We are the Queen City Jazz Band from Denver, Colorado, USA and we play Dixieland Jazz, New Orleans Jazz, Traditional Jazz, Classic Jazz, Hot Jazz or whatever you call it. For over fifty years the QCJB has been delighting audiences with the happy sounds of the 20s, 30s and 40s—Gospel, Early Jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Blues and Spirituals. We have performed at every major Dixieland/Swing jazz festival in North America. We faithfully recreate the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, Bix Beiderbecke, Wilbur DeParis, Turk Murphy and many others. Our great singer, Wende Harston, brings to life the great hit songs of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Ethel Waters, Alberta Hunter, Helen Humes and many other early blues singers. Wende’s Gospel style is truly inspiring. Our concert performances never fail to delight listeners of all ages. Our busy schedule abounds with weddings, worship and memorial services, educational clinics, fundraisers and major parties.
If you what to know what's happening in traditional jazz, subscribe to the American Rag. The latest edition has 48 pages of information about the music we love. Phone 760-247-5145 to subscribe to this great publication.
The LA Jazz Times just gave us a great review in their May issue!
The American Rag just reviewed our latest recording and we earned an A+.
Read these reviews under Testimonials below.
April 14—Join us at the Mercury Café.
April 21—Denver Jazz Club presents the Ron Cope Rent Party
The UC Denver Claim Jumpers, The Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra and the Queen City Band will celebrate the contributions of Ron Cope, the founder of the Hot Tomatoes who passed away before his time. Ron was also a leader of the Timbuktu plus Five, winners of the 1982 Southern Comfort Collegiate Dixieland Champions from UC Denver.
April 21—Bull and Bush
May 4--Denver Derby
Denver's Finest Party of the Year.
The location is the Performing Arts Center same as last year and the time is from 1:00 until 6:30 PM. This is a close to a Mardi Gras party as Denver has. Great food and libations as you stroll our beautiful down town entertainment center. Bring your photography equipment because many attendees will dress in the classic old southern style associated with the Kentucky Derby. Beautiful gowns and hats for the women and the gentlemen will be dapper. The race will be shown on huge television screens.The QCJB will provide the perfect "old south" music.
Google Denver Derby!
May 12-Mercury Cafe
This event just keeps growing and the QCJB is growing with it by adding a repertiore of "Jump" tunes.
May 19-Bull and Bush
Anything can happen at the Bull. This is a jam session with surprise guests each month.
Saturday, May 25 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Memorial Day Celebration--Crown Hill Memorial Park Westminster
Crown Hill Cemetary and Memorial Park: 7777 West 29th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 (MAP)
QCJB will perform a special concert beginning at 7:00 PM concluding with our salute to American service men and women. Following the concert there will be a fireworks display. Events are planned for the whole day. Stay tuned for more information. Call 303-233-4611.
Sunday, May 26--7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Memorial Day Special Concert Ft Collins--The QCJB will play a special program from 7:00-9:00 PM including our "Patriotic Medley."
Rest Haven Memory Gardens: 8426 S Hwy 287, FORT COLLINS CO 80525, CO 80525 (MAP)
Don't miss this great celebration.
What an honor. We will be playing for a wedding.
Swing dancing at the Mercury Cafe
Jam session at the Bull and Bush
The fun starts at 6:00 PM
Our 15th year at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado
The concert begins at 7:30
Special concert for the Longmont Jazz Society at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Longmont, Colorado. The concert starts at 7:00 PM
It is the 5th Sunday, so we will be at the Bull and Bush at 6:00 PM
- min volume
- max volume
Review of "Flyin' with the Queen City Jazz Band" by Harvey Barkan--LA Jazz Times, May 2013
Don’t mess with Mom’s apple pie! If Mom was a great cook, why would
you want to change her recipe for that wonderful apple pie? In a sense, that’s
what the Queen City Jazz Band says about the music of the great jazz period
of the 1920s and ‘30s. "Our music is what is has always been--homage to the
masters of the jazz age. The QCJB is a musical museum," is a
self-description that I think incorrectly implies a stuffiness and stiffness. Not so in
my book; this band is very alive and vital, playing even with a flowing
lightness and a snap in the right places. If names like Hoagy Carmichael, W. C.
