Friday Main: Delta Sonics featuring Veronika Jackson
The Delta Sonics have been playing in Colorado since 1992, and have established themselves as one of the finest blues acts in the area with their solid musicianship and exciting live performances. Their musical stylings include Chicago Blues, West Coast Swing, New Orleans R&B, and some early Rock n’ Roll.
The band has won Westword’s Best Blues Band Honors for six years and represented the Colorado Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2012, making the semi-finals.
They are a local favorite by dancers and Blues music enthusiasts and we can’t wait to have them back!
Veronika Jackson started her music career at an early age, singing in the school choirs at the age of ten. Veronika Jackson has taken the acoustic folk guitar and the history of her culture as an African-American woman, and has generated her own original, authentic and exciting style of music. She is a rare and unique performer. Her smooth and strong interpretive vocals are very expressive. Her clear, simple rhythmic clean way of piedmont blues-style guitar picking compliments her performances. She has been told that her music says something, it educates and also inspires.
Veronika is respected for her integrity as an artist as well as a person. Critics have called her contagious, always leaving audiences wanting more. The joy she feels as an artist comes from knowing that her music, whether an old folk song, a blues composition, or old spiritual entertains as well as brings joy and hope to people lives.
Friday Latenight: Curtis Hawkins
Curtis Hawkins has dedicated his life to music since beginning his musical journey at age 20. Starting on guitar, he tried bass on the advice of a friend and fell in love. Spending his first few years under the watchful eye of the musical machine Charlie Hayes, Curtis found a great love of the blues. Early in his career, Curtis played in the Lytle & Hawkins acoustic duo and the Jones, Johnson & Hawkins trio who had the pleasure to open for national touring act Kelley Richey Band in 2008. After being introduced to long time Manuel3 drummer Jamie Hopkins, they all fell in love with playing with each other and The Curtis Hawkins Band was born. Come enjoy this smooth, versatile Denver favorite!
Saturday Main: G’Jai’s Jook Joint
G’Jai is a contemporary blues singer who has channeled the music and style of the blues vocalists of yesteryear while creating her own unique vocal identity. Her belief is that “you can’t look to the future without embracing your past.” G’Jai actually didn’t find blues, it found her.
G’Jai’s Jook Joint Band was formed in Michigan in 2009 and quickly gained a following among audiences of all backgrounds. G’Jai has performed at several great venues and important events throughout Michigan, Illinois, Colorado and Washington. This includes, the Blues on the Library Lawn series in Flint, Michigan, Illinois State Fair, Colorado Red Rocks, Aspen’s Belly Up. Wind River casino and even The Bumpershoot in Seattle WA. She has been backed by some of the same musicians that have performed with blues and jazz greats such as Z. Z. Hill, Bobby Womack, Irma Thomas and the Marsalis brothers.
Her debut CD, 2010’s “I Got the Blues All Because of You” provided a chance for her to pay homage to the female blues artists that forged a way for her and other female vocalists. The album received great reviews in both the U.S. and Europe markets, including reviews in Blues Blast and Blues & Rhythm magazines. One of Denver’s hottest Blues bands, we know you’ll love getting to dance to them as much as we do!
Saturday Latenight: Rex Peoples and the X Factr
X Factr was created by singer, songwriter, vocal coach, and Blues in Schools educator Rex Peoples in 2007, and is intentionally spelled without the “o” to represent the intangibles that make the religious shout, the partiers dance, and remind us of the emotions that make us say, “That’s my song!”
The band received accolades for their original album “Fried Food / Hard Liquor” (all music and lyrics by Rex Peoples). The band was a semifinalist in the 2016 International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis.
Rex Peoples and the X Factr are a regular favorite of the Denver Blues scene and play a mixture of incredibly danceable and engaging tunes. Come enjoy this talented band!
Sunday Main: Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine
Denver has always had a thriving jazz community, and between the 1920s and 1950s, the Five Points neighborhood was the heart of the scene. Known as the “Harlem of the West,” at its peak Five Points had over fifty bars and clubs, and played host to all the greats: pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington, singers Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, saxophonist Charlie Parker, and trumpeter Miles Davis, just to name a few. Local players also kept things cooking, and soon enough the Five Points sound emerged, a brand of jazz characterized by red-hot swing and boundless joie de vivre.
Thankfully the Five Points sound is still alive today, and the main keeper of the flame is pianist Purnell Steen and his group Le Jazz Machine. Now in his early seventies, Steen is a consummate performer who has a legion of devoted fans in his native Denver. Steen is also part of a musical dynasty, with relatives including vocalist Dianne Reeves, pianist George Duke, saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, and bassist Charlie Burrell.
Imagine Count Basie’s swing combined with Duke Ellington’s “Love you madly” charm, topped off with a healthy dollop of Wild West spirit, and that’s Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine. With a wide variety of musical genres at their disposal, come prepared to enjoy a plethora of jazz-Blues and put your Ballroomin’ idiom dances to good use!
Sunday Latenight: Anthony Russo
The Anthony Russo Band is a Denver based electric Rhythm & Blues and Rock N’ Roll band inspired by the sounds of 50’s and 60’s American music.
Anthony has dedicated his life to playing guitar, singing & making music. After seeing his church band perform when he was 8, he was so inspired, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life from then on.
Attending local jams and then hosting a residency at Denver’s Takoda Tavern bolstered his experience and provides an outlet for him to jam and learn with Denver’s top musicians. It was through playing here that the older cat’s he was playing with hipped him to the Blues, “Real Blues”.
These days, Anthony is still the “Jam Master” at Takoda Tavern and, since 2013, has been playing with his rockin’ band. Now, they average 230 gigs a year! For Mile High Blues, Anthony will be featured as a duo with his bassist.