Freedom to groove with the W. Colorado Jazz Orchestra |

Freedom to groove with the W. Colorado Jazz Orchestra

Jeremy Herigstad
Special to the Free Press
Courtesy photo
Staff Photo |


WHAT: “Red White & Blues” concert featuring W. Colo. Jazz Orchestra

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sat., July 6

WHERE: Grande River Vineyards in Palisade

COST: $15/advance, $20/gate


This Saturday, July 6, get your groove on among the grapevines with “Red, White & Blues” featuring the Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra. The second concert in the Grande River Vineyards “Hear It Through The Grapevine” Summer Concert Series begins at 7:30 p.m. and benefits the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

The Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra is a tightly knit group of about 20 musicians performing great musical works from all eras and styles of the American jazz tradition. They perform four concerts per year in the Roper Music Ballroom in addition to festivals, weddings, private parties and special events throughout the Western Slope and mountain communities of Colorado and Eastern Utah.

The Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra was started more than 13 years ago by then-Mesa State College Director of Jazz Studies Michael Waldrop. When Waldrop took another position in 2004, the WCJO took a hiatus until Grand Junction Symphony Music Director Kirk Gustafson approached Greg Karly about starting up the group again. Karly is a trombonist and was a part of the very first season of the GJSO back in 1978. He had been a band director in the Mesa County Valley School District for 31 years teaching in the Fruita area schools.

Many other WCJO members also perform regularly with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. Mick Wilson, clarinet & saxophone, has been the principal clarinet of the GJSO for over 25 years. Trumpeter Scott Betts not only plays in the WCJO, GJSO and GJ Rockestra, he also regularly performs as a vocalist with both the jazz group and Rockestra. And percussionist Rob Labig, in addition to occasional duties with the GJSO, is also the co-director of Talking Rhythms, a percussion ensemble, maintains an active drum studio and drums in several local bands.

When the WCJO takes the stage at Grande River Vineyards off Exit 42 in Palisade, they will keep your Independence Day weekend grooving with hits and classics like “Basie Straight Ahead,” “Count Bubba,” “Shiny Stockings,” “Heartache Tonight,” “Mack The Knife” and many others.

Don’t forget your chairs or a blanket. Dinner is available for purchase from Debonair Fun Food or you can pack a picnic. Wine, soda and water are also available for purchase. No outside beverages may be brought in.

The $15 advanced tickets for Red, White & Blues are available online at or by visiting Roper Music or Fisher’s Liquor Barn. They can also be purchased at the gate for $20 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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