It’s all about jazz gui­tarists in Colorado these days

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Brett Saunders, Spe­cial to The Denver Post

There’s an ap­peal­ing list of gui­tarists, each known for their in­di­vid­u­al­ism, per­form­ing in Colorado in the com­ing days.

Al Di Me­ola is an un­ques­tioned six-string vir­tu­oso, and he’s been en­thralling jazz lis­ten­ers with his light­ning-fast tech­nique since key­boardist Chick Corea in­tro­duced him to a wide au­di­ence as a mem­ber of the fu­sion group Re­turn To For­ever in 1974. Since then, he’s split time be­tween acous­tic and elec­tric set­tings, both of which he suc­cess­fully uti­lizes on his new­est re­lease, “Opus.” Di Me­ola will ap­pear at Cop­per Moun­tain Re­sort as part of its an­nual “Gui­tar Town” show­case. The gui­tarist is sched­uled to ap­pear at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12, along with other mar­quee names like Robben Ford and Coco Mon­toya. The per­for­mance is free; de­tails can be found at cop­per­gui­tar­town.com.

No one sounds like Char­lie Hunter. The gui­tarist can pro­duce an amaz­ing range of sounds from his fret­board, and is ca­pa­ble of be­com­ing some­thing like a one-man band. As he’s moved into his 50s, he doesn’t play Colorado as much as he did a decade ago, so it’s ex­cel­lent news for his fans that he’ll be mak­ing a hand­ful of ap­pear­ances in the state, in­clud­ing a show in Moun­tain Vil­lage (near Tel­luride) on Aug. 15, at the “Pickin’ In The Park” event in Pao­nia Aug. 16, and for two nights at Denver’s Daz­zle, Aug. 17-18. Hunter’s trio in­cludes vo­cal­ist Lucy Wood­ward and drum­mer Da­mon Grant, but they make a col­lec­tive sound that is much larger than what you might imag­ine from just three peo­ple. It’s fre­quently ex­cit­ing mu­sic. Find out more at Hunter’s web­site, char­liehunter.com.

If it’s melody and sub­tlety you’re look­ing for in a gui­tarist, then Rus­sell Malone is your man. High-pro­file artists like Jimmy Smith and Diana Krall have cho­sen him for his taste­ful ap­proach, and he’s grown in stature con­sid­er­able since his early days as a side­man. Malone will play at the Aspen Art Mu­seum in Aspen on Aug. 18, with two other ex­perts on their cho­sen in­stru­ments: bassist Chris­tian Mcbride and pi­anist Benny Green. Tick­ets are $55, and can be found through jaz­za­spen­snow­mass.org.

Speak­ing of the Aspen Art Mu­seum, mul­ti­ple Grammy-award re­cip­i­ent (and Colorado res­i­dent) and vo­cal­ist Dianne Reeves per­forms there on Aug.

17 . ... The above-men­tioned Chick Corea ap­pears with his beloved “Ak­ous­tic Band,” fea­tur­ing bassist

John Pat­i­tucci and drum­mer Dave Weckl, at the Paramount The­atre on Aug. 19 . ... New Or­leans’ for­ever-en­ter­tain­ing

Dirty Dozen Brass Band plays Cer­vantes’ Other Side on Aug. 24 . ... Com­ing to Denver’s Noc­turne Jazz & Sup­per Club in Au­gust:

The Peter Som­mer Septet on the 18th and drum­mer Jeff Hamil­ton’s trio on the 29th . ... Brazil­ian gui­tarist Alessan­dro Penezzi fea­tures clar­inetist Dex­ter Payne at Daz­zle on Aug. 15 . ... Cop­per

Moun­tain presents its Gen­uine Jazz & Wine Fes­ti­val Aug. 17-19, with Everette Harp, Bobby Lyle and more . ... Mindi Abair and the Bone­shak­ers will play the Soiled Dove Un­der­ground on Aug. 19.

Bret Saunders (bret saunders @kbco.com) can be heard from 5 to 10 a.m.week­days at KBCO 97.3 FM. Fol­low him on Twit­ter: @Bre­ton­thera­dio.

Ist­van Kiss, MTI /AP

Al Di Me­ola — here per­form­ing in Bu­dapest in 2008 — will be at Cop­per Moun­tain Re­sort.

Reeves

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