“A couple of Fridays ago, Leland Whitty, a multi-instrumentalist in the Canadian four-piece BadBadNotGood, padded barefoot to center stage to rip a searing solo over Englewood’s Gothic Theatre. The 1,100-capacity room, packed with Denver’s hip and with-it twentysomethings, roared in approval, toasting his effort with expensive cans of cheap beer.
It sounds like your typical weekend at a rock show. But Whitty was tangling with a flute, not a guitar, and BadBadNotGood isn’t a wiry rock band — it’s a wiry jazz quartet.
Once a pariah of youth culture, jazz is enjoying a resurgence with a hip slice of millennial fans and musicians near and far. As venues like Dazzle Jazz and the Meadowlark open their stages to informal jazz jam sessions every week, acts like BadBadNotGood and bassist Thundercat (who plays the Bluebird Theater next month) have leveraged their cross-generational appeal into top billing at rock rooms and massive music festivals.“