By Joe Contreras, Photos by Monica Padilla & Dana Hobaica, Latin Life Denver Media
This year, the rain got out of the way early in the afternoon and allowed for an absolutely beautiful evening under the stars for the more than one thousand wine, food and jazz enthusiasts who attended. It was an amazing evening at the Balistreri Vineyards August 12th as KUVO Radio held its annual fundraising event. Filled with 20 of Denver’s best gourmet restaurants, a variety of Balisteri wines, a silent auction, dancing and great music, guests couldn’t ask for anything more!
Tina Cartagena, Chief of Radio Operations for KUVO radio told Latin Life Denver Media that she was very pleased with the turnout. “Every year the event draws somewhat of a different crowd depending on the featured entertainer”. Cartagena said the recently formed partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS has been a real asset to the radio stations community outreach and overall operations. “They are so supportive of everything we do including this event with volunteers and the sale of so many tables this year,” she said.
The legendary Bobby Watson and his All-Star Quartet & Kansas City Jump Band had everyone on their feet. Along with Watson the band featured Curtis Lundy-Bass, Lewis Nash-Drums, Stephen Scott-Piano, Dan Thomas-Tenor Saxophone, Chalis O’Neal-Trumpet, Lisa Henry-Vocalist.
Watson, the great alto saxophonist first gained fame with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers during a prolific period in the late ‘70s . Along the way he has been a vital artistic voice working with Max Roach, Louis Hayes, George Coleman, Sam Rivers, Branford and Wynton Marsalis as well as vocalists like Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Better Carter, and Carmen Lundy.
He also formed his own influential band, Horizon, which is considered one of the essential small groups of the past 30 years.His music has been described as playing “very intensely, echoing those powerful Kansas City sounds while moving forward through all the bebop and mainstream trends while maintaining his own consistent style”.
It was a real treat for those lucky enough to experience his unique sound. The crowd let out a collective sigh when Watson announced, “Hey, were ready to get out of her tonight”. He humored them by telling them they could buy his CD’s on their way out. After thanking them for their support of not only his music but for the financial support for all the great work KUVO radio does in the community adding, “What is the greatest nation in the world?….A DONATION!
Photos by Monica Padilla & Dana Hobaica, Latin Life Denver Media