Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays Hot Summer Nights in Vail | VailDaily.com

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays Hot Summer Nights in Vail

Daily staff report
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VAIL — He's rocked the stage with acts such as the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and the Greyboy Allstars, and now the highly acclaimed Karl Denson brings his Tiny Universe to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Tuesday, July 5, as part of the free Crazy Mountain Brewery Hot Summer Nights concert series.

"We can't wait to have Karl Denson and his talented band perform here in Vail," said Jen Mason, director of operations at the Ford Amphitheater. "This band has a great energy and music style that's a perfect soundtrack for the family-friendly summer scene at Ford Amphitheater."

Karl Denson's The Tiny Universe's latest album, "New Ammo," has been praised by jazz publication DownBeat as "music for both the party and for fans of instrumental prowess." Denson and the seven-person band play a heavy tour schedule of more than 150 shows a year and have material in the works for a new studio album.

Their instrumental work, led by Denson's saxophone, is the perfect music for the vibrant social atmosphere of the summer concert series, Mason said.

"Crowds love the atmosphere, as well as the music," Mason said. "It's a festive scene for a Colorado summer night, as crowds like to hear the music, set up picnics and enjoy the views and beer selections."

As Crazy Mountain Brewery's Hot Summer Nights concert series heads into the rest of July, Tuesday night crowds will see performances by Minnesota-based college rock band Soul Asylum (July 12) and "feel good" rock group Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (July 19) at Ford Amphitheater. The series continues through Aug. 23, closing with The Motet, a Colorado-based improvisational funk band.

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Free beer for a year

Along with live tunes, there's another reason to attend the Hot Summer Nights concert series: the chance to score free beer for an entire year.

Crazy Mountain Brewing Co., which returns as the title sponsor of the event, will award one lucky person a free pint of beer a day for an entire year, redeemable at either the Edwards taproom or the new Denver location at 471 Kalamath St. Enter the raffle at each concert (one entry per person per concert) by adding your name and a valid email address. A winner will be picked during the final show, The Motet, set for Aug. 23.

Getting there

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is located east of Golden Peak at Ford Park in Vail. Concert attendees are asked to park at the Vail Village parking structure, with overflow parking at the Lionshead Village parking structure. Free town of Vail shuttles will run extended routes past Golden Peak from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., with a drop-off at the soccer field near the Ford Amphitheater.

Additionally, a special Village-to-Village express bus will run from 4 to 9:30 p.m., with stops at the east entrance of the Lionshead Village parking structure, in front of the Vail Village Information Center and at Ford Park.

Once inside the concert venue, picnics with commercially sealed nonalcoholic beverages are permitted, as are legless lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas. Bikes, skateboards and dogs are prohibited at the amphitheater.

For more information, visit http://www.vvf.org or follow Vail Free Concerts on Facebook.

Hot Summer Nights concert schedule

• July 5 — Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe: Instrumental rock-groove experience.

• July 12 — Soul Asylum: Jamming since 1981; the American rock soundtrack of your college years.

• July 19 — Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds: Brooklyn, New York-based seven-piece soul-rock band led by big-voiced Arleigh Kincheloe.

• July 26 — 8150 Urban Dance Challenge: Colorado’s best hip-hop crews and B-boys compete for prize money and a chance to perform during the Vail International Dance Festival’s Dance TV.

• Aug. 16 — Devon Allman Band: Combination of Southern blues and rock; must-see for any fan of The Allman Brothers.

• Aug. 23 — The Motet: World-class Colorado improvisational funk band, with a reputation for throwing infectious dance parties.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; show starts at 6:30 p.m. All shows take place at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Visit http://www.vvf.org to learn more.