Handy, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix you-know-who
mean something to you, then this CD is meant for you! Certainly they were
masters of the Jazz Age, and this band uses their work, with reverence, to
pattern the QCJB presentations, but they take pride in their own
interpretations of the masters, as well. They play with an ensemble cohesiveness that is
unsurpassed, a benefit of staying and playing together for over half a
century! This band is the real-deal, their enthusiasm and love for traditional
jazz is right out front to share with others of a like-mind.
Of the 16 selections playing for over 65 minutes on the Flyin’ With The Queen City Jazz Band CD,
only one was not a product of the 1920s and ’30s. Especially moving is the
QCJB rendition of "I’ll Fly Away," with an energized gospel-like spirited vocal
by Wende Harston, and driving percussion that motivates your feet to march
you around the room or dance floor, as clarinet and tuba come in at just
the right times melodically. "Limehouse Blues" is played in an upbeat
arrangement that features the extraordinary banjo playing of Rory Thomas. Other
tunes are: "Rhythm King," "Deep Henderson," "Lulu’s Back In Town," "Dream A
Little Dream Of Me," "Buddy’s Habits," "Lazy River," "Lock And Key," "Jubilee,"
"Lazybones," "Chantez les Bas," "Bogalusa Strut," "Lotus Blossom," "Fifty
Miles Of Elbow Room," and the1968 mega-hit, "Wonderful World," knowing that
it’s associated with Louis Armstrong and nobody does Louis quite like Louis,
it is done with reverence that they dare to record the gorgeous song, hoping
you’ll enjoy Wende’s rendition.
The Queen City Jazz Band member are: Bill Clark (bandleader and tuba),
Kevin Bollinger (trumpet), John Bredenberg (clarinet, tenor sax, vocals),
Wende Harston (vocals), Tony Pantelis (drums and cymbals), Eric Staffeldt
(trombone and arranger), Rory Thomas (banjo), and Hank Troy (piano). The
musicianship is faultless, and the closer you listen, the more you realize there is
to hear within the support of the lead instruments. The vocals have an
understanding depth of the message and convey it, as Wende does a first rate
performance every time. This level of consistency and quality doesn’t happen by
chance. The motivation, talent, and desire to do it well has created a 55
year legacy that continues to keep The Queen City Jazz Band so admired.
Flyin’ With The Queen City Jazz Band CD can be ordered by phone from
303-795-8960, or from www.queencityjazzband.com.
Review of “Flyin’ with the Queen City Jazz Band” by Cam Miller in the April 8, 2013 American Rag
It’s been 54 years since Alan Frederickson’s Queen City Jazz Band first let the jazz world know there are new kids on the block in Denver, ready to spread trad sounds throughout the Colorado Rockies and elsewhere. To say they succeeded would be a gross understatement.
Frederickson, who died three years ago, stepped aside as the QCJB leader in 1070 and the current leader, tubist Bill Clark, has maintained the band’s mission “to pay homage to the masters of the jazz age” or to serve as a musical museum. Nothing could be a better representation of their goal than the band’s newest recording that also serves as an introduction to trumpeter Kevin Bollinger and timekeeper Tony Pantelis, replacements for John Bartmann [recently deceased] and Marl Shanahan now retired.
The disc has been in the planning stage for several years and it reflects Clark’s attention to detail, ranging from the crystal-clean recording procedure to the informative liner notes.
As for the song list, it’s a delightful mix of such traddies, such as the often overlooked “Deep Henderson,” “Buddy’s Habits” with a tasty trombone contribution by Eric Staffeldt, “Bogalusa Strut” that begins with a street beat followed by Bollingers’s swinging entry into the final chorus.
Vocalist Wende Harston, a one-in-a-million do-it-all vocalist, demonstrates her versatility and the band does the same by taking a stroll down Broadway with “Lu Lu’s Back in Town,” a past pop hit, Dream a Little Dream of Me,” a particularly warm take of the ballad, “Lazy Bones” that’s embellished by Bainbridge’s [Bredenberg’s] reed work; a serious shot at “I’ll Fly Away” that the band swings for the out chorus and a heartfelt take of “Wonderful World.”
However, not even Harston can save the dreary “Lotus Blossom,” a song in search of a listenable melody. But a rousing “Limehouse Blues,” a feature for banjo man Rory Thomas, and an all-flags-flying ensemble on “Fifty Miles of Elbow Room,” with solos by pianist Hank Troy, Bainbridge [Bredenberg], Thomas, Harston and Staffeldt and a vocal chorus by the entire band that closes out the joyous church-going Gospel.
