Miguel Espinoza Fusion at Dazzle Denver

Review by Toni Tresca

On a crisp evening in Denver, as the city brushed away the remnants of recent snow, Dazzle Denver came alive with a vibe that was anything but cold, thanks to the fiery ensemble known as Miguel ‘ Espinoza Fusion

Miguel Espinoza Fusion

The quartet, known for their virtuosic blending of musical traditions, performed as a trio due to weather-related absences, but their performance on March 15 was no less captivating. For those unacquainted with Dazzle’s recent relocation to the Denver Performing Arts Complex in August 2023, the new location is a refined and welcoming space. 

Upon entering, guests are greeted by a long bar and piano lounge area. The venue’s design is inspired by its original Capitol Hill location but with a more intimate atmosphere. The main listening room, known as “The Main Listening Room,” is designed to accommodate 140 guests nightly, with the capability to expand to 240. 

The room’s aesthetic is characterized by clean lines, dark colors, and strategic pops of color. Although the new dinner menu aims to combine Italian, Mexican, and traditional bar food, there is room for refinement and focus. Opting for the safer haven of their drink menu, my excitement for the evening’s musical offerings remained unabated.

David Hinojosa

The group, composed of Miguel Espinoza on flamenco guitar, Dianne Betkowski on cello, and David Hinojosa on percussion, embarked on a musical journey that spanned genres, cultures, and emotions. Their first song, “Veneta,” set a high bar for the evening, showcasing a rhythmic interplay that felt both competitive and cooperative, a testament to the individual mastery of each artist and their collective synergy.

Miguel’s introduction of the band and their ethos of blending diverse musical elements set the tone for their next piece, “Kushlamar,” humorously nodding to Colorado’s laid-back, stoner reputation. Despite the absence of their bassist, Randy Hoepker, the trio’s performance was so cohesive that one might never have known they were a member down — a sentiment echoed by surprised murmurs from neighboring tables when this fact was mentioned.


For those who missed this remarkable performance, fear not — the ensemble has an array of upcoming local shows ahead of the group’s autumn tour of the Midwest and December tour of New Mexico. From intimate duo performances to grand outdoor concerts, Miguel Espinoza Fusion is poised to continue its journey, sharing its unique sound and vision. 

Throughout the evening, the band navigated through a setlist of eight songs, each preceded by personal anecdotes or inspirations behind the compositions. This narrative thread added depth to their performance, giving the audience a glimpse of the creative process behind each piece. Notably, the inclusion of new compositions alongside established favorites from their discography provided a fresh and dynamic listening experience.

The performance crescendoed with “The Storm,” a piece that mirrored its namesake’s buildup and intensity, showcasing the group’s ability to evoke vivid imagery through their music. This closing number left the audience exhilarated, a testament to the trio’s skill in crafting a narrative arc that was both engaging and emotionally resonant.

Dazzle Jazz Club

Miguel Espinoza Fusion’s performance at Dazzle Denver was a testament to their musical brilliance and their ability to adapt and shine, even a member short. Their rich tapestry of flamenco, classical, jazz, and world music traditions, combined with their genuine joy in performance, created an unforgettable experience for all who attended.

While Dazzle Denver’s culinary aspirations may not have hit the same high note as the evening’s music, the experience reaffirmed that when it comes to Miguel Espinoza Fusion, the main course is always their unparalleled musical feast.

Learn more about Miguel Espinoza Fusion and upcoming shows at miguelespinozafusion.com.

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