About the DJQ

Charlie Zanichelli   

Charlie started his musical career playing the clarinet at the age of twelve while living in Pittsburg, Kansas. He studied privately with the woodwind professor in residence at Kansas State College of Pittsburg. After high school, Charlie received his degree in music from the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. While attending college, Charlie trained himself to play both 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.

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, 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 and club dates both in Colorado and nationally.

Doug Roche   

Doug has over 30 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 North Texas 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 and theory and is an integral part of both the Lou Malandra Trio, which blends Poetry and Jazz into "PoeJazz" and the Denver Jazz Quartet. CD’s for both groups have been recorded and produced in his state-of-the-art digital recording studio "Studio By the Lake".

Ron Bland   

Ron has been a professional musician for over 30 years, playing virtually all styles of music in every setting from concert hall to theatre 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 College of Denver. Being a big softie when it comes to kids, Ron is part of the Junior Symphony Guild’s "Inside the Orchestra" and "Tiny Tots" programs as well as Denver Public School’s music mentoring program.

Ron has performed with many jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Eddie Daniels, Billy Taylor, 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. Recent show work includes the national companies of "Blood Brothers", "Grease" and "Big" at Denver’s Buell Theatre as well as performances with Pavarotti, Bob Hope, Rita Moreno, Marvin Hamlisch, Linda Ronstadt, Maureen McGovern, Rosemary Clooney, Billy Crystal, Buddy Greco, Pete Barbutti and Steve Allen (his last performance).

Along with his work as part of the Denver Jazz Quartet, Ron regularly performs with the Pan Jumbies steel drum band, Moment’s Notice, and The Olstad/Montgomery Big Band. With the Lou Malandra Trio he creates the bass stylings for "PoeJazz", an exciting blend of spoken word, jazz piano and bass.

Along with his work as part of the Denver Jazz Quartet, Ron regularly performs with the Pan Jumbies steel drum band, Moment’s Notice, and The Olstad/Montgomery Big Band. With the Lou Malandra Trio he creates the bass stylings for "PoeJazz", an exciting blend of spoken word, jazz piano and bass.

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.