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Colorado Mountain College presents lively ‘community music’ Feb. 20. By Carrie Click

Swing Je T'aime is coming to CMC in Rifle. Photo Kendra Gaines

Swing Je T’aime is coming to CMC in Rifle. Photo Kendra Gaines

By this time, winter may be getting you down, but an upcoming live concert at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle is sure to pick up the spirits of even the most ornery among us. Not only that – the concert is free and Grand River Health is sponsoring a complementary post-concert reception.

Swing Je T’aime will perform in the Clough Auditorium at CMC’s campus in Rifle from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 20.

Swing Je T’aime is a Denver-based group that features a six-piece band and female vocalist. If you like the music of the great gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, you’ll enjoy the music of Swing Je T’aime. And if Reinhardt’s name doesn’t ring a bell, give it a try – gypsy jazz is among the most accessible forms of jazz. And if you know how to swing dance, all the better.

“I chose them because I love gypsy swing music, and thought that the people in Rifle would love them too,” said Alice Beauchamp, CMC ArtShare director, who books concerts and arranges art exhibits and cultural events at the college’s 11 locations.

Beauchamp was right. It turns out that this is a return gig for Swing Je T’aime in Rifle.

“After booking them, I found out that they have played for the Rifle summer concert series,” Beauchamp said. “People loved them and asked that they return someday.”

The group describes itself as “gypsy jazz, Parisian swing, American swing and a dash of Brazilian,” and is a favorite at Front Range venues such as the Five Points Jazz Festival, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. They’ve also played around the state including shows in Crested Butte, Beaver Creek and Pueblo, and will be touring Europe later this spring.

“Gypsy jazz is community music,” said Aaron Walker, the group’s director and guitarist. “It’s the farthest thing from the academic, abstract jazz that we find in clubs today. Rather, it’s a pleasing blend of folk music from around the globe.”

Walker, in contrast to his group’s non-academic focus, received his master’s degree in music composition and theory from the University of Northern Colorado. He founded Swing Je T’aime in 2009, which currently includes vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, fiddle, reeds (clarinet and saxophone), bass and percussion.

They’ll take the stage at the Clough Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle, 3695 Airport Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 20. The concert is sponsored by Chevron. For more information about the concert, contact Beauchamp at 947-8367 or go to http://coloradomtn.edu/event/swing-je-taime-concert/.