City Park Jazz – Annie Booth Big Band June 27 – North Denver News
Annie Booth is a versatile and award-winning jazz composer and pianist based in Denver, CO. She has established herself as an active force on the local and national scene as a songwriter and lead performer of her many projects (the Annie Booth Trio, Sextet and Big Band) and as a busy side-musician. Booth holds a bachelor’s degree in musical performance (Summa Cum Laude, 2011) and a master’s degree in music in jazz performance and pedagogy (Summa Cum Laude, 2020) from the Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado.
As a composer, Annie has received national recognition with awards from ASCAP (Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers’ Award, Phoebe Jacobs Prize), Downbeat Magazine (2020 Outstanding Graduate Performance) and the Jazz Education Network (2020 Young Composers Showcase ), among others. . In her hometown of Denver, CO, she was named “Best in Denver” in the Jazz genre by Westword Magazine in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and was featured as part of Jazz 89.3 KUVO’s 30 under-30 Spotlight in 2015.
Booth released four albums as a leader. 2014 released their debut album Wanderlust, a list of original works for trio and quartet (with saxophonist Joshua Quinlan) and published on Dazzle Recordings. Abundance: Live at Mighty Fine by the Annie Booth Sextet – another demonstration of Booth’s compositional prowess – was recorded in front of a studio audience in late 2015 and released in early 2017. The Annie Booth Trio’s happy holiday album, Festive !, is released in 2016 and its most recent release is The Annie Booth Trio with Max Wellman in 2018, a collaboration between his trio and Midwest-based crooner Max Wellman. The Annie Booth Trio showcases the immense musicality and camaraderie between Booth and his longtime friends and collaborators, Patrick McDevitt (bass) and Alejandro Castaño (drums).
Annie Booth’s most recent songwriting efforts include Flowers of Evil and the Annie Booth Big Band. Flowers of Evil is a cycle of chamber jazz dectet evening songs based on 19th century poetry. The French poet Charles Baudelaire in the collection of poetry of the same name. Composed in 2017 during Booth’s time as Musician in Residence at the Banff Center in Banff, Alberta, Canada, Flowers of Evil premiered at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, CO in March 2018. The piece, which features the soprano Kathryn Radakovich, is slated for a studio release in 2021 with support from the Boulder County Arts Alliance and the Pathways to Jazz grant program. Founded in 2019, the Annie Booth Big Band is an 18-piece jazz orchestra that performs Booth’s original compositions and arrangements. The set includes a diverse cast of Colorado’s best and brightest jazz musicians, including such household names as Greg Gisbert (Maria Schneider Orchestra), Paul McKee (Woody Herman Orchestra) and the latest generations of jazz gems, including guitarist Tim Wendel, alto saxophonist Anisha Rush and singer Jenna McLean, among others. The group is in monthly residency at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, CO.
When Annie isn’t performing, traveling or composing, she loves working with the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA), an organization of which she is an alumnus and currently a faculty member. In 2017, in collaboration with CCJA, she created Colorado’s very first jazz camp exclusively for young women, the SheBop Young Womxn in Jazz Workshop. She is fiercely passionate about empowering the next generation of young women to express themselves through the art form of jazz and the workshop is the subject of her 2020 master’s thesis. Booth maintains an active schedule of as a visiting clinician, artist and referee at jazz festivals and high school and university programs in the United States and Canada. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado, where she teaches jazz piano and jazz arrangement.