The coming days will offer several opportunities to take in great jazz, as well as some local up-and-coming musicians.
The Jazztopia Jazz Workshop will be Monday through Thursday, June 10–13, at Colorado Mesa University.
More than 40 area high school students are signed up for the intensive workshop that allows them to better develop their jazz chops, learn some jazz history and more, said Darin Kamstra, head of jazz studies and percussion at CMU.
The students also will be learning from jazz drumset artist John Riley, who performs with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra — last year's clinician was the Vanguard's lead tenor saxophonist, Ralph Lalama.
Riley's drumset method books are the standard for anyone learning the instrument, said Kamstra, who took lessons with Riley several years ago as part of a professional development grant.
And thanks in part to a grant from the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture, Riley is here for Jazztopia and students as well as the community will get the benefit of his talent, Kamstra said.
There will be three chances for the community to see Riley and/or students perform.
The first is Combo Night featuring Riley and students participating in Jazztopia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the KAFM Radio Room, 1310 Ute Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for students at kafm.org.
The intimate setting will get students out of the typical auditorium or gym and into more of a jazz gig-type atmosphere, Kamstra said.
The Jazztopia final performance of students combos will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Love Recital Hall in the CMU's Moss Performing Arts Center, 1231 N. 12th St. Admission is free.
The chance to see Riley really show off his skills will come during his performance with the Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Robinson Theatre in the Moss Performing Arts Center.
Tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for students and can be purchased at gjso.org.
Riley "is at the top of the game in terms of drummers around the world," Kamstra said.
The concert will be entertaining as well as a unique chance to see someone of Riley's caliber perform in Grand Junction, Kamstra said.