HomeBlogsrjsharette's blogBoulder, CO Ambassador Update

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But Boulder, always a little unique, provides a comfortable home all-year around in the confines of the long popular restaurant and brewhouse called Redfish, on 13th just north of the Pearl Street Mall. There, since April of 2001, Steve Shenk, Redfish owner, has welcomed these singing organizations to his large music room, with its excellent sound system and stage, large enough for the 4 to 12 member groups that perform a huge variety of styles and music, all without instrumental accompaniment. On any particular Monday (generally two each month except through the summer), you may hear vocal jazz, rhythm and blues, barbershop, gospel, doo-wop and rock, with original songs, standards and top-of-the-charts selections, depending on the interests of the a cappella ensemble that's performing.

Roland Sharette helps put the Redfish series together as part of his volunteer job with the Colorado Vocal Jazz Society, 20-year nonprofit that provides educational, communications and production assistance to Colorado vocal groups in and out of schools and universities (CU-Boulder alone has seven extracurricular groups on campus). He is always on the lookout for new groups on their way up in the fast changing genre, and enjoys the mix of styles that call Colorado home. "I am always finding new groups to add to the roster of possibilities for places like Redfish," he says. "Just this past weekend, I caught four groups doing their thing in shows, festivals and private parties. Start-up pop sextet Chatterbox was singing at the Longmont Art Fest at the same time I had promised to be on hand in Erie for the CD Release party of an excellent gospel 10-voice group called Cross Examined. Then the next evening I wanted to catch the sensational vocal jazz group Groove Society, and I almost missed the program our current Rocky Mountain (and International Runner-Up) Champions face put on in Lafayette. And these were just in the north Denver area . . . Keeps me goin'!"

All of these groups except Chatterbox, who is preparing for an opportunity, have been part of the Redfish series over the years, some of them two or three times. They all speak positively of the chance Steve Shenk gave them to fit into the club scene in Boulder and bring their fans to see and listen to them in a more intimate venue (the music room holds just about 100). They also appreciate the feedback they get from Steve, his customers and his staff, who all have their favorite groups. One of the servers on a cappella Mondays has recently joined the new group, Chatterbox, after listening to so many of the Bolder A Cappella shows and singing in a campus a cappella group called Extreme Measures during her undergrad years.

There's always a new group to listen to at Redfish and this fall is no exception. Opening the series on October 3 is the popular Denver A Cappella Project, an 8-voice jazz ensemble that rivals internationally known groups in the perfection and style they bring to their shows. This is only the second time they have appeared at Bolder A Cappella, since they are most often singing at national entertainment sites across the country. Although they are more likely to appear before crowds in the thousands, their leader, Darin Drown (also director of the Sound of the Rockies Barbershop Chorus) says, "It's a great chance to hone in on some special things and have our own friends in the audience telling us what they think; and the relatively small audiences are a treasure."

You fans of a cappella, and those who are curious, cannot do better than coming by Redfish on October 3, or another a cappella Monday, to see what some of these groups can do for your musical interests and, while you're at it, your happiness quotient.