City Park Jazz – 2013 and Beyond – A Brief Interview

With summer coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on some of the highlights from the past few months.  City Park has been evolving into more of a regional park with a particular emphasis on hosting events, and when discussing events at City Park, no event is more historically relevant and revered by residents than City Park Jazz.

City Park Jazz was a huge success in 2013 and plans for 2014 are moving forward to continue this tradition.  10 Sunday concerts featuring performances from artists such as The Hazel Miller Band, AOA, Salsa Con Jazz, and Los Bohemios brought significant crowds to the City Park Pavillion.  City Park Alliance interviewed Chris Zacher, president of City Park Jazz, to reflect on this past year and discuss plans for the future:

Alliance: There have been some ups and downs in the past few years related this event. What do you think worked well in 2013 and what didn’t?

City Park Jazz: The concert series went very well this year.  The only thing that was off a little was the rainy weather. For the first time in a long time, I think that as an organization we can say “Wow that was a pretty awesome summer”.  In the wake of the Celena Hollis shooting, the crowds returned, which is what we needed as a community.  There were no major incidents or major problems this season.  All in all it was a win for the City of Denver. 

Alliance: Are there any concerns or needs moving forward and /or thoughts for 2014?

City Park Jazz: No real concerns moving forward.  2013 was a great year, and we can only hope to duplicate the successes of this year in 2014.  The concert series has been continuing to grow which is good, but with growth comes more expenses and those expenses need the support of the community to cover. 

Alliance: Do you have any thoughts about safety, parking, or circulation?

City Park Jazz: For two years in a row we have been working with Denver Police District 2, Denver Parks & Recreation, and Denver Right-of Way to design safety, traffic, and parking plans prior to the season’s beginning.  These plans have opened up communication with the surrounding residential neighborhoods and reduced the impact of parking in those neighborhoods.  Through DPD and Denver Right of Way’s enforcement of the City of Denver’s parking laws, which are a major piece of the plans, the impact of parking in the surrounding neighborhoods has been reduced.

Alliance: What is needed for 2014 and how people can help?

City Park Jazz: We are always in need of community driven support. City Park Jazz is a free concert series which is not funded by the City of Denver.  We are a private non-profit, and we are always in need of donations and sponsorships to keep the series alive.  Our Board of Directors are all volunteers, and we have no paid staff.  Every dollar that we receive goes back into the concert series for bands, security, trash, and improving the user experience.  The more monetary support that we receive from the community, the longer the series continues on, and the better the experience gets. 

Alliance:  Thank you Chris for your participation.  We look forward to fostering more of a collaborative relationship as we move forward in 2014 and beyond.

For more information or to get involved with City Park Jazz, visit www.cityparkjazz.org.  Alternatively, you can send any concerns or suggestions related to the event to the City Park Alliance at cityparkalliance@gmail.com.

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