Rockin’ oldies show comes to Frisco to benefit Alpenglow festival
If you go
What: An Evening with Doo Wop Denny
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9
Where: Summit County Community and Senior Center, 83 Nancy’s Place, Frisco
Cost: $25, includes appetizer and dessert buffet, bring your own beverages; all proceeds go to the Alpenglow Chamber Music Series
On Thursday, July 9, Alpenglow Chamber Music Festivals will host An Evening with Doo Wop Denny, a night of entertainment benefitting the chamber music series.
About the musician
Lifelong musician Doo Wop Denny draws from a deep vein of rock ’n’ roll history to deliver an authentic, high-energy rocking oldies show. Five decades of entertainment savvy have schooled Denny to be a true entertainer, connecting with his audience and playing to the crowd, belting out a 250-song hit parade of feel-good music.
Home based in Florida most of the year and Colorado during the summertime, the Doo Wop Denny Show has gathered a loyal following over the years, with weekly appearances at the Saltwater Cafe in Venice, Florida, and the Blue Spruce in Frisco. Growing up in suburban Detroit, Denny found himself immersed in the sounds of Motown early on, connecting to that great music and its solid beat. Piano lessons became his first steps on a lifelong journey of music, rhythm and song.
Inspired by “rockabilly” pioneers Carl Perkins and Buddy Holly, Denny learned basic licks and three-chord blues progressions on his first guitar. The next step was becoming a rhythm player in a high-school rocker trio named the Jades, doing instrumentals by The Ventures and Duane Eddy in the late ’50s.
Fast forward to 1981, when five middle-aged guys with similar backgrounds in the Detroit-area music scene got together and formed Rockin’ Gold, a nostalgia show band. Phil, the drummer, created intricate four-part vocal harmonies and was the driving force behind the group. Complex melodies of the Del Vikings, Eagles, Beach Boys and The Beatles were added to the classic oldies playlist. The group stayed together for 12 years, and in 1993, Denny retired and settled in Florida.
Tinkering with computers and music, Denny discovered he could create tracks of instrumental sounds and blend them together to simulate a live combo. By playing his guitar along with this synthesized music, he had created a virtual band and could sing his favorite oldies again. What began as a techie hobby eventually morphed into a passion.
Alpenglow Chamber Music Festivals Inc. is an active nonprofit arts organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and enhancing the cultural life for residents of and visitors to Summit County and Colorado by providing quality programs of chamber music performed by nationally and internationally acclaimed musical artists. Alpenglow also promotes an appreciation of chamber music through education, outreach and audience development, offering access to concerts with affordable prices, developing the artistic and technical proficiency of Summit students and encouraging local music students with scholarship awards.
The festival traces its roots back to 1998, when two distinguished musicians from the Colorado Symphony set out to start a chamber music festival: concertmaster Steven Copes, currently the concertmaster of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, and principal clarinetist, Bil Jackson, currently a professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Local audiences embraced the event, joining Copes and Jackson’s musicianship with their passion for music.
Alpenglow has continued on its musical journey through many changes. Originally titled Music from the Summit, it was renamed Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival and was eventually handed over to the artistic directors’ colleague, cellist Edward Arron. Over the course of the next several years, Arron kept building Alpenglow, allowing it to reach the high place where it is today. In 2010, Aizawa, Arron’s colleague and friend and a participant in the festival every year since it opened, assumed leadership for the festival with another close friend of Arron’s, longtime Alpenglow violinist Jesse Mills.
Since 1998, Aizawa has strongly believed in what Copes, Jackson and Arron have brought to Alpenglow. Along with Mills, who is also her husband, she is eager to continue to bring the highest quality to Alpenglow and to share the joy of music. Aizawa and Mills feel that it is important to reach out to the younger generation, and they do so through providing workshops for local students each year. Their goal is to let Alpenglow keep growing, nurtured by the community, so that people of all ages can appreciate the arts together.
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