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Open-air concert celebrates best ‘fun’ town

July 4, 2012

Welcome, Fresh Traveler,

Denton County Historical Courthouse Square

to Denton, and Happy Fourth – and Fifth!

Dentonites have been vying for status as a Dallas day-trip desitination and now a designation as “Best of the Road” Fun Town through Rand McNally and USA Today.

Very cool of Denton – when you plan to listen to Live Jazz at a local venue, you aren’t isolated from other good times along the way.

July 5 – Twilight Tunes, EAST/Locust St. side of the Courthouse-on-the-Square lawn, 110 W. Hickory St., features Lisa Markley and her band of Ne’er–Do-Wells (Jazz/Folk/70’s & 80’s Covers )
Lisa Markley and her band of Ne’er-Do-Wells: Jeffrey Barnes (of Grammy award winning Brave Combo) on woodwinds, Paul Slavens (KXT Dallas, Ten Hands) on keys, and Bach Wilder Norwood on bass (Boy Wonder) – other amazing and wonderful guests may sit in…

This week’s Tunes has a special pre-show by the Best of the Road Team Fresh Traveler judge Anna Haas starting at 5:50 p.m.

Twilight Tunes crowd

This event will offer a sampling of what you can find at the Community Market, and some of Denton’s other FUN festivals. Bring your lawn chair or blanket, grab a bite to eat downtown and enjoy and evening of great live music – Denton style

But wait, there’s more – The “Welcome to Denton!” sign contest sponsored by DiscoverDenton. Make a sign – any size, include the color orange, and  the words “Welcome” and “Fresh Traveler,” photograph the sign at the July 5 Twilight Tunes event and upload it to the Denton’s Fun Welcome Sign Contest page to enter. Deadline is July 6, yes, the next day.)

I’ll be there with my sign!

I discovered the multi-level, fun factor while visiting my boyfriend in Denton, and now having moved here to be with my guy (now my husband), I can revel in  it.

West Texas, with its rustic, rough-hewn charm held sway for more years than I care to count, but the red dust, cattle, gorgeous sunsets and quiet, restrained nightlife lost out to a new life. Guaranteed, very little live jazz, and smaller chance still of tuning in Jazz on the radio.

(Stay with me, dear friends.)

One cool, breezy Sunday evening in May, enjoying coffee, cobbler and Denton’s Count BasieTribute Band on the Sweetwater Grill & Tavern patio, I realized how very special Denton is.

Count Basie

The 17-member Basie Tribute Big Band was playing an arrangement of “Nasty Blues,” when a couple and their college-age son, came through the door, looking for empty chairs. None were to be had – except at my table. I waved them over to join me. Between breaks in the two-hour performance I found my table mates had been drawn to Sweetwater by the inticing jazz wafting from open patio windows. Enjoying great music, good food and an appreciative crowd, the family from Pocatello, Idaho, were celebrating son’s University of North Texas senior Jazz Piano Recital set for the next day.

A standing-room-only (and spilling onto sidewalks and parking lots) crowd at Sweetwater that night proved to be a stellar night for Detonites, musicians and out-of-town visitors, all.

Synergy? Synchronicity? Just another day in Denton, Texas. (We’re gonna win.)

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