On June 9th, Central City, Colorado will host a proper New Orleans takeover during Central Jazz, a new music festival presented by Feyline, KUVO, Dazzle, and Central Presents. Channeling the super jams that abound during New Orleans Jazz Festival, Central Jazz has crafted an enviable lineup of supergroups and side projects featuring the likes of George Porter Jr. and members of beloved, high-profile musical acts like Galactic, Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, The Motet, and Jerry Garcia Band.
At the top of the bill is Dragon Smoke, a project consisting of Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Rob Mercurio (Galactic), Stanton Moore (Galactic), and Eric Lindell that was born during 2003’s Jazz Fest and rarely makes its way outside the confines of the Crescent City. The festival also plans to curate a super jam of high-profile musicians each year under the moniker NOLA Central All-Stars—this year the NOLA Central All-Stars will feature George Porter Jr. (The Meters) in addition to the entire Dumpstaphunk lineup of Ivan Neville, Ian Neville, Alvin Ford Jr., Nick Daniels III, and Tony Hall.
Outside of the NOLA Central All-Stars set, George Porter Jr., the iconic bassist from The Meters, will perform with one of his solo projects, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners. The festival has also tapped the Joe Marcinek Band featuring Melvin Seals (JGB & Melvin Seals), Tony Hall, and Joe Marcinek and will host the highly anticipated Colorado debut of the Adam Deitch Jazz Quartet. Following these main stage performances, the music will continue to run until 3 a.m. with a number of afterparties, including performances by Juno What?, a side project led by Joey Porter of The Motet and featuring Lettuce and Motet members, as well as local Colorado acts like Cycles and Mlima.
The lineup also boasts a number of up-and-coming local acts in addition to Cycles and Mlima, including The Copper Children, The Midnight Club, and Christopher The Conquered. KUVO and Dazzle, keeping with the name of the event, have also curated local jazz acts for Central Jazz, including Venus Cruz and Adam Bodine Trio—the Adam Bovine Trio will be featured during a special morning brunch set hosted by KUVO Jazz.
Central Jazz is a revival of the Center City Jazz Fest—a former music festival in the city that ran from 1976 to 1992. For the 2018 edition, the festival will feature four stages spread out across Central City, effectively taking over the entire town while encouraging patrons to explore all that the quaint and beautiful location has to offer. Free parking will be available to those who drive (Central City is a 30-minute drive outside of Denver and a 45-minute drive outside of Boulder), though other ride options will be announced in coming weeks.
A kick-off event on Friday, June 8th, will be open to the public (21+) and hosted by Grand Z Casino. More information about Central Jazz on June 9th can be found at the event’s website here. You can snag tickets for the inaugural festival here.