Colorado jazz legend celebrates 101st birthday at Red Rocks Amphitheater – CBS Denver

MORRISON, Colorado (CBS4) –The Colorado Music Hall of Fame received a visit from its oldest inductee on Saturday. The museum has made its home in Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Charles Burrell turns 101 this Monday.

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(credit: Colorado Music Hall of Fame / Kevin J. Beaty)

As part of his birthday celebration, his visit to the museum included a trip to the amphitheater where he performed as the first black musician to be signed in a symphony orchestra.

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As a musician trying to make a living honestly, he used the money he earned painting and washing seats at the Red Rocks Amphitheater to pay his bills.

(credit: Colorado Music Hall of Fame / Kevin J. Beaty)

“It’s definitely one of the benches. I think he still remembers me. We had a whole association, ”Burrell said.

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Burrell has performed alongside Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan.


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Henry R. Wright