By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4)– A free concert series is coming to Five Points. While the neighborhood experiences rapid growth, artists hope to preserve the local culture.

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Danette Hollowell’s group, Vashti Jazz, is part of a new monthly event in Denver. First Friday Jazz Hop is bringing local music back to the historic neighborhood.

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“On any given First Friday, you can find yourself in Five Points around Welton Street at 5:30 p.m. and you can get a free jazz show,” Hollowell said.

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Organizers Christopher Banks and Normal Harris work to bring events like the Juneteenth and the Five Points Jazz Festivals to the area once known as the Harlem of the West.

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“This corridor is everything to jazz for Denver. It’s the mecca, it’s the center, and it’s the focal point of jazz,” Banks told CBS4’s Andrea Flores.

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The monthly installments will feature old and new styles of music.

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“It gives us the opportunity to tap into the historical past, but also for us to build a new legacy. We’re able to work with local musicians, local business, local non profits, all to bring this together,” Harris said.

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From traditional to contemporary, First Friday crowds can expect to hear a variety of styles in intimate venues.

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“We’re doing a lot of trios and quartets, there will be some traditional jazz, but what we’re also going to do is try to push some definitions of what jazz is,” said Harris. “We might be mixing up some elements with DJs, and drummers and bass players ad vocalists.”

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With all the change in Five Points, Hollowell hopes people walk away with an understanding of what the neighborhood once was, and where it’s going.

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“This Five Points Jazz Hop really gives us the opportunity to tell new people this is where we are, this is what we do, this is our culture, come be a part of it.”

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First Friday schedule on Jan. 3:

Joshua Trinidad Trio
Spangalang Brewery
2736 Welton St.
5:30 p.m.

Tenia Nelson Trio
Dunbar Kitchen & Tap
2844 Welton St.
7:00 p.m.

Vashti Jazz
Goed Zuur
2801 Welton St.
8:30 p.m.

Andrea Flores

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