Enjoy two concerts at Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street this week, and start next week by enjoying a concert at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. All of these concerts will provide a night to remember! The following pre-concert reviews are courtesy of Gardens' member Rick Hum.
India.Arie and Idan Raichel
Doors at 6 p.m., concert starts at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 21 - York Street
Doors at 6 p.m., concert starts at 7 p.m.
Friday, July 22 - York Street
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers and Béla Fleck & the Original Flecktones
Doors at 4 p.m., concert starts at 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 - Chatfield
India.Arie and Idan Raichel met in Israel in 2008 and have been collaborating on their Open Door album since. It is scheduled for release this month. They have performed onstage at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. The show at Denver Botanic Gardens will be the sixth stop of a 17 date U.S. tour this summer and fall.
According to the International Music Network, "Open Door delivers consistent themes of acceptance and unity that lay the foundation for an impassioned body of work. This penetrating collection forges cultural divides and exemplifies the raw power of open, simple production. Arie has found in Raichel a self-described "musical soul mate" who breathes new life into her signature brand of raw, empowered soulful R&B/pop/folk music. Open Door is a stunning array of effortlessly blended styles. The authentic East-meets-West experience features minimal production; piano, percussion, strings, winds, and multilingual lyrics sung in Hebrew and English."
India.Arie was born India Arie Simpson on October 3, 1975 in Denver. The name India was chosen in honor of the birthday of Indian leader Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, which coincided with her expected arrival date. Her middle name, meaning "lion" in Hebrew, was chosen simply because it blended well with her first and last names. She absorbed musical skills early in life as she was encouraged by both parents. Her mother Joyce is a former Motown singer. Her father, Ralph Simpson, was a player for the Denver Rockets of the ABA. After her parents divorced, Simpson's mother moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia when India was 13. She had taken up a succession of musical instruments throughout her schooling in Denver, but her interest in the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design led to a personal revelation about songwriting and performing.
India.Arie has released four albums over the past 9 years. She has been nominated for 22 Grammy awards, winning four times. She has also appeared in six movies, playing herself in three. As a U.S. Ambassador for UNICEF, she traveled to Africa several times to address the AIDS crisis, and filmed the VH–1 documentary Tracking the Monster: Ashley Judd & India.Arie Confront Aids in Africa.
Idan Raichel (עידן רייכל) was born September 12, 1997 in Kfar Sava, Israel. Raichel began to play the accordion at the age of nine. He was attracted to long hair, gypsy music and tango, and studied jazz piano in high school, which improved his improvisational skills and ability to collaborate with other musicians. At 18, Raichel served his compulsory service in the Israeli army. He joined the Army rock band, touring military bases performing covers of Israeli and Western pop hits. As the musical director of the group, he became adept at arrangements and producing live shows
Raichel invited 70 different musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds to participate in the recordings now known as the Idan Raichel Project, which includes Ethiopian Jews, Arabs, traditional Yemenite vocalists, a toaster and percussionist from Suriname and a South African singer, among others.
Christopher Stephen "Chris" Botti was born October 12, 1962 in Portland, Oregon. He was raised in Corvallis, except for two years spent in Italy. His mother was a classically trained pianist and part-time piano teacher. He started playing trumpet at age 9 and committed to the instrument at age 12 when he heard Miles Davis play My Funny Valentine.
In 1983 Chris Botti was selected as a member of McDonalds’ All American High School Jazz Band. This gave him his first opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall. He attended Mount Hood Community College and then Indiana University. During his senior year at Indiana he did short stints with Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. He moved to New York City in 1985 and worked as a studio musician.
In 1990 Botti started a decade of touring and recording with Paul Simon. During this time he also performed and/or recorded with Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Scritti Politti, Roger Daltrey and others. In 2001 he was featured as a soloist on Sting’s Brand New Day world tour. The two-year tour culminated in All This Time, a CD/DVD-taping and webcast performance from Stings’s estate in Tuscany. Chris Botti told the Palm Beach Post, "He calls me his evil younger brother. I gotta tell you, all my big breaks lead back to Sting, every last one of them. Going around the world with him, he gave me so many fans. ... It all leads back to him and his constant friendship."
Chris Botti has released 12 solo CD’s. His CD Italia was released in 2007 and quickly hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart. The album was nominated for a Grammy as the Best Pop Instrumental Album. Italia draws on a multitude of unique sources—and includes a few Botti co-penned originals that deserve to be eventual pop standards to convey the beauty, mystery and magic of Italy. The album places focus on Botti's Italian roots through such songs as "Ave Maria," "Venice," "Estatè," and the title track "Italia," where he partnered with Andrea Bocelli.
His jazz quartet of the last seven years (he jokingly calls them his dysfunctional family) includes Grammy-winning Billy Childs on piano, Cuban bassist Carlos Del Puerto, electric jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield and drummer Billy Kilson. The latter, who Botti said he hired to make Sting jealous. At a show earlier this month, Botti also brought two other musicians: vocalist Lisa Fischer, who has performed with the Rolling Stones, and violinist Aurica Duca.
Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers - Bruce Randall Hornsby was born November 23, 1954 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He studied music at the University of Richmond, as well as Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami, from which he graduated in 1977.
In the spring of 1974, Hornsby's brother Bobby formed the band "Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids" to play fraternity parties. Bobby’s son R.S. Hornsby was a recurring guest guitarist with the Noisemakers. Unfortunately R.S. Hornsby passed away on January 15, 2009.
Bruce and his wife Kathy have twin sons, Russell and Keith (named after Leon Russell and Keith Jarrett).
Bruce Hornsby and the Range performed and recorded from 1984 to 1991. Hornsby appeared with the Grateful Dead in over a hundred shows beginning in 1988 and continued the collaboration until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Hornsby worked with many artists including Leon Russell, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Other members of the Noisemakers are: John "J. T." Thomas (keyboards, organ), Bobby Read (saxophones, woodwinds, flute), J. V. Collier (bass), Doug Derryberry (guitar, mandolin) and Sonny Emory (drums).
Bruce Hornsby has recorded 16 albums with his various groups; 7 albums with the Grateful Dead; 13 with Grateful Dead-related groups such as Further and Rat Dog. He’s received three Grammy awards in three categories: Best New Artist in 1987; Best Bluegrass Recording in 1990 and Best Pop Instrumental in 1993.
Béla Fleck and the Original Flecktones - Frontman Béla Fleck plays acoustic and electric banjos. The band's name is a play on the name of the 1960s rock band Dick Dale and the Del-Tones.
Béla Anton Leoš Fleck was born July 10, 1958 in New York City. He was drawn to the banjo when he first heard Earl Scruggs play the theme song for the television show Beverly Hillbillies. He received his first banjo at age fifteen from his grandfather. Later, Fleck enrolled in New York City's High School of Music and Art where he studied the French horn.
In 1981, Béla, with bassist Mark Schat, guitarist/vocalist Glen Lawson and mandolin great Jimmy Gaudreau, formed Spectrum. That same year, Sam Bush asked Fleck to join New Grass Revival. Fleck performed with New Grass Revival for nine years.
Béla Fleck and Victor Wooten formed Béla Fleck and the Flecktones in 1988, along with keyboardist and harmonica player Howard Levy and Wooten's percussionist brother Roy "Future Man" Wooten (Victor’s older brother). Future Man plays the Drumitar, a novel electronic instrument of his own invention and he is the only vocalist for the group, occasionally performing wordless vocals on songs.
Béla Fleck has been awarded 12 Grammys in seven different categories--more categories than any other performer.