By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4)– For many music fans, First Friday Jazz in the Park at Sonny Lawson Park in Denver was the first show they’ve seen in months. The Friday night concert was outdoors and socially distanced.

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“It gives me chills,” said organizer Norman Harris. “People are getting vaccinations, and I feel like we’re getting COVID behind us. It’s time we get on the offensive and really start to claim our lives back.”

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Five Points’ First Friday Jazz in the Park is part of the First Friday Jazz Hop series. The monthly Jazz Hop series started in January of 2020, but was forced to put indoor shows on hold due to COVID-19.

“It was heartbreaking,” Harris said. “We had bars full of people, and for COVID to come and pull the rug beneath us was devastating. But we stayed focused and looked for opportunities to come back.”

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Musician Tenia Nelson is one of the original acts.

“It’s been really hard because music is not just what I do, it’s who I am,” Nelson told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “Not being able to play, and play music for people, it’s been really hard.”

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But as Denver’s COVID dial turns to yellow tomorrow, Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom down the street believes life will slowly come back to Welton Street thanks to increased capacity.

“Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Absolutely,” said Trent Hufford, General Manager at Cervantes’. “Obviously the pandemic is not near its end by any means, but we are hopeful and positive that we will be able to do what we used to do, to the capacity we used to do, as soon as things take a turn for the better.”

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Whether it’s live music indoors or outside, people in Five Points are ready for a second act.

“It is time,” said Harris.

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For more on First Friday Jazz Hop, www.milehighfestivals.com/ffjhschedule.

Andrea Flores