression-era child in New York's Spanish Harlem, Ernesto Antonio (Tito) Puente enjoyed banging on pots and pans so much that the neighbors convinced his parents to give him music lessons.

His Puerto Rican immigrant parents obliged, with lessons for piano, percussion, saxophone, vibraphone and timbales, and Tito became a professional musician at 13. Following an apprenticeship in the Machito Orchestra, he served in the Navy during World War II.  

Get Entranced by the Entrance Band

From the band's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Entrance-Band/1

Fans of A Perfect Circle (the early-2000s-heyday band fronted by Maynard James Keenan of Tool) who haven't kept up with the former members may be interested to know that The Entrance Band is what famous girl bassist Paz Lenchantin has been up to ever since. It's good to see she's still rocking--perhaps like never before--joined by psychedelic indie frontman Guy Blakeslee and exceptional drummer Derek James.

The trio began to form around 2002-2003 and has remained fairly low key, blessing small venues in the Chicago, Baltimore, and L.A. areas with their extraordinary blend of talents at live shows. Thinking massively outside the box and excelling at it, these gigs have served as their rehearsals.

Colour My World

Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland once noted, "The Key of D is daffodil yellow, B major is maroon, and B flat is blue." The beloved jazz pianist and host of NPR's Piano Jazz for over 30 years has left the recording studio, after sharing a rainbow of musical journeys with fellow artists.

If you are new to jazz or want to pay tribute to McPartland and her musical family, visit NPR's tribute Twilight World. McPartland interviewed her guests with the language of music, co-creating unique musical experiences. She had a gift for drawing musicians out, and the intimacy of their conversations drew listeners in. 

The Biennial Has Arrived!

Don't know about you, but I've been anxiously awaiting the return of the Biennial of the Americas for 2 years! And now that it's here there is so much to do I barely know where to start & wonder if I'll have the energy to attend all the events!

First there are the nightly public symposia. I'm attending Tuesday and Wednesday nights - July 16, Unleashing Human Potential: Reinventing Communities, Business, and Education; July 17, Reinventing Communities and How We Live. But not sure I'm up for the other 2 nights of discussions - July 18, Reinventing Business As Usual; July 19, Reinventing Education for the Global Market, because by Thursday I'm ready to party!

Best Albums of 2013...So Far

Kanye West - Yeezus

2013 is half over and music pundits have been hard at work identifying their favorite albums of year so far.

Here's a sampling of the "Best Albums of 2013...So Far" lists that I've happened upon:

Colorado Music Festivals

Meadowgrass Music Festival

Now that the whole snow thing is out of the way, it's time to think about summer. Colorado hosts some amazing music festivals. Big and small, single day and weekend affairs, there is something for almost everyone to enjoy.

To kick off the summer, my family is trying out Meadowgrass Music Festival near Colorado Springs on Memorial Day weekend. In its 6th year, Meadowgrass may be smaller (and more affordable) than it's Planet Bluegrass rivals, but it's beginning to draw larger crowds and a notable lineup.

Jon Sousa In Concert at DPL This Saturday

The Weekend Music Series at Central Library continues this weekend with a free concert featuring acoustic guitarist, Jon Sousa.

A friendly and generous musician based out of Boulder, Colorado, Jon is best known for his love of traditional Irish music, solo fingerstyle guitar, and rock music. He approaches the guitar with tenderness and a depth of feeling that is rare.

Fingerstyle Guitar with Jon Sousa
Saturday, May 11, 2-3 p.m.
Central Library, Level 1 Schlessman Hall

Nyckelharpa. It sounds prettier than it sounds.

Denver Public Library's Schlessman Hall hosts some of Colorado's most talented musicians in the Fresh City Life Weekend Music Series -- free! This Saturday, concert-goers will hear the strange and beautiful sounds of the nyckelharpa played by Sandra Wong.

The nyckelharpa might be the duck-billed platypus of the music world. Swedish in origin, it combines the strings of a violin, the shape of steel guitar or violin and keys used to change tones or pitch. A cousin of the hurdy gurdy, this odd instrument always delights audiences.

Heavy Petal

If you think the only thing heavy metal and gardening have in common is Robert Plant, then I have news for you!

Award-winning gardener Chris Beardshaw, perhaps best known in the UK for his work on the BBC’s long running television series, Gardeners’ World, has released the results of a horticulture study he conducted with a group of students looking at plant growth and health. The study confirms what head-bangers and junior high science fair participants have known for decades: heavy metal music acts as a nutrient for healthy growth.

Our Iconic Red Rocks

Crowd at Red Rocks 1952

This isn't the first blog post written about Red Rocks here at DPL, but if anything in our fair metropolis deserves renewed attention and accolades, Red Rocks is near the top of the list.

In high school, I was a Dave Matthews fan. Of course being in a suburban, middle class high school, almost everyone was a Dave Matthews fan and DMB's concerts at the local, grassy amphitheater were the peak of summer socializing. By the end of high school, I'd discovered punk and obligatorily disavowed any interest in Dave Matthews.

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