Denver’s Five Points Jazz Festival Returns May 21

Denver, Colorado. Source: Nicole Banks, Aurora CO.
Denver, Colorado. Source: Nicole Banks, Aurora CO.

The annual Five Points Jazz Festival returns with bands and performances at multiple venues around Denver’s Five Points area. Admission is free for this one-day event, May 21, 2016.

The free festival takes place the third Saturday of May, from 11am to 8pm, and celebrates the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. According to the event website:

Once known as the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music’s legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more. Since its inception in 2004, the Five Points Jazz Festival has grown each year in size and popularity.

Come out to Five Points to enjoy this free festival of music, food, culture, and fun. The lineup of bands, performances, and activities is online and listed by venue (all Denver CO addresses).

  • Main Stage (29th and Welton)
  • Plaza Stage (Five Points Plaza)
  • Arts & Venues Stage (26th and Welton)
  • Crossroads Theater (2590 Washington Street)
  • Coffee at The Point (710 East 26th Street)
  • Coffee at The Point Outdoor Stage (710 East 26th Street)
  • Cervantes (2635 Welton Street)
  • Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center (2836 Welton Street)

Drop by the Black American West Museum (3091 California Street) to see photographs of Five Points back in the day. There is a small general admission fee.

Check out the Five Points Jazz Exhibit at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library (2401 Welton Street), showcasing the history of the Five Points Jazz Festival and featuring posters from the past 12 years. Additionally, the library is showing two films during the festival:

  • 12pm — The Cotton Club Comes to the Ritz – featuring Cab Calloway, Doc Cheatham, Max Roach, The Nicholas Brothers, Adelaide Hall, and Chuck Green
  • 2pm — The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi

Be sure to take the youngsters by the Kids’ Zone (27th and California), open from 11am to 5pm. Activities planned include a stilt-walking party, a face painter, caricature artist, inflatables, and more.

For more information on the festival, visit the Denver Arts & Venues website. To volunteer, contact Holly Porterfield by email or call 720-201-1481.

Note from the organizers:  As a part of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) ongoing State of Good Repair efforts to provide safe and reliable service for riders, portions of the light rail system will be temporarily closed next weekend — potentially affecting people planning on using the light rail system to get to the Five Points Jazz Festival. During the closure, there will be no light rail service on the C, D, E, F and H lines north of the I-25·Broadway stationm however, bus shuttle service will be available from the I-25·Broadway Station to Welton with stops at 20th, 25th and 27th streets. For more information and additional rider alerts, visit the RTD website.

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About Kay Whatley 2307 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.