Every fall, we look forward to welcoming back our students with a longstanding CU Denver tradition: the Block Party. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on group gatherings, this fall we had to cancel the in-person component and get creative. In partnership with Lynx Strong, University Events invites you to the first-ever virtual block party, coined Rock the Block, featuring an exclusive concert from three of Denver’s homegrown artists: Wildermiss, YaSi, and The Milk Blossoms. DJ Chonz, a CU Denver alum and host of the annual Block Party, will emcee.
Join the live stream on CU Denver’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube on Thursday, Oct. 22, from noon – 1:30 p.m., for a chance to win free swag from the bands and CU Denver, listen to great music, and virtually hang out with the Lynx community.
“This production is an example of CU Denver’s innovation and willingness to pitch in to support one another,” said Kelly Mason, assistant director of University Events. “I hope everyone takes moment to tune in and take a break together. We’ve got this, Lynx.”
An added bonus: the majority of these artists are alums of CU Denver. Read on to learn more.
While attending CU Denver, Cole met drummer Caleb Thoemke BS ’16, who studied recording arts in CAM, and one of the band’s guitarists, Seth Beamer BS ’17, who studied music performance and recording arts in CAM. Band member Joshua Hester, who had previously played in a rock band called Red Fox Run with Beamer and Thoemke, joined Wildermiss as a guitarist.
CU Denver, band members say, is where their impressive journey as musicians began. Seven years later, they’ve sold out every Denver headlining show since 2017, including at the renowned Red Rocks Amphitheater and Bluebird Theater, and they’ve been on multiple national tours. “We wouldn’t be here as a band if it weren’t for all of us coming to Denver to pursue music in higher education,” Cole said, emphasizing the people they met and connections they made at CU Denver.
During the pandemic, you may have heard the name Wildermiss on local news. The band played 13 shows on the back of a flatbed trailer in neighborhoods across the Denver metro area. If you’re interested in seeing the band play live, Globe Hall is hosting three socially distanced intimate nights with Wildermiss starting Thursday, Oct. 22.
Yasman Azimi, who goes by the nickname YaSi, is an Iranian-American artist who makes “introspective, genre-bending, and honest music,” her Facebook bio says. She calls her style ever-changing, but primarily pop.
YaSi BS ’16 studied music business in CAM, where she was introduced to the business side of the industry—skills that have made all the difference in her career. “The business side was more about reading contracts and understanding publishing deals,” she said. “It gave me a chance to learn what kind of artist I wanted to be and how to succeed in a business.” When CU Denver reached out to YaSi about Rock the Block, the decision was easy. “It’s fun to do stuff for CU Denver, where I got a lot of my knowledge about the industry that I’ve implemented in my career,” YaSi said.
YaSi started writing her extended play (EP) in January and went on tour for a few months before the pandemic hit. Since then, she’s been writing and recording music in Denver.
The Milk Blossoms
Michelle Rocqet BS ’20 and Harmony Rose BA ’19 first met in choir class in high school. “I always loved Michelle’s voice, so I asked her if she wanted to start a band,” Rose said. Blair Larson joined the duo a year later, forming The Milk Blossoms.
Rose, who studied creative writing in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has used many of her poems as inspiration for song lyrics. She’s the band’s lead vocalist and plays the ukulele. Rocqet, who studied recording arts and performance in CAM, is a vocalist and Larson is on the keys. Together, the trio creates dark pop music.
The Milk Blossoms are currently focusing on their third album. They jumped at the opportunity to play for Rock the Block (which will feature performances by Rocqet and Rose) because of their respect for CU Denver. “It’s always an honor to do something for the university,” Rose said.
In times of challenge and uncertainty, music can be quite therapeutic. So on Thursday, Oct, 22, we encourage our students, faculty, and staff to take a break from work and studies, sit back and relax, and enjoy an intimate concert, created exclusively for our Lynx community.