Live jazz is coming home to Five Points this week

Catch some live tunes on Friday at Sonny Lawson Park.

Welton Street's Sonny Lawson Park. Feb. 2, 2021.

Welton Street's Sonny Lawson Park. Feb. 2, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
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A little more than a year ago, the team behind Denver’s annual Juneteenth celebration announced it would begin hosting monthly live concerts in Five Points, the historic epicenter of “Jazz in the West.” But like so many other things, the First Friday Five Points Jazz Hop was put on ice after COVID-19 locked the city down.

But fear not, music lovers. Mile High Festivals, the people behind Jazz Hop, are bringing live jazz to the neighborhood in partnership with the local Curtis Park Neighbors RNO.

On Friday, Feb. 5, Mile High Festivals will welcome the Matt Skellenger Trio to Sonny Lawson Park, next to the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on Welton Street. Music should start around 5 p.m. People who arrive at 4:30 will be treated to a half hour of storytelling.

Christopher Banks, Mile High Festivals’ vice president, said he and his team are thrilled to get back in the game.

“We haven’t had concerts in over a year,” he told us. “We are so excited to be back working, doing something during the COVID.”

It’s looking like Friday evening will be pretty cold, so bundle up.

Banks said people are famished for entertainment and community events, so he’s betting they will show up regardless of the weather. It’s a calculus a lot of restaurants and venues have had to maneuver since the pandemic has driven most gatherings outside.

“People have been – I almost want to use the word ‘fiending.’ They’ve been going crazy for some sort of entertainment,” he said. “So many people are ready to be outside, take in the festivities and kind of be normal for a second.”

Banks said his company is planning to get things back to a monthly cadence. This Friday will be something of a proof of concept as they figure out how to keep the music coming.

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