WE CALL IT "BOLDER A CAPPELLA"
- Many are saying, "It's about time!" For too long, Boulder, home to seven CU campus a cappella groups and also the site of the largest independent a cappella show in the state, "Acappallooza!", has been without a regular a cappella venue. When Tryllium died (eclectic café at 30th and Arapahoe), so did bOULDER appearances by some of the state's leading contemporary a cappella groups.
With the cooperation of Steve Shenk at Boulder's Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse at 2027 13th Street north of the Pearl Street Mall, CVJS launched an effort to bring this exciting 21st Century musical genre back to town. Steve says, "I didn't even know this stuff was available for a club. When CVJS suggested Redfish would work for this series, I said 'Let's try it.'" And that's exactly what we have been doing for over a year.
The lineup for this April, May and June reflects the wealth of quality and variety available among Colorado groups. The schedule includes only the tip of the iceberg in groups that are good enough to participate. They are being paid a modest fee with the hope the idea will catch on and their opportunities elsewhere will grow. Shows are scheduled for 7:30pm and 9pm every other Monday. Each evening features one ensemble, with the style ranging from vocal jazz to barbershop to gospel to folk to doo-wop.
"That's the great thing about a cappella," says 17th Avenue All Stars bass Norm Silver, whose championship group appeared last year, "The variety and spontaneity of the groups who perform a cappella provide almost unlimited musical expression of the human voice. If you don't dig this week's group, come back next time for a whole 'nother thing."
And that can work in a lot of Colorado communities.
Why such a series?
There are many good reasons for a nonprofit group like CVJS to join hands with a commercial venture, like a club, to see if the goals of each can be accomplished by putting our heads together and trying to make something happen.
We're not producers and we're certainly not entrepreneurs. But we have the desire to see contemporary a cappella and good vocal jazz flourish in Colorado -- in fact, that's our 501(c)(3) charge. To maintain our charter, we need to encourage and support this musical genre by educating the public on its merit and helping groups learn how to improve their skills and stature.
We should make it clear that CVJS seeks no financial gain from this venture. In fact, we support its promotion and logistics modestly with funds our directors, all members of the New Wizard Oil Combination, earn from our own community appearances. All fees earned and benefits accrued at Redfish go to the participating groups.
Please support a cappella in Colorado by stopping by Redfish to hear these groups. And then look for a similar entertainment spot in your community where this series may be emulated. If we can help you plan a series, contact vocal ensembles, or identify the requirements of venue or promotion, let us know. We'll do what we can.
After all, that's what we're here for.
What is Redfish?
The Redfish Brewhouse is one of Boulder's most popular eating and entertainment spots on 13th Street, just north of the Pearl Street Mall. It has a generous, well lit space for performing with a stage, an excellent sound system and an attentive, music-conscious serving staff.
While listenable instrumental music is available almost every night at Redfish, Monday nights have been reserved for special performances, such as this a cappella series. On These evenings, vocal music will be the focus, in a great family oriented house with its own brews, great food and friendly music-appreciating clientele.
Do You Have an Interested Group?
The future of Bolder A Cappella is dependent, among many things, upon:
* success in drawing audiences,
* interest shown by the media, and
* survival of a great venue amid the forest of Boulder restaurants.
Of course, most important are the talented groups that have lined up to participate. If you have a group with substantial repertoire, good blend and stage presence and the urge to share your music with appreciative audiences, consider applying for a date. Modest fees and enthusiastic fans await you at Redfish. Email <rjsharette@...> for more details.
program director, CVJS
Colorado Vocal Jazz Society
Colorado Ambassador, CASA
Contemporary A Cappella Society