From Paul Koenig—Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha
Please pass on to your band members the Crescendo! Board’s sincere appreciation for their professionalism and showmanship. Thanks again for the marvelous jazz history concert your group presented for us Nov. 6.
Our goal is to fill the sanctuary and have the audience go away happy and that happened in spades!!
The Arc "Gets Jazzed" Anthology of Jazz II a Success!
It may have been cold and damp outside, but inside the music was hot! Nearly 300 people gathered together last Thursday evening to celebrate 50 years of The Arc. Dez Rubano & Friends warmed up the crowd with some pre-concert music in the lobby. Queen City Jazz Band kicked off the concert with their New Orleans-style jazz and immediately had people smiling and tapping their feet.
Stephanie Lubken Music Teacher Heritage Elementary School
The Queen City Band was fantastic! What a fun, authentic experience for children of all ages. The music was wonderful and included a wide variety of songs. The interaction the band had with the kids was not only instructional, but entertaining, too. All of the members of the group are very talented and seemed to enjoy working with children. They were all very down to earth and you could tell that they really enjoy what they do.
Lev Ropes, Artistic Director, West Side Live! Presents
The QCJB is always a delight to have in our concert series. They present a variety of fine jazz along with information about composers, eras, and performers that adds even more to our audiences' listening pleasure. Great fun, lively, instrumental and vocal music that fills our house. We love 'em.
Pam Geddes, First Church of Divine Science, Denver
On behalf of the 100 people who were at church on Sunday, I would like to thank the band for a stellar performance! Everyone loves Easter because you're there. It truly makes Easter the joyous occasion it's supposed to be.
Let us continue the tradition! A glorious spring to you all.
Laurie Christian, Music Specialist, Field Elementary School, Littleton, Colorado
Thank you for some great music and fun!!!!!
QCJB Celebrates their Fifty-Fifth
Jim Fryer visits Denver
Fifty-five years ago in February of 1958 the Queen City Jazz Band began playing at a little roadhouse in west Denver, the Mon Vue Village. Many current fans have fond memories of that tiny, smoky roadhouse. Each February for many years the Queen City Jazz Band has celebrated its anniversary with a concert by joining with the Denver Jazz Club to bring a major jazz artist to Denver. In addition to a concert, the guest artist clinics with high school and college students and performs with those young jazzers at the DJC’s monthly concert.
Some of the QCJB’s previous guests were George Segal, Joe Darensbourg, Henry Questa, Dick Hyman, Randy Sandke, Bria Schonberg, Eddie Metz Jr., Eddie Erickson, The Jazz Incredibles, Yve Evans, Bill Allred, Bob Havens, Dan Barrett, Doc Evans, and many more. The guest in 2013 was Jim Fryer, trombonist with the Titan Hot Seven and Vince Giardano’s Night Hawks.
Jim arrived in Denver on Thursday, February 14th and celebrated Valentine’s Day with a rehearsal with the Queen City Jazz Band. On Friday Jim worked with Eric Staffeld’s University of Colorado Denver Claim Jumpers. He taught them two esoteric songs, “Africa Blues” and “Wasting My Love on You.”
Friday evening the QCJB and Jim performed at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ft. Collins, Colorado. This was a chance for the QCJB’s numerous fans in Northern Colorado to enjoy an evening of high quality New Orleans jazz. A highlight of the concert was two trombone trios.
Len Kellogg, leader of the Poudre River Irregulars, arranged “If I Had You” and the QC’s trombonist, Eric Staffeldt, arranged Turk Murphy’s “Trombone Rag.” Although this was the first time the band had played at Redeemer, the spacious sanctuary was nearly full and the concert concluded with the fans on their feet cheering.
The centerpiece event for the QCJB’s anniversary celebration weekend was a concert on Saturday afternoon followed by a “melt-down” party at the original home of the QCJB. Professor Staffeldt’s UC Denver Claim Jumpers played in the lobby of the concert hall to welcome QC fans. The QC band opened with “Swing that Music,” then Wende sang one of QC’s new Gospel tunes “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” followed by a new dance tune “Cow Cow Boogie.” Jim was introduced and sang “Nobody’s Sweetheart” with the rhythm section. “New Orleans Stomp” with its challenging trombone part was next. Jim soloed on “Closer Walk with Thee” and then QC’s trombonist Eric Staffeldt joined Jim for a unique two-trombone version of “Ory’s Creole Trombone” that brought the house down. The first half ended with the whole ensemble wailing “After You’ve Gone.”
After intermission the Claim Jumpers played with Jim and the QCJB. QC’s pianist Hank Troy spoke on behalf of the Queen City Jazz Foundation which awards scholarships and sponsors concerts in schools. Next Wende sang another new tune for the QCJB, “Chicken Ain’t Nuthin’ but a Bird,” Jim sang “Pennies from Heaven,” and whole cast played “Rhythm King” to honor Bix. The program ended with “Fifty Miles of Elbow Room,” an arrangement inspired by Turk Murphy.
Just across the parking lot from the Mile Hi Church is the original home of the QCJB. The band played at the Mon Vue Village every Friday and Saturday night from 1958 until 1972. Now the old Mon Vue is called Paradise Cove and its owners hosted a great dinner party for us. About 60 fans enjoyed dinner and drinks with the band followed by an evening of music inspired by the great history of the QCJB. Guided by Bill Clark, the leader of the QCJB, the audience recalled stories from the old Mon Vue. One story is of the ‘great kitchen fire’ during which Alan Frederickson instructed the crowd to follow the band to the exit in an orderly fashion. (The fire was smoky, but not serious and the evening continued on after a lengthy hiatus.) Meltdown guests also recalled the $1 cover charge and how Alan Frederickson used to amuse QC fans with jokes and reading from “You Were Born on a Rotten Day,” the “Massey Ferguson Tractor Repair Manual,” “Fairy Tales for Our Time” by James Thurber, and “Artificial Insemination of Farm Animals.”
On Sunday morning Jim paid a visit to the Denver Jazz Club Youth All Stars. This from Dr. Ed Cannava DJCYA’s director: “What a great clinic with Jim Fryer and the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars! Jim spent 2 hours with our kids before their performance together at the DJC February Session. We worked out our 45-minute set of tunes together for the first hour and 15 minutes. Jim gave lots of insightful and creative suggestions throughout that portion of the clinic. He then continued on to explain the current, exciting young traditional jazz scene in New York City. He suggested that we purchase the book, "The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made it - Hear Me Talkin' To You." We've already purchased a copy! He also gave us a gift - "Tuesdays at Mona's." It's a CD/DVD showing the fun happenings at Mona's Club in New York City. We're going to pass it around our youth band so everyone gets to experience this great media package! Finally, Jim introduced 2 fun traditional head charts to our youth band - "Marchand De Poissons" and "Ham and Eggs." He gave us transposed parts to read, and also sent us audio recordings of Sidney Bechet (Marchand) and the Titan Hot Seven with Bob Draga on the vocals (Ham and Eggs)! This was a clinic we will never forget!! We learned so much from Jim Fryer - what a fabulous opportunity the jazz club gave me and my kids!!!”
Sunday afternoon was a showcase for Jim Fryer ‘the educator’ at the Denver Jazz Club’s monthly concert at the Westminster Elks Club. Each of the student bands, the Denver Jazz Club Youth All Stars and the UC Denver Claim Jumpers, presented polished 45-minute shows which had been rehearsed with Jim just for this occasion. Jim had the students ready and the young jazzers will never forget a great afternoon of solid jazz that was enthusiastically received by members of the DJC. After the students performed, Jim joined Hank Troy, Tony Pantelis and Bill Clark from the QCJB to finish the afternoon with an impressive program of vocals and solo trombone.
Since the early 1970s, the Bull and Bush has been presenting traditional jazz to enthusiastic audiences on Sunday nights. Denver jazz fans owe a great deal to its owners, the Peterson family -- especially Dale (recently deceased) and his brother Dean. When Jim Fryer and the QCJB arrived at the Bull, the parking lot was full, and inside it was standing room only for the whole evening. The casual atmosphere made for a wonderful evening of spontaneous playing with a number of sit-ins.
Jim Fryer’s very high level of musicianship, his great attitude, and strong teaching skills made February 14th-17th a perfect beginning for the QCJB’s 56th year. The QCJB is looking forward to trips to Seattle and Phoenix and dozens of local appearances in 2013 followed by their 56th anniversary celebration in 2014.