Our June issue will feature a profile of the Queen City Jazz Band written by our own Lew Shaw. He’ll cover the history of this 60 year old Rocky Mountain institution and let us know what they are up to now. While doing some background on the band we uncovered this fine bit of tape.
“Biography of a Jazz Band” was made in 1968 as a senior project by Denver University student Glenn Wolfe. It was filmed on a $600 budget, a hefty sum paid by the band itself. The decision was controversial, and Ed Moldenhaur, father of the trumpet player, ended up filling in on piano for the filming. 50 years later we’re grateful the investment was made and this moment in jazz history was documented and preserved. Thank you Glenn for permission to share the video.
A documentary made in 1968 about the Queen City Jazz Band, a group in Denver, Colorado devoted to playing traditional jazz. This 16mm, black and white video transfer features the late trombone player and humorist, Alan Frederickson — founder of the band. The film was a labor of passion and love by Glenn Wolfe, then a Denver University film student.
Now, more than sixty years since its founding, the QCJB continues to perform and record. Happy Harry Zeno would be proud!
And an update on their style as they enter their seventh decade:
In February we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary. In the past ten years, we have added only two new players, but our band has evolved musically in two important ways. First, we are playing to young adults who pack the dance floors jitterbugging and swing dancing to the music of Louis Jordan, Nellie Lutcher and other pop stars of the 40s and 50s. Second, the QCJB has embraced old and new second-line styles from the streets of New Orleans. The music of New Orleans artists like Trombone Shorty and Dr. John and bands like the Rebirth Brass Band and the Treme Brass Band have inspired us to discover new rhythms and melodies that are thrilling our concert and party audiences of all ages. We know that our future and the future of our music depends on attracting new audiences and younger audiences. The jazz roots styles of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith will never be out of date and we are well known for playing early jazz with energy and respect. “