Finally the 26-year-old jazz club Dazzle has opened in its new home at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and adding a cherry to the musical sundae is an affordable kids’ program every Saturday.
“Part of why we are doing this is because some of our patrons are older and they will bring their grandkids into the show,” said Kelley Dawkins, marketing director for Dazzle. “It’s not always fun for a kid in a serious listening room, so this is a way to introduce young folk to music in a kid-friendly environment.”
Starting on Saturday, October 14, the first show is Pam Clifton’s The Playmakers Family Brunch, featuring Where the Wild Things Are. For $5 per person, enjoy the hour-long, interactive show featuring Maurice Sendak’s beloved book. During the event, a master storyteller will choose various audience members who want to come on stage and have them dress up and do certain roles in the play. Even if not on stage, no one will be left out and the room will come alive not only with the roar of the wild rumpus, but the live piano too.
The Playmakers Family Brunch will also do an rendition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island on October 28. Learn to talk like a pirate and perfect that pirate chortle all while kids take the stage. The same idea presides, and festive costumes for both events are encouraged.
“We are trying to focus on the events being more of a community engagement,” added Dawkins. “Instead of Dazzle doing all the bookings, which is fine, we wanted to reach out to different groups to see if they could tap into their kid-friendly musicians.”
Other talent on the 2023 roster includes Youth on Records Presents (Oct. 21, Nov. 11, Dec. 9) and Swallow Hill Presents (Nov. 25, Dec. 30). The Playmakers Family Brunch will also do some to-be-determined shows on Nov. 4 and 18, and Dec. 2 and 16. In general the programs are geared toward kids 11 and under.
“Dazzle cares a lot of about community building,” said Dawkins. “We feel Denver has so many resources and great people, and we want to connect them.”
The new crop of Saturday kids’ matinee comes thanks to a grant from Live Music Society. Before moving, Dazzle hosted a monthly children’s hour thanks to the Denver Music Advancement Fund, but Dawkins said the venue is excited to have it weekly now. One reason for the excitement, said Dawkins, is because it’s a great way to get kids into live music, and give tools and inspiration for those who might want to be musicians.
“If we don’t encourage kids to appreciate live performance, they will just want screens,” said Dawkins, adding that kids can come to the regular live-music programing at Dazzle for free with an adult ticket purchase. “We are raising the next generation of live music and live performance enjoyers.”
Each show starts at noon and runs until 1pm. Secure tickets online at dazzledenver.com, or just show up and purchase at the door. Dazzle serves tasty items such as BBQ chicken sliders, Kettle Head popcorn, salads and baked goods, as well as drink including coffee, iced tea, wine, beer and juices. Eat there or before the show, no purchase of food or beverage is required, only excitement for the music.