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What to do in Denver: Check out free live music

We are firm believers in the old saying, “the best things in life are free” especially when it comes to listening to free tunes and soaking in the Denver sunshine.

Check out this article from The Denver Post laying out the best places to catch live jams in the Denver area.

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Summer concert season often throws a half-dozen worthy shows at us on a weekly basis. Between huge amphitheaters and multiday festivals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and cash-strapped.

Fortunately, the trend of offering free, live music at parks, museums, restaurants and even hotels has ramped up this year.

If you’re not already checking out one of this weekend’s midsize, ticketed events in Denver — like South Pearl Street’s BrewGrass, or the LoHi Music Festival (both on June 13) — here are some of the more promising free live-music series around town.

Anythink’s Backyard Concert Series

Thornton’s innovative Anythink Libraries revives its kid-friendly Backyard series at Wright Farms with 6:30-8:30 p.m. shows from The Congress (June 12), Calder’s Revolvers (July 10) and Dixie Leadfoot & the Chrome Struts (Aug. 14). Donations to the nonprofit Anythink Foundation are encouraged.

Historic Westminster Jazz & Art Fest

Bring the lawn chairs and blankets for this event, which kicks off at noon and features live jazz from Nelson Rangell, Jeff Jenkins and the Organization, Tom Gershwin and others, plus vendors, food trucks and art. Events run until 8 p.m. on June 13 at Hidden Lake High School grounds. .

Clyfford Still Museum

You don’t need to appreciate the abstract expressionist work of this renowned painter to enjoy the music in the “forecourt” of the downtown museum dedicated to him. Swallow Hill has returned to book the fourth season of this series, which continues with 5-8 p.m. performances from the excellently named Na’an Stop (July 10) and Tallgrass (Aug. 7)


It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that live music, even at ticketed events in regular music venues, is a means of selling drinks and occasionally food. But if you’re already going to the ViewHouse in Centennial, plan your visit around one of its Music on the Green nights. The “free” shows, 6-9 p.m. on Fridays, continue through Sept. 25 with acts including Jeff Brinkman (June 12), Phat Daddy (June 19), Dragondeer (July 31), the Samples (Sept. 11) and more.

Lakewood’s Rockin’ Block Party

This family event isn’t just about music, but the museum tours, kid-friendly “lawn games” and evening-ending “Raiders of the Lost Ark” screening (with free popcorn) provide added incentive to see the 7:30 p.m. show from wedding-band legends the Nacho Men, one of the most amusing and versatile acts in Colorado. The free events start at 10 a.m. on June 13 at Lakewood Heritage

Coohills’ Beats on the Creek

An industrial bridge over Cherry Creek in LoDo hosts Coohills’ popular Beats on the Creek series. But you don’t have to enter the restaurant or even buy anything to enjoy 6:30-8:30 p.m. shows from Hazel Miller Band (June 16), Funkiphino (June 30) and a buffet of tribute acts. Those looking for a cozier, more upscale experience can reserve a patio table at the restaurant’s Tuesday night series for $25.

Elway’s Taste & Tunes

The lineup at this Cherry Creek steakhouse’s 11th annual summer concert series runs the gamut from cheesy (the Neil Diamond tribute band Forever in Blue Jeans) to rollicking (country-rock mainstays the Railbenders). But the Wednesday night series, which runs 6:30-9:30 p.m. and continues through Aug. 19, is always one of the slickest in town.

Live at Aloft Hotels

Aloft, one of downtown Denver’s newest hotels, continued its free live music series this week with North of Nine, to be followed by “The Voice” runner-up Michelle Chamuel (7 p.m. Aug. 5) and Grammy winners King & Country (date TBA, likely early-to-mid-September)

City Park Jazz

Each Sunday through Aug. 9, the bandstand and pavilion at City Park hosts eclectic jazz acts including Selina Albright, Annie Booth Quartet, Paa Kow Band, Lynn Baker Quartet, the Sammy Mayfield Revue and others, free of charge, as part of this 29th annual series. 6-8 p.m., rain or shine.

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