Jazz Night returns to the Chief Theater | SteamboatToday.com

Jazz Night returns to the Chief Theater

Steamboat Springs native Kenyon Brenner returns on saxophone with Dana Landry on keyboard and Eric Applegate on bass.

Clear in tone and lyrical in spirit, the saxophone makes its opening remark.

The bass follows suit, unspooling the melody, as the rest of the band, on impeccable cue, joins in.

Listening to a live jazz performance, local Ann Ross is taken back to the shores of the mighty Mississippi River.

"I don't really know why I like jazz," Ross said. "The only thing I relate to is being a Mississippi girl from Muscatine, Iowa, and remembering the Delta Queen paddlewheeler. In high school, we would get on it, and it was jazz, jazz, jazz music all the time."

In college, she even rode on the cruise boat all the way down to St. Louis.

"Eating, looking, listening and talking — it was that Louis Armstrong music all the way up and back," Ross said.

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Perhaps it's the childhood nostalgia of that Delta Queen steamboat or maybe it's the extemporaneous assortment that inspired Ross to provide an opportunity for the Jazz Night at the Chief Theater event.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Steamboat Springs native and renown saxophonist Kenyon Brenner will return to the stage with two new musicians, Dana Landry, director of jazz studies at the University of Northern Colorado on keyboard, and Eric Applegate, professor of jazz bass at UNC, on bass. Bruner last performed at the Chief in the fall.

From student to teacher himself, Brenner said this will be the first time the trio has performed together on stage, which could make things interesting.

"It is common for configurations of musicians to switch around regularly," Brennan said. "Who knows exactly what we will play or how we will play it. There will be so much improvisation that there is no way to predict exactly what it will sound like. It will give us the opportunity to create music that has never happened before."

Though the music is subject to spontaneity, the trio plans to play a fair amount of original music as well as some standards.

"I love jazz music because I feel the spirit of it is so human and expressive," Brenner said. "I have felt like it gives me more of an opportunity to speak through the music than many other musical styles out there. Listening to jazz greats has similarly made me feel like I can hear what they are trying to say."

Tickets are $15 and available online at chieftheater.com or at All That, 601 Lincoln Ave.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email @Audrey_Dwyer1