CSU Spur Music Lab

Offering music workshops for all

CSU Spur Music Lab is a free, community-based, and culturally responsive music outreach program that provides music education workshops and performance opportunities for learners of all ages. Doors are open to all levels of musicians, but no previous music experience is required to enjoy this musical community. Come play some drums, piano, guitar, and ukulele with us!

Spur Music Lab Showcase

  • 1-2 p.m. on Second Saturdays @ Spur 
  • Performances by guest artists, visiting student groups, workshop participants, and is an open stage for anyone else looking for a place to perform!

Come share your artistry and play with other musicians.

Music Lab takes place monthly at CSU Spur on 2nd Saturdays

Music activities are also connected to the monthly themes of the Spur Campus to provide cross-curricular music education. Spring themes include:

  • April 13: "The Big Bloom" with Same Cloth’s JoFoKe and Solomon Chapman
  • May 11: "Moving and Grooving" with Tanaya Winder



2nd Saturdays @ CSU Spur: April 13, and May 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: CSU Spur is located in the Hydro Building at 4817 National Western Dr., Denver, CO 80216

Past Spur Sessions

A Collaboration between CSU Music Education and Take Note Colorado

Led by CSU Music Education students, and supervised by licensed Colorado music educators, the CSU Spur Music Lab collaborates with local guest performing artists from Take Note Colorado to provide culturally responsive music lessons and activities. Previous Guest Artists include Kid Astronaut, 2MX2, Pink Hawks, and Lolita Castañeda.

CSU Spur Music Lab works to provide meaningful musical experiences in underserved communities, celebrating diverse musical cultures, and empowering all participants to engage in active musical lives. Spur also strives to prepare music educators with culturally responsive teaching frameworks and experiences to successfully adapt to a variety of teaching environments in today’s public and community music programs.

CSU Spur Music Lab FAQ

What is the schedule?

  • 10 a.m.: Welcome with Guest Artists and Participants
  • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: MusicLab Workshops and Guest Artist Performances
  • 1-2 p.m. – CSU Spur Music Lab Showcase: Performance with guest artists and MusicLab participants

Workshops include ukulele, guitar, piano, voice, drums, and percussion.

How much does it cost? 

It's free!

How do we get there?

  • Individual Visits: By personal transportation or with other visiting programs
  • Group Visits: Contact katrina.hedrick@colostate.edu to help you organize your visit!

Music Lab Faculty

  • Sponsored by Take Note Colorado and Colorado State University Music Education Department.
  • CSU students interested in teaching at Music Lab should look for application submission deadlines for the following Spur season.

Upcoming Guest Artists

Same Cloth’s JoFoKe and Soloman ChapmanAPRIL 13: Same Cloth’s JoFoKe and Soloman Chapman

Same Cloth is a genre-bending, Denver-based, Black woman-led band that uses their peculiarities to share meaningful art. Same Cloth performs original music and creative cover arrangements, combining the diverse traditions of Black American Music to create an energetically eclectic and emotionally elevating live music experience.

JoFoKe: It is rare to find a vocal artist who can maneuver between genres while maintaining a genuine authenticity of each and the integrity of her voice. Spanning from classical to gospel to jazz through to rock, blues, pop, funk, and soul,  singer JoFoKe does this with ease. To enhance her sound, JoFoKe formed a group of equally versatile vocalists and instrumentalists. This band, “aNem” (and them), uniquely fuses the improvisatory aesthetic of Modern Jazz with Gospel and R&B/Soul. The repertoire of the group is eclectic, comfortably placing Jazz Standards alongside funky covers and soul-tinged originals. JoFoKe aNem creates an experience that is, both musically and spiritually enriching.

Solomon was first exposed to the world of classical music when he began formal piano lessons with the late Marie J. Clark at nine years old. Extracting from these lessons, and under the musical direction of his mother, Solomon began to serve as the lead pianist of St. John Church of God in Christ in Denver, Colorado. Through countless liturgical and academic performances, he became a gospel accompanist and collaborator in various music ministry projects across his hometowns of Aurora and Denver. Despite his fondness for instruction, directing, and performance, Solomon’s love for music composition remains most zealous. He has most recently written for the Parlando School for Musical Arts’ 2021 and 2022 Commissioned Composer Project. His work has also been featured in local ensembles such as Rhythm of Life Community Chorus, MSU Denver Wind Ensemble, and the ColomboAmerican Medellín’s Jazz Camp and Festival in Columbia, South America.

Tanya WinderMAY 11: Tanaya Winder is an author, singer/songwriter, and motivational speaker who comes from an intertribal lineage of Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, and Duckwater Shoshone Nations, where she is an enrolled citizen. She is a 2016 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40” emerging American Indian leader. Winder co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, a literary magazine publishing works by BIPOC women. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico.

