The Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars were created in October of 2009 by retired public school music educator Dr. Ed Cannava. Ed was the 22 year Director of Arapahoe High School’s three time Downbeat award-winning Dry Creek Dixie Dawgs. University of Colorado at Denver Music Professor Bill Clark (tuba player and leader of the Queen City Jazz Band) has been a regular clinician working with the Youth All-Stars. The Denver metropolitan area high school musicians have also received vocal clinics from Queen City Jazz Band singer Wende Harston and Your Father’s Mustache singer Shelley McMillion. Numerous other clinicians have worked with the band.
The main sponsor of the All-Stars is the Denver Jazz Club. Kolacny Music Store of Denver also sponsors the band. The Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars are now in their eighth year of existence.
The All-Stars perform during breaks of the professional bands at each Denver Jazz Club monthly session. The band has been featured with many professional musicians including Bob Draga, Eddie Erickson, Duke Heitger, Dan Levinson, Kris Tokarski, Randy Sandke, Jim Fryer, Bria Skonberg, Eddie Metz, Jr., Dr. Bach and the Jazz Practitioners, the 101st Colorado Army Dixieland Band, the Summit Hot Seven, the Big Mama Sue Quartet, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Your Fathers Mustache Band, the Treme Brass Band, the Crescent Katz, Bob Schulz and the Frisco Jazz Band, the Au Brothers Jazz Band, the Blue Street Jazz Band, the Queen City Jazz Band, and Kristy Reed’s Valley Finest.
The Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars represented the state as the only Colorado youth band invited to perform at the 2010-2016 Sacramento Jazz Festivals. They also performed in the 2011 Montreux, Switzerland Jazz Festival, the 2011 Montreux Meets Brienz Jazz Festival, and a concert at Interlaken, Switzerland. The band has performed at 3 other Colorado professional events – the Summit Jazz Festival, the Evergreen Jazz Festival, and the Summit Swingin’ Jazz Concerts.
At the 2010 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the All-Stars performed with a number of professional musicians and bands including: the 101st Colorado National Guard Army Dixieland Band, the Big Mama Sue Trio, Dr. Bach and the Jazz Practitioners, Bob Draga (Sacramento Jazz Jubilee Emperor and Clarinetist), Steve Homan, Jason Wanner, Shelley Denny, Ralf Reynolds and Ron Jones. Alex DeVillier sat in with some of the best banjo players in the world at the All-Star Banjo Jam. Musicians included Eddie Erickson, John Reynolds, Randy Morris, Scott Anthony, Bill Dendle, and Katie Cavera.
The Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars were the only non-California youth band selected to perform at the 2010 and 2011 Sacramento Jazz Jubilees. They performed with a number of professional musicians and bands: Lance Christensen (Trumpet), Leader of the 101st Colorado Army Dixieland Band; Banjo musician Eddie Erickson; Dr. Bach and the Jazz Practitioners; the 101st Colorado Army Dixieland Band; Clarinetist Bob Draga; Kristy Reed’s Valley Finest; Cornet Player Charlie “Dr. Bach” Gehlbach; Big Mama Sue Quartet; Joey Vad Da Big Easy; Kristy Reed and West Main Street; the Riverside Rogues; and Trombonist Jay Paulus.
In 2011 Molly Sauer, cornet/vocals, was selected to the prestigious 2011 Next Generation All-Star Band. Rebecca Lugg, piano/vocals, was awarded the Big Tiny Little Memorial Scholarship, and Alex DeVillier, banjo, received an outstanding musicianship award. Then in 2012 the DJC Youth All-Stars returned to Sacramento, and two musicians were featured in the Draga’s Picks Youth All-Star Sacramento Band – Alex DeVillier on banjo, and Rico Jones on tenor sax. The Youth All-Stars also had 6 outstanding musicianship certificate recipients (there were 15 youth bands and no other band had more than 3 award recipients): Dallas Perrault on clarinet, Rico, Cameron Gelak on trombone, Alex, Matt Guerrero on piano, and Mason Stillman on drums. Additional Sacramento Music Festival performances have taken place in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The DJC Youth All-Stars performed on a concert tour to New Orleans during June, 2012. Performances took place at incredible venues including: The Spotted Cat Club, On the Streets of the French Quarter (as a band & as part of the New Orleans Jazz Camp 2nd Line), Café Beignet, The Creole Queen (Day and Dinner Cruises), The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, WWOZ-FM Radio Show, The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Visitor Center, The Farmers Market Stage, Steamboat Natchez with Duke Heitger, The Palm Court, The Old U.S. Mint Jazz Historical Park Recording Studio and Recital Hall, and Preservation Hall.
In 2013, the DJC Youth All-Stars performed in the Assisi, Italy Music Festival; the Umbria, Italy Jazz Festival; and 2 Music in the Park Concerts, at the Montreux, Switzerland Jazz Festival.
The band performed on a concert tour to New York City in July, 2014. The All-Stars had an incredible experience performing with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks on two evenings, at the Iguana Restaurant & Dance Lounge. Performances also took place on the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, in Central Park, and in Washington Square (Greenwich Village). Finally, the band had a 4 hour Grand Finale Performance at the Garage Restaurant and Cafe.
The DJC Youth All-Stars performed at the July, 2015 Montreux, Switzerland Jazz Festival, Montreux Meets Brienz Jazz Festival, and the Expo in Citta Festival (Milan, Italy).
The band recently performed on a concert tour to New Orleans in August, 2016. Numerous performances included: Washington Artillery Park, Preservation Hall (including a clinic with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band), the Spotted Cat Jazz Club, the Creole Queen Riverboat (both a day cruise and an evening dinner cruise), Cafe Beignet, the Steamboat Natchez (w/Duke Heitger’s Steamboat Stompers), the French Quarter Visitor Center, and the U.S.Mint (the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park).
The 2016-17 Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars will be returning to the Sacramento Music Festival, and are also planning a European Concert Tour.