Though he attributes his love of jazz partly to it being “truly America’s art form,” Derek Lucas is a native of New Zealand.
He recalls his first brush with jazz: “I saw a movie in 1959 that featured Louie Armstrong,” and from there Lucas was hooked. He started collecting records and learning from the vinyl tunes. He chose trumpet as his muse and even got to meet his strongest influence, the infamous Armstrong, in person a few years later.
Lucas moved to The States in 1972 to earn his pilot’s license (a profession he still daylights as when he’s not playing jazz). He played in a Greeley-based jazz band until moving to Denver in 1981 to form the Prohibition Six Jazz Band. The band performed at the Central City Jazz Festival in their inaugural year, with Lucas leading the band on trumpet.
The six-piece band includes trombone, saxophone, bass, piano, incredible vocals and, of course, Lucas’s trumpet. All members have impressive musical backgrounds and the group just came off a two-year stint at the St. Julian Hotel where they played bi-monthly. They continue to play throughout Colorado, belting the Early Jazz sounds of the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
“It’s spontaneous. You’ve got the melodies–which everyone knows–and you can add your touch,” says Lucas regarding his beloved Jazz, “and I just enjoy the hell out of playing it,” which is good enough reason for me.
Interested in booking the band? Drop them an email here.