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Second Free Summer Concert to feature funk, soul and jazz

Karl Denson's band, Tiny Universe, a 7-member band, will perform at Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series, Saturday, July 2.
Courtesy Photo

If you go...

What: Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

When: Openers begin at 5:30 p.m. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe takes the stage at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 2

Where: Howelsen Hill

— Although music was just a hobby in his younger years, musician Karl Denson now has his own ‘Tiny Universe’ in the music industry.

Together since 1998, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is a seven-member band that travels nationally, performing between 150 to 200 shows each year.

“Everything is a work in progress for me,” Denson said. “I used to write one type of song and now I write a different type of song.”



“We haven’t been in Steamboat in probably a couple of years at least. So for the people that know us up there, it’ll definitely be a new experience,” Denson said.

Denson’s Tiny Universe released an album, “New Ammo,” in February 2014. The most recently recorded work has been regarded widely as the band’s most creative and is what Denson hopes will make people happy and get them dancing.



Although the band has performed in Steamboat in the past, they have a new guitar player and drummer for Saturday’s show at Howelsen Hill. It will mark the season’s second Free Summer Concert Series concert.

“We kind of have a running joke that if we play at a really big place one day, we’re gonna play at a really small place the next day,” Denson said. “It keeps you humble.”

Although Steamboat is definitely not one of the smallest places they will perform, it will likely produce the largest Steamboat audience the band has seen.

“A little bit of funk, soul and jazz” is how John Waldman, of Great Knight Productions, describes Denson and company’s sound.

“When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of music,” Denson said. “I never thought of it like I was going to be a professional musician. That was not the original intent. It just kind of happened.

“Halfway through college, I just decided to make a career out of it,” Denson continues. “It had really just been a hobby before. I played my horn eight to 10 hours a day for about 10 years.”

In 2015, Denson was offered a spot in the Rolling Stones 2015 tour.

“The Rolling Stones was probably the newest, funnest thing I’m doing,” Denson said. “It’s all super fun — being able to do what I do. It’s really about the shows. Right now, my band, we are playing really well and we are enjoying each others fellowship.”

Denson believes his time with the Rolling Stones has unquestionably impacted his music for the better.

“I try to put my maximum mental and physical energy into doing it well, and I love the fact that it continues to be a challenge,” Denson said. “That’s the beauty of music for me — the ongoing challenge of growing and maintaining your creativity and your artistic integrity and all the things that go into making great songs.”


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