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Jazzing up the ‘Boat

Steamboat native, saxophone sensation Kenyon Brenner to open Jazz Night at the Chief

Steamboat Springs native and jazz saxophonist Kenyon Brenner, joined by guitarist Steve Kovalcheck, will play the inaugural entry in Jazz Night at the Chief, a new, monthly jazz series, at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at the Chief.
Courtesy Photo

If you go

What: Jazz Night at the Chief with Kenyon Brenner

When: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 25; doors and bar open at 6:30

Where: Chief Theater, 812 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: $15; tickets are available at All That and chieftheater.com

— Though small mountain towns aren’t typically known as mainstays for jazz, Steamboat Springs is home to more than its share of fans, and Saturday evening, those fans will be treated to the Chief Theater’s inaugural Jazz Night at the Chief, featuring saxophonist Kenyon Brenner.

Joined by guitarist Steve Kovalcheck, Brenner, a Steamboat native, will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday as the opening entry in what the historic theater plans as a monthly jazz series. Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m.

According to Chief Theater Executive Director Scott Parker, the series was initiated in response to numerous requests.



“We had a jazz show two winters ago, and it was a tremendous success,” Parker said. “Some longtime locals even said it was the best show we ever had, and we’ve had lots of requests for more. Now, we’re starting a series.”

According to his website, Brenner attended University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz and jazz composition.



In 2009, he spent six months studying African culture and music in Ghana through UNC’s study abroad program. While there, he was a member of UNC’s Jazz Lab Band I, Vanguard Combo and Vocal Lab, all of which won Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards for Best Graduate Large Ensemble while he was a member, according to the website.

In addition, the magazine also recognized Brenner’s composition “Pensitivity” in its 2014 Student Music Awards.

Named a semifinalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance’s 2014 jazz saxophone competition, Brenner has performed across Europe and the Caribbean, as well as throughout the United States and Canada, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

He also has appeared with artists such as Benny Green, Jeff Coffin, Donny McCaslin, Jeff Clayton, Randy Johnston, Terell Stafford, Jeff Hamilton, Christian McBride, Chris Potter, Deborah Brown, The New York Voices and Groove for Thought.

He currently teaches jazz saxophone at UNC and performs actively throughout the state.

Brenner can be heard on two recently released albums, Socrates Garcia’s “Back Home” and David Caffey’s “Enter Autumn.” In addition, he has two albums in production, both of which feature his original compositions and are scheduled for release this fall.

Reached by telephone Thursday, Brenner said Saturday will mark his first appearance at the Chief, an experience he said he’s looking forward to. Brenner said the audience can expect an evening of creative jazz improvisation in an intimate, “conversational” setting.

“It’s a really intimate way of playing,” Brenner said. “It’s not really all that loud. It’s almost like watching two people have a conversation, and the show will include a lot of different styles of jazz.”

Parker said future Jazz Night at the Chief shows are set for July 23 and Aug. 27. He also hopes to continue the series into the fall months.

To reach Jim Patterson, call 970-871-4208, email jpatterson@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JimPatterson15


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