Introducing the opening acts of our 2024 Summer Concert Series

by Leslie Simon

One of the great things about attending a concert at the Arvada Center is that sometimes you get a two-for-one deal with a really great opening act included! For this summer, five of our acts so far have opening acts that are talented, fun, and not to be missed. Keep reading to learn more about these up-and-comers, and then grab your ticket to come see them before they are giant stars.

Jake Leg (opening for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder - July 9)

Jake Leg is a Denver, Colorado bluegrass band with a fun fact - nobody named Jake Leg is in the band! Formed in 2021, guitarist/vocalist Eric Wiggs, mandolin/vocals Dylan McCarthy, fiddle player Justin Hoffenberg and bass player Aaron Hoffenberg (brother of Justin) have been pickin’ and fiddlin’ through the Front Range in various bands, with this group forming after playing together in All Wheel Drive, a Béla Fleck tribute act. Named one of the “10 Top Colorado Bluegrass Bands” by Denver Westword, their debut album Fire on the Prairie was released this past May. 

The name Jake Leg comes from a type of neurological paralysis you could get from drinking moonshine, sometimes caused by lead leaking into the product from the makeshift stills. The symptom has been memorialized in song, dance, and vernacular slang.


The Jauntee (opening for Tower of Power - July 28)

Fans of improvisational rock do not want to miss this show! Combining jazz, funk, and progressive rock with psychedelic jams and virtuoso playing, Boston’s The Jauntee goal is to blow your mind. With accessible originals and crowd-pleasing covers from bands such as The Beatles, Phish, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, Talking Heads, Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and more, The Jauntee are not afraid to take on the greats - and they do so with grace and talent. Make sure to get to this show early so you can see why guitarist Caton Sollenberger, bassist John Loland, keyboardist Tyler Adams, and drummer Scott Ferber have such a dedicated fanbase. Maybe you will be their next big fan!


Judith Hill (opening for Corinne Bailey Rae - August 9)

Ginger Sole PhotographyThis Los Angeles former backup singer for Michael Jackson (including "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" from This Is It), Prince and Josh Groban has taken the lead with her powerful voice and latest album Letters From a Black Widow, released April 26. Featured in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom about backup singers and winning a Grammy for Best Music Film for it, Judith Hill’s appearance on the fourth season of The Voice showed that she was a talent that demanded to be front and center. 

With a Japanese pianist mother and her father being session bassist Robert Lee "Pee Wee" Hill, Judith plays guitar and speaks fluent English, Japanese, French and Spanish. Her debut album Back In Time (2015) was recorded at Paisley Park with Prince taking her on as his protégé and co-producing, and she has also sang backup vocals for Carole King, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, Rod Stewart, Incubus - even Barry Manilow. We are honored to have this rising star play in our Outdoor Amphitheatre, and we hope you are moved by her show as the sounds range from jazz to soul to funk to gospel. (photo by Ginger Sole Photography)


Stafford Hunter& Universal Rhythms (opening for Preservation Hall Jazz Band - August 25)

You have never seen a sea shell played like this before! Multi-Grammy-nominated trombonist and sea shells player Stafford Hunter has been playing professionally since 16, having recorded and toured with fellow musicians including Lauryn Hill, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Dionne Warwick, Lenny Kravitz, Roy Hargrove, Clark Terry - the list goes on and on! With his latest album "Universal Rhythms," he draws inspiration from the sounds of "New Orleans to the Caribbean, Latin American to Mother Africa, and everywhere in between." This exciting jazz musician now resides in Denver, CO. The rest of his band includes Ben Markley (piano), Mark Diamond (bass/vox), Jay Forest (drums/vox).

Jobi Riccio (opening for Yola - August 30)

When you are born and raised not far from Red Rocks Amphitheatre, music gets in your blood. Morrison, Colorado born-and-raised, Jobi Riccio is on a fast track to musical stardom, having already been awarded the 2019 Lee Villiare Scholarship from her alma mater Berklee College of Music, and the John Prine Songwriter Fellowship from the Newport Festivals Foundation. With comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow, this songwriter's nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year from the Americana Music Association shows that people are really paying attention. 

Mathias Lattin (opening for Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - August 31)

At only 20-years-old, Houstonian Mathias Lattin won the 2023 International Blues Challenge and Best Guitarist awards - the youngest person ever to win in both categories! Growing up he split his teen years between attending the Kinder High School of Performing and Visual Arts and playing the weekly blues jam sessions at legendary Houston blues club The Big Easy, and within a couple years had elevated to gigs such as the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.  Now 21, this promising Texas blues guitarist self-produced his debut full-length album Up Next that was released in October 2023, and the accolades are pouring in. Be able to say “I saw him play way back when” at this evening featuring the best of the best of young blues guitarists.


Pixie & The Partygrass Boys (opening for Big Richard - September 7)

Mark Jeffery PhotographyWhat happens when a group of Utah ski bums get together and start playing house parties? Why, quick-route to total world domination, of course. Perfect for Colorado audiences, Pixie & The Partygrass Boys have so much fun onstage that the audience can’t help but have fun too. Armed with silly outfits, anthems you can sing along to, and the most positive of vibes, this group has graced the stages of Winter Wondergrass, High Sierra Music Festival, and Jam Cruise, as well as opened for acts such as Billy Strings, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Lake Street Dive. We are excited to add the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheatre to that roster. (photo by Mark Jeffery Photography)

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