PHOTOS: Local guitarists share stories behind the music

Area musicians perform, open up at Koelbel Library event

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At a local library's theater stage, musicians shared the stories — personal, emotional and humorous — behind the songs they've written over the years.

Koelbel Library's “Live: Singer and Songwriter Showcase” event March 4 drew five guitar-wielding artists with many decades of experience among them.

The recurring event puts a spotlight on audience interaction with the performers, who answer questions about their works. A small but attentive crowd heard lighthearted and heavy details alike.

Parker resident Doug Kolz, 70, played a song he wrote about Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old who died while trying to protect other students during the May 7 STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting.

“His name was Castillo, he is a hero,” went the chorus for the song, which lamented the shooting and offered thoughts on the sacrifice the young man made.

David East, a 68-year-old Parker resident, played jazzy solos that accompanied songs by the other musicians on stage.

East has played guitar for roughly 50 years and once performed in bands in his native San Diego, but he took a break while he raised a family and worked. He returned to music years ago and performs as a duo with Dave Schaper, who also spun songs at the Koelbel event more than once.

East enjoys the songwriter showcase “because of its intimacy,” he said.

It's an opportunity not only to play the music but to talk about it to a receptive audience,” East said.

The musicians are well-connected in the south Denver metro music scene and are familiar with each other.

Overn hosts the Sunday Song Circle — an acoustic “community jam,” he calls it — at Lincoln Station Coffee/Pizza/Music, a venue for open-mic nights and live performances in the Lone Tree area just south of Interstate 25 and C-470 along the light rail line. That takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Koelbel's singer and songwriter event occurred a few times in recent months and may happen again in spring. For more information or to inquire about the program, visit www.arapahoelibraries.org.

Koelbel Library is at 5955 S. Holly St. in Centennial.

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