New Community Jazz Event Series

DENVER, CO (December 4, 2023) – Fortissimo Denver, in partnership with the Colorado Jazz Ambassadors, today announced a one-of-a-kind Sunday Jazz Jam Brunch series, inviting music students and community members to join the stage with some of Colorado’s finest jazz musicians, beginning on December 10, 2023.   The Jazz Jam Brunch series will continue in Fortissimo’s home at the corner of 14th and Champa streets in Denver the second Sunday of every month.

“I’m so proud of this opportunity to give aspiring musicians the chance to get intimate with traditional jazz music, not only as listeners, but also as players,” said Sharon Scheminske, owner of Fortissimo, Denver’s only dueling piano night club.  “Music has meant so much in my life and the lives of my children, it’s truly exciting to create a space that will help kindle that same joy for other families.” 

The Brunch series features Doug Tidaback and the Colorado Nighthawks, a semi-traditional jazz group that focuses on New Orleans style jazz.  Tidaback, a Denver-area music educator, has played trombone with musicians ranging from Michael Jackson to Aretha Franklin to Harry Connick Jr. in a music career that spans nearly 40 years.  In 2022, Tidaback founded the Colorado Jazz Ambassadors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of fostering a passion for jazz music among the youth of Colorado.

“There is nothing more important to me than spreading the joy of jazz to young people,” said Tidaback.  “Jazz is more than just music.  It’s a reflection of history, culture, and human creativity.  We believe that nurturing the next generation of jazz enthusiasts and musicians is vital to keeping this vibrant art form alive and thriving in Colorado and beyond.”  The Ambassadors offer after-school jazz programs, summer camps, workshops, and performances designed to help student musicians at all skill levels unlock their potential.

According to Tidaback, the Jazz Jam Brunch series offers a unique opportunity for amateur musicians to play and interact with seasoned professionals.  “Nothing else like this exists in Denver, where an 11-year-old just learning to play can sit in with somebody like Seth Merlin, who may be the best trumpet player in Denver right now,” said Tidaback.  “I also hope that these brunches can inspire somebody who hasn’t touched their horn in 25 years to dust if off and join us on stage.”

Scheminske aims for this brunch series to help reach her goal of helping to revive live music performances in Denver after the COVID-19 pandemic.  She said, “I opened Fortissimo because I believed Denver needed a place for people of all backgrounds to come together and participate in the joy of great musical performances.  While this brunch is a little different from our normal dueling pianos show, it aims to achieve the exact same thing.”

  • WHAT – Colorado Jazz Jam Sunday Brunch
  • WHERE – Fortissimo Denver, 891 14th St. in Denver (at the corner of 14th and Champa)
  • WHEN – Sunday, December 10 @ 11:00am, and the second Sunday of every month thereafter

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