Things were different in 1979. Cars were made out of metal, pants were a little wider, and Swallow Hill Music was just a non-profit start-up. While a lot of things have changed in 35 years, Swallow Hill Music has remained true to its roots. It was, and always will be a community of musicians and music lovers who believe in the ability of music experiences to connect individuals. This October, Swallow Hill Music will celebrate the last 35 years, and look to the future with an Anniversary Event featuring rare acoustic performances by Josh Ritter and Brett Dennen, workshops, sing-a-longs, and performances by faculty members and students.
A brief history.
Swallow Hill Music, founded by Denver Folklore Center’s Harry Tuft, began as an offshoot of the Denver Folklore Center as a place to preserve folk music and to provide a venue for performances. Now, Swallow Hill Music hosts more than 250 concerts per year at various venues throughout the city and provides music lessons to more than 700 students every eight weeks. Its mobile Instrument Petting Zoo and school outreach programs bring music to 15,000 individuals annually who could not otherwise experience music lessons. From its humbles beginnings, Swallow Hill Music now links music to more than 135,000 people annually, enhancing the cultural vitality of Colorado.
Spreading more music to more people in more places.
Swallow Hill Music is broadening its horizons for the future by increasing accessibility to music geographically, financially and culturally. New initiatives within the organization are committed to sharing musical experiences with more individuals and families across the Front Range. The opening of a new school campus in Lowry earlier this year brought the music to East Denver, while to the northwest, Swallow Hill Music began a new partnership with the Arvada Center to produce its Summer Stage Concert Series. Additionally, its ever-growing Scholarship Program provides tuition for students of all ages who cannot afford music classes, and the musicians of the future are blossoming in Swallow Hill Music’s Children’s Programs. Finally, Swallow Hill Music offers concerts and classes with global music traditions throughout the year.
An evening-long celebration.
On October 11, all-things Swallow Hill Music will be showcased at the Paramount Theatre in Denver. Beginning at 6pm, the Music School will host a series of workshops, sing-a-longs, and student and faculty performances. These activities are open to all concert attendees – whether or not you believe you are a musician (because Swallow Hill Music believes you are!). The main event of the evening is a concert featuring singer-songwriters Josh Ritter with Brett Dennen in intimate, solo-acoustic sets.
All proceeds of the event benefit Swallow Hill Music, helping continue the Swallow Hill Music legacy into the future.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Aug 8, at 10am.
Swallow Hill Music’s 35th Anniversary Celebration featuring
Josh Ritter w/ Brett Dennen and more
Saturday, October 11 – $30-$45
6pm – Workshops, Sing-A-Longs and Performances by Faculty and Students
7:30pm – Concert featuring Josh Ritter w/ Brett Dennen and more
at the Paramount Theatre
About the Artists:
“How refreshing and inspiring it is to encounter a young artist whose achievements match his ambitions.” -The Washington Post
The Beast In Its Tracks, the latest album from renowned singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, was released on March 5, 2012 on Pytheas Recordings. Of the record, Ritter says, “In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I’d ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness.” As Josh describes, “I hadn’t composed this stuff, I’d scrawled it down, just trying to keep ahead of the heartbreak. Some of the songs were mean or evil. So be it.” The album received rave reviews from outlets as diverse as the Guardian, MOJO, Pitchfork, and National Public Radio.
“It was time to get back to basics.” Brett Dennen says of his fifth record, Smoke
and Mirrors. “I wanted to return to the folk and acoustic music I loved when I began writing. I decided to tap into my memories and explore new emotional territory as honestly as I could.”