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Honoring Eddie Henderson

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When a jazz musician rolls into Denver for a performance, it's not often that a documentary film and immersive art exhibition await them. But jazz-great Eddie Henderson is no ordinary musician, nor has he led an ordinary life.

A few hours before Henderson played a two-show set at Denver's premier jazz venue, Dazzle, an exhibit called Time and Spaces: The Life of Eddie Henderson opened to the public at the CU Denver Experience Gallery in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. It features archival photos, one of Henderson's trumpets, and memorabilia, including a pair of skates he wore as a professional figure skater.

There was also a room to view a twenty-minute clip of the documentary Dr. Eddie Henderson: Uncommon Genius. The film examines the 83-year-old musician's life, including how he overcame racial barriers and broke into fields that underrepresented Black men. In the 1960s, he became a professional figure skater and a practicing medical doctor. The documentary by Michelle Carpenter will screen at film festivals nationwide and air on PBS in February.

Mark Rabideau, a tenured professor of music at Colorado University and a good friend to Henderson, had a big part in organizing this multifaced tribute; in fact, he assisted me with arranging this interview with Henderson.

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