Celebrating the great Freddy Rodriguez, Sr.
If you are a jazz enthusiast, then you know the music of world-renowned Freddy Rodriguez, Sr. The 89-year old jazz great died from COVID-19 complications last week. Rodriguez became ill, experiencing shortness of breath and was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago where he was immediately placed on a ventilator, but he lost the fight to the relentless COVID-19 a couple of weeks later.
Rodriguez was born in the San Luis Valley on February 9, 1931, but was raised in what is now called Auraria. An inductee of the Denver Jazz Hall of Fame, Rodriguez began his music career in junior high school where he learned to play the clarinet. He attended West High School where he honed his skills on the saxophone. He joined the military in 1948 where he played with the U.S. Army band. Returning to Denver in the early 50’s his love of jazz and his incomparable talent led him to the famous El Chapultepec nightclub on Market St. in LoDo. There he met and played with the best jazz names in the business like, Slide Hampton, Javon Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Bruno Carr and Harry Conick, Jr., to name a few.
Rodriguez was admired by so many Denverites, but he also had a worldwide fan following. Since 1980 you could find the cool and suave blend of jazz music at the Chapultepec where Rodriguez led the pack on many a night in a smoke-filled crowded club. His son Freddy Rodriguez, Jr. musician and vocalist was trained early on and served as Freddy Sr.’s pianist.
Rodriguez will forever represent the very best of jazz in Denver and around the world and the epitome of what love of music, hard work and determination mean. This all powerful combination is a legacy left by the late great gentleman and talented, Freddy Rodriguez, Sr.
Rodriguez’ wife of 70-plus years, Fina, son Freddy Rodriguez, Jr., two daughters and his fans mourn a music giant, but more importantly the family mourns a soul they called dad. The family will schedule a public memorial when a safer time is deemed.
Vaya con Dios, Freddy
VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began deploying Mobile Vet Center units, the week of March 16, to expand direct counseling, outreach and care coordination to Veterans in communities affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. VA’s Mobile Vet Centers can also refer active duty service members, Veterans and their families to VA care or other care facilities in the community. They serve as an extension of VA’s 300 brick-and-mortar Vet Centers across the country that provide a range of services, including individual, group, marriage and family counseling. Visit bit.ly/VAMblVetCntr for more information.
President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Colorado and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing. Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Colorado impacted by COVID-19.
On March 25, Governor Polis submitted an urgent request to the federal government to help Colorado deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Polis announced that President Trump and the federal government had approved the Governor’s request in declaring a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado. “Colorado is now eligible to receive additional federal resources to help address the global epidemic impacting our state, the nation, and the world. This declaration ensures that Colorado can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance,” said Governor Polis.
Effective immediately, the City and County of Denver has amended its Stay at Home directive by adopting the state’s latest Public Health Order in its entirety. This update aims to eliminate confusion in the community related to any differentiation between the two orders. Should the state issue revised, subsequent orders, they will be automatically adopted and applied to Denver’s order. “Each of us must take this directive seriously so that we can keep our community safe,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock.