A fat blast of Boulder brass | SummitDaily.com
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A fat blast of Boulder brass

COPPER – Hot summer Sunday nights and some well-known names are on the calendar as Copper Mountain Resort launches a new music series this week with a veteran of matchbox twenty and Tom Jones on deck.

Colorado-raised trombonist Darren Kramer and his big band, the Darren Kramer Organization, come to Copper’s Burning Stones Plaza for a free show at 2 p.m. Sunday.

It’s all part of Copper’s The Beat Goes On series, featuring some big names you’ll remember from the early 1990s – the Gin Blossoms, the Spin Doctors and punk-funk monsters Fishbone. It’s a lineup that might make you think, “hmmm, what about Hootie and the Blowfish, too? … They seem like they might have been a perfect fit.”



Promoter Mike O’Brien says he was a nanosecond away from booking Hootie and the gang – they’re back on the circuit with a new album after their mid-’90s heyday – but thought these choices might better serve Copper’s busy summer crowds.

Kramer’s crew promises plenty of eclectic funk and powerhouse brass, with a load of original jazz, funk and salsa tunes. The group also includes a wide selection of what it calls “neglected retro covers” by artists such as Thomas Dolby, Steely Dan, Simply Red and Prince.



Kramer himself has a career that’s spanned gigs from work on luxury cruise liners to appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” not to mention a couple of tours of duty with notables such as Tom Jones and the venerable Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Growing up near Boulder, Kramer began playing professionally at age 14 and earned spots on high school-level all-star bands, including the McDonald’s All-American High School Jazz Band.

Kramer attended the University of Miami, grabbing side gigs as lead trombonist in the Walt Disney World All-American Collegiate Orchestra – and even missing his own graduation ceremony for a job with the Broadway production of “Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.”

Since the early 1990s, Kramer has worked extensively as a freelance horn player, touring with Jones in 1999 and joining matchbox twenty’s “Mad Season” tour in 2000 and 2001.

Back in 1994, while living in Las Vegas, Kramer decided to take matters into his own hands and start his own ensemble, the Darren Kramer Organization. The newest incarnation of the band features 10 of the Front Range’s best players, including two vocalists and a massive four-piece horn section.

Kramer also stays busy as a jazz trombone instructor at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and also spent a month in New Zealand as artist in residence at the Christchurch Jazz School.

Other upcoming concerts at Copper include Friday’s performance by Newcomers Home, followed by the Gin Blossoms on July 13, Fishbone on July 27 and the Spin Doctors on August 10.


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