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Live jazz weekly at Ti Amo

KEELY BROWNspecial to the daily
Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc
ALL |

SILVERTHORNE – When musician Mark Jeffery first came to Summit County in 1988, he noticed one thing right away – there wasn’t much going on in the way of jazz.Thanks to Jeffery and several of his friends, all of that has changed. The Summit Jazz Consort has not only brought traditional live jazz to Summit County, but has also provided venues for professional jazz musicians to perform in.Founded by Jeffery in 1996, the Summit Jazz Consort is made up of 16 musicians who book themselves, separately or in combo groups, for weddings and special events throughout the area.”We don’t really do the bar gig stuff. Special events are our bread and butter,” said Jeffery, who plays electric bass and trombone. “And the beauty of it is that with us, you can book a custom built group.”

Jeffery tailors the consort’s musical combos to each individual event. If a client likes vibraphones, he makes sure that a vibes player is included in the group. If the function wants to start out mellow and start swinging, Jeffries puts together musicians who can provide a background cocktail atmosphere early in the evening, and wind up with big band swing music later at night. The consort’s latest coup is a weekly jazz night at the popular Ti Amo Ancora Restaurant in Silverthorne. Every Thursday evening from 6-9, the joint is jumpin’ with the sounds of traditional jazz, ranging from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis.The consort’s signature calling card is diversity. Every week features a different instrumental combo from the group. The three to five players might include a piano-drum-bass combo one week, with vibes and sax added the following week. And since the group rarely uses written charts, it’s improvisational all the way.And that, Jeffery said, is the key to the group’s success at Ti Amo Ancora. “We keep it different,” he said. “It’s fresh blood every week.”Some of that fresh blood includes players who have international performing experience. Keyboard player Bill Morse spent months in Russia and China teaching jazz workshops. Bass player and accordionist Peter Krainz, who hails from Austria, is founder of the popular local group Those Austrian Guys. Harpist Janet Harriman – yes, this jazz group even boasts a harp – performs regularly with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Central City Opera.And thanks to word of mouth, other musical friends drop in from time to time as well. Last week, Kim Stone, drummer for Spyro Gyra, dropped by to jam with the group at a moment’s notice.

Tonight popular jazz vocalist Wende Harston, a regular performer with Denver’s Queen City Jazz Band and winner of Westword’s “Best Jazz Musician in Denver” award, will perform with five members from the consort. The Summit Jazz Consort has just finished its third week at Ti Amo Ancora, and restaurant owner Fiorenzo Bettoni is ecstatic about the results, saying that business has increased every week. “My customers enjoy it because it creates a nice, romantic atmosphere,” Bettoni said. “It’s like a marriage with the kind of restaurant we have.”Regular patron Phil Palazzari, who came with his family to celebrate his wife Maggie’s birthday said, “It’s like a party atmosphere. As a form of music I think it’s an excellent choice for this restaurant. The older crowds like it, but the younger people at my table like it too.”Live jazz

– What: Members of the Summit Jazz Consort perform- When: 6-9 p.m. Thursdays- Where: Ti Amo Ancora, 122 W. 10th St., Silverthorne- For reservations: Call (970) 513-0703


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