Denver Jazz Quartet

DENVER JAZZ QUARTET performs at a variety of venues from small to large, from live corporate entertainment to club dates to jazz festivals.

The group performs primarily as an instrumental jazz quartet or sometimes as a jazz trio. The Denver Jazz Quartet can also be augmented by adding another instrument or a vocalist. The DJQ has performed with some of the finest jazz singers both locally and nationally.

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Charlie Zanichelli

Charlie Z has played professionally for over 40 years, playing classical music to jazz. As a clarinetist, he started studying privately with the woodwind professor in residence at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, Kansas at the age of 12. During high school, Charlie started playing gigs with local rhythm sections developing his ability to improvise on standards. After high school, Charlie received his degree in music from the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. During his college years, Charlie began to also include the Alto and Tenor Saxophones and began playing in some of the night clubs in K.C.

In 1967 Charlie joined the Air Force Concert Band in Washington D.C. For the next four years, he performed for U.S. Presidents and dignitaries both nationally and internationally. Finally in 1974, Charlie made his home in Denver, Colorado and has lived there since.

Over the years, Charlie has performed with such jazz notables as Roseanna Vitro, Dick Hindman, Richy Cole, Dave Zoller, Eric Gunnison, Bruce Forman, Paul Warburton, and many others. He has toured with Doc Severinson and Red Skelton and has performed at many jazz festivals including Telluride, CO. The DJQ was one of the featured groups at the Queenstown, New Zealand Jazz Festival in 2004.

As a producer, "Z" and his company Zanichelli Productions brought some of the finest names in Jazz to Denver and presented them in concert with their recording and touring groups. Such notables included Milt Jackson, Herb Ellis, Stanley Turrentine, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Farrell, Ray Brown, Monte Alexander, Gene Harris, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich Orchestra and the Woody Herman Orchestra among many others. The Woody Herman concert at Mammath Event Center also was declared "Woody Herman Day" by Mayor Frederico Pena. It was Woody's 50th anniversary tour.

Charlie is now concentrating his time as both a soloist in the Denver Jazz Quartet as well as general manager and promotions director for the DJQ. He has also started another company, Zanichelli Entertainment, which will focus on promoting both local and national jazz artists in concerts both in Colorado and nationally.



Doug Roche

Doug has over 40 years of experience as a professional freelance pianist, specializing in jazz. He studied with pianists Bobby Timmons and Herbie Hancock in high school, joined the Navy Show Band (’71-’75), and then majored in jazz studies at NorthTexas State. International tours followed with The Lettermen (’78-’81). Coming to Denver in the mid-80’s, he played the exclusive Moulin Rouge room at the Denver Fairmont Hotel backing such national acts as Kenny Rankin, The Mills Brothers, The Modernaires, Lanie Kazan, Johnny Otis, Carol Lawrence and Red Skelton. In the San Francisco Bay area (’88-’90), he performed with the Full Faith and Credit Big Band.

Since making Denver his permanent home in 1990, Doug has performed with a cavalcade of jazz icons, including Buddy De Franco, Joe Farrell, Nick Brignola, Teddy Edwards, Terry Gibbs, Red Holloway, Eddie Harris, Richie Cole, Lew Tabakin, and Bobby Shew to name a few. 1993 and 1996 found him backing Roseanna Vitro and Giacamo Gates, respectively, at the Telluride Jazz Celebration (broadcast on NPR). Also in 1996, Doug served as pianist and assistant musical director for "It Ain’t Nothin’ But the
Blues" at the Cleveland Playhouse in conjunction with the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Currently, Doug teaches jazz piano privately and does recording projects at his home studio "Studio By the Lake". He can be heard performing at many different venues around Denver such as the Brown Palace and others.


Ron Bland

Ron has been a professional musician for over 40 years, playing virtually all styles of music in every setting from concert hall to theater to the recording studio. At home performing on both the electric and double basses, Ron also has a particular fondness for teaching, which he does at the University of Colorado at Denver, Colorado Christian University, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. Being a big softie when it comes to kids, Ron has been part of Inside the Orchestra’s & "Tiny Tots" program for decades and plays “side by side” concerts with students and the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.

Ron has performed with many jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Eddie Daniels, Billy Taylor, Kurt Elling, Lawrence Hobgood, Shelly Berg, Michael Wolff, Bill Watrous, Tom Scott, Bobby McFerrin, Red Rodney, Phil Wilson, Byron Stripling, Clare Fischer, Diane Schuur and Doc Severinson. He has appeared with the Colorado Symphony and Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestras as well as numerous festival orchestras. Broadway show work includes the national companies of "Chorus Line", "The Color Purple" and "Legally Blonde" at Denver’s Buell Theatre. Ron has played concert performances with Pavarotti, Bocelli, Earth, Wind and Fire, Yes, Marvin Hamlisch, Linda Ronstadt, Maureen McGovern, Rosemary Clooney, Billy Crystal, Pete Barbutti and many others.

Ron played the U.S. Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. in 2001 and has played corporate and private social events all over the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe. With the DJQ he played the Queenstown Jazz Festival in New Zealand. As part of the Park Hill Brass and the Rocky Mountain Trio Ron played for several summers in the “Jazz in the Vercors” festival in the Alps of southern France. He was also part of the workshop associated with the festival.

Along with his work as part of the Denver Jazz Quartet, Ron regularly performs with Purnell Steen & LeJazz Machine, Moment’s Notice, After Midnight and just about everyone else at one time or another!


Don Grove

A Colorado native, Don has performed professionally for over 30 years. Although he prefers jazz and blues today, he took a tour of the west coast in the early 70’s long enough to perform with The Doobie Brothers (’70-’71) and record with Six Penny Opera (’72-’73). Don has also successfully ventured into the field of musical composition - his score for the movie "Let There Be Rain" helped make it a Cannes Film Festival winner in 1971.

Sought after by the best, Don has worked with a long list of top professionals including Clark Terry, Herb Alpert, Spike Robinson, Richie Cole, Rob Mullins, Harry Allen, Frank Tate, Rickey Woodard, Carl Fontana, Keeter Betts, Plaz Johnson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Warren Vache Jr., Rebecca Kilgore, Barbara Morrison and many others. Part of his later career has taken him into the musical promotions business and, as part of that work, Don put together the early foundations of what was to grow in to the Denver Jazz Quartet. Along with his steady work with the DJQ, he is seen regularly every year with numerous .feature’ groups at jazz, blues, and "traditional jazz" festivals in the western U.S.