Earl Klugh Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor

In Colorado Springs, with Earl Klugh as host, what an eye-popping breath-taking surprise setting! 6500 feet in the Rockies, with snow-capped Pike’s Peak in the background, sits this “Old Europe” style palatial manor estate.

Penrose Spencer from Pennsylvania struck it rich at Cripple Creek gold mine nearby, then traveled throughout Europe where I’m sure he must have seen the great castles and mansions which would be the prototype for the The Broadmoor. He bought the small Broadmoor Hotel and Casino, originally built it 1891, and in 1918 work began on the resort, now sprawling and expansive with 1900 employees.

The real unique thing is this collaboration between the resort hotel and the Jazz for a 3 day weekend with the guests getting 6 concerts of headliner artists and lots of smaller walk-in venues with duos, trios, and quartets. Each afternoon, there’s a Q&A session with the artists and fans, followed by a meet and greet hors d’oeuvres and champagne. It makes for a real intimate and personal contact between Jazz lovers and Jazz makers. Rare! My manager described it as “Kind of like a Jazz Cruise without the boat”—And I hope it catches on and expands.

God Bless Earl Klugh. The Klugh touch, as host, is so warm and personal and unpretentious that it feels like a family picnic with music. And so what happens is this opportunity for collaborations on stage between the weekend artist without Earl, and then with Earl. What an eye opening treat for the listeners! I saw it happen and was part of it on my night! Earl opened the evening with his special brand of intimate romantic acoustic guitar fire. His band was a counterpuntal flower garden and the audience screamed for more and got it.

We began with “Look to the Rainbow” from my 2nd album, whose message is to “Follow the fellow who follows a dream.” As an opener, it’s a cool bubbling middle groove burn as opposed to a hot hard-hitting socko buffo! But it pulls ya in onto the edge of your seat and at the end when I asked them to “follow me” and sing some jazzy little call and response lines, they were on it loud and enthusiastic. So off we jolly well went.

But the highlight was when Earl joined me to do his composition “This Time”—What a moment to behold! Hushed, silent church. And when Earl came back out to do the encore, the clapped and squealed like kids. “Agua de Beber.” They still weren’t through, so I asked Earl to please stay and find some “Sit in,” something to play on the double encore. In a flash, Joe Turano (keys and saxes) had found the sheet music and put it on Earl’s music stand. “After All.” He had never played this before, and they knew it. Earl was flawless, and they GOT IT! THEY GOT IT!

Volumes, in just a few short minutes.

Etc. etc. … We vowed to do it again. Thank you Earl, and thank you Broadmoor Jazz Weekenders!


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