About us

Mission statement
Creative Music Works connects artists to audiences, while working to inspire, educate, and challenge listeners and to cultivate the role of jazz, improvisation, and experimental music in today’s culture. Creative Music Works is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

What we do
Creative Music Works is one of the few performing arts organizations on the Front Range to provide consistent and significant support for high quality musical innovation. We endeavor to bring musical diversity, imagination and uniqueness to area audiences through concert performances, educational events, workshops and artist lectures.

Our working board of directors is responsible for making the music happen. Drawing from a diverse cross section of the community the current board includes music educators, business retailers, audio recording engineers and political organizers. Creative Music Works is funded by members, individual and small business donations, ticket revenues, and grant and foundation money.

Since 1992, CMW Educational Outreach has arranged for clinics and performances to be held in K-12 classrooms and on college campuses. Jazz majors from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, as well as other Colorado and touring artists have participated in the effort. Such efforts enable this special music to be understood and appreciated by an ever-widening audience.

Our education program is current under development. If you are interested in getting involved with Creative Music Works and working on such projects, please email us.


  • Serving the community since 1989.
  • Hundreds of local, national and international performers have taken the stage for audiences of thousands.
  • Thousands of students have taken part in educational presentations and performances exploring the history of jazz and creative music.
  • Numerous press and public recognitions for outstanding achievement from the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post and Westword, including: 2008 Performing Arts Masterminds Award, Best Avant Garde Producer, Best Jazz Big Band
  • Three National Endowment for the Arts Awards
  • Regional grant and foundation awards including the Scientific Cultural Facilities District, Denver Mayors Office, Denver Foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Fund
  • Partnerships and collaborations with business and non-profit organizations including Black and Read Books and Music, Swallow Hill Music Association, ReR USA, Twist and Shout, KGNU radio, and KUVO radio.

Ron Miles, Colorado’s vanguard trumpeter and Metropolitan State College of Denver professor:

At times Creative Music Works has stood alone in presenting new & vital music, and it certainly has always been a leader. I consider it one of the signatures of our community. It’s incredibly important.

Creative Music Works was born of founder Alex Lemski’s vision of uncompromising freedom of expression for musicians. Creative Music Works first shows were intimate house parties where the best and brightest of Denver’s jazz contemporary avant garde musicians pushed musical boundaries. Among these early collaborators were Fred Hess, Ron Miles, Lynn Baker, and many more.


Matthew Garrington, Executive Director

Board of Directors

Dan Fairchild, Secretary

Janet Feder, Treasurer

Mark Harris, President