Winder’s performances and talks blend storytelling, singing, and spoken word to teach about different expressions of love and “heartwork.” Her poetry collections include Words Like Love and Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless. Her specialties include youth & women empowerment, healing trauma through art, creative writing workshops, and mental wellness advocacy. You can learn more about her at: www.tanayawinder.com

Past Guest Artists

Tony SchiessMARCH 9: Tony Schiess is a guitarist, educator, and composer from Denver, Colorado. He has performed and taught all over the United States and gigs throughout Colorado with The TSB. Originally from Atlanta, Tony graduated from the University of North Carolina-Asheville with honors and Departmental Distinction while recording and performing in diverse groups such as the indie rock band Halfeven, The Jamie Thomas Acoustic Band, and jam band Rent Party. He has frequently performed alongside professors in local jazz clubs and orchestra pits for Asheville Theater Festivals. In addition, Tony was the guitar chair in The UNC-Asheville Big Band and a member of the school’s prestigious IAJCE Jazz Combo.

Ryan McCurryRyan McCurry grew up on Colorado’s Front Range and fell in love with the piano at a young age. He enjoyed performing in school concerts, recitals, and shows and set out to study wildlife biology in college. While attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, his plans shifted as he pursued a B.A. in Classical Piano Performance by day while gigging with rock, funk, jazz, salsa, reggae, and country bands by night. Ryan returned to the Front Range in 2022 after two decades of performing and teaching in after-school and adult music programs in Durango. He is a versatile player and an intuitive educator, and he believes that fun is the foundation of learning. Ryan feels fortunate to be living his dream - sharing in the joy of music with audiences and students alike.

Venus Cruz headshotVenus Cruz. From jazz to soul, hip hop to Afro-Latin, Denver-based vocalist Venus Cruz has opened for artists such as Gregory Porter, Hiatus Kaiyote, Black Thought of The Roots, Meshell Ndegeocello, Saul Williams, Zap Mama, Al Green, Guru, Vieux Farka Toure, Tinariwen, Big Freedia, GoGo Penguin, Corey Henry and Mark De Clive Lowe, to name a few.

Her projects include What Young Men Do and Super Distant Boyfriend, among others. She's opened for Grammy-nominated artists Hiatus Kaiyote and Emily King. In 2016, Venus opened for Grammy winner Gregory Porter at The Chautauqua Amphitheater in Boulder and played at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and City Park Jazz. In 2014, Cruz organized, directed, and performed in the Billie Holiday Centennial Celebration at Denver’s Union Station, bringing in a record performance crowd for the space. Cruz also performed at the Prince Tribute at Red Rocks. She's a yearly performer at the UMS festival in Denver.


Kayla Marque Kayla Marque is a singer-songwriter who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. In 2020 Marque released Brain Chemistry, a transcendent double album that dives deep into themes of self-love, trauma, and mental health all through the concept of examining the Right Brain and Left Brain. In 2021, Kayla Marque’s side project “The Grand Alliance” with Sur Ellz (Khalil Arcady) and Crl Crrll (Carl Carrell) released its funky, genre-bending self-titled debut The Grand Alliance. As the program manager at Diversify the Stage, Kayla Marque is looking to the future. Her next solo project promises to continue in a more playful energy, exploring themes of beauty, pleasure, and fantasy, while still grounded by the raw honesty that ties all her music together. kaylamarque.com/

Kid Astronaut

Kid Astronaut is a time and dimension traveling artist making futuristic R&B. Kid Astronaut (@kidastronavt) was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. His music is a heartfelt mixture of soul, pop, and engaging storytelling through lyrics that are an honest and revealing look into the soul of this adventurous songwriter. He is also the Co-founder of CONSCIOUS CREATIVES (@conscious.creatives), a Denver-based artist collective that believes in the idea "you are the creator of your reality, why not make it great?" linktr.ee/kidastronavt

Photo by @luckyjayded

headshotLolita Castañeda is a rising artist Mexican-American Latin pop artist who burst onto the streaming scene in 2018. Lolita combines a variety of compositional elements to form her unique and authentic sound. Artist, activist, and advocate for the arts, Lolita facilitates and encourages people, organizations, and companies who have a humanitarian objective. To date, Lolita has amassed hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, including her recent release, ‘I'm Not Waiting.' Lolita Castañeda


group photo2MX2 is a Latin Pop/HipHop group out of Colorado. They are known for their modern renditions of traditional Latin music into danceable urban rhythms that explore topics such as immigration, health, education reform and other matters of our time.  Band members are Owen Trujillo (aka 01), who was born in Zacatecas, Mexico; and Denver natives Juice ET Hugo, Lolita, DMD, and Kenny O. 2MX2


group photoPink Hawks are master-level world musicians garnering comparison to sonic innovators such as Fela Kuti’s Afro-beat and Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopiques Jazz. "Sun Ra's melodically off-the-rails piano playing, and the languid, sonically adventurous atmospheres of Yo La Tengo." (Tom Murphy, Westword) Put on your dancing pants as Pink Hