As you can imagine, it's hard to perform to capacity crowds when a quarantine is in effect. How is Grand Junction's live music scene holding up?

Coming up tomorrow night, for the first time since March 7, I have a chance to perform a concert to a live audience. This will be for a private function where social distancing protocols will be in effect.

Just yesterday it was announced Colorado bars, with some exemptions, would once again have to close for in-person service. Here in Mesa County, we find ourselves among those exempt. While still well below the norm, area musical groups are finding opportunities to play.

In preparations for upcoming performances, Grand Junction's big band "The Swing City Express" held a rehearsal last Sunday night. I'm only guessing, but it's fairly safe to say the average age in this group is probably somewhere around 62. At 50, I'm one of the babies in the group. During rehearsal, this band, consisting of 15 members, practiced social distancing. Imagine, if you will, a trumpet section wearing face masks. That's us in the photo at top. In this case, the rhythm section members, consisting of piano, drums, and bass, were able to wear masks for the duration of the rehearsal.

Last Saturday night, June 27, local group The Desert Flyer Band hosted an event called "Distance Jam." This was a coordinated effort between the band and the residents of a neighborhood. The audience members were in need of a safe way to enjoy a little entertainment, and the band was in need of determining if their equipment still works after having spent three-and-a-half months stashed in a trailer.

Grand Junction Distance Jam June 2020
Waylon Jordan

One area event, the Tuesday Blues Jam at Charlie Dwellington's, kicked back into action a few weeks ago. Social distancing restrictions are in place and are being followed. According to the Tuesday Blues Jam Facebook page:

...we are planning on doing our "Baby Blues Jam". It went very well last time because everyone was on board with following the rules we have to use to do this. They will still be in effect. 50% capacity. That means no more than 40 folks on the patio and another 30 inside. Masks required if you are not at your seat or in front of a microphone.


So, what's in store for the Grand Valley as the holiday weekend approaches. You'll find live entertainment all over the region. Okay, not a ton of it, but there is live music to be found. Here's a quick rundown:

Friday, July 3

  • 8 p.m. - Gary Russel Band at Winger's Bar and Pool Hall in Clifton

Saturday, July 4

  • 4 pm. - Tim + Richard at Garfield Estates
  • 7 p.m. - Desert Flyer Band at the Grand Junction Moose Lodge (outside)
  • 7 p.m. - Goodman Band at the Wildhorse Roadhouse in Debeque
  • 8 p.m. - Gary Russel Band at the Elks Lodge in Montrose

 Sunday, July 5

  • 2 p.m. - Goodman Band at the Wildhorse Roadhouse in Debeque

Sorry if I missed anyone. That's a pretty good lineup. Using the existing social distancing protocols, along with a little common sense and common courtesy, we can all have a good time while staying safe. Support your local bands and check out an upcoming performance or two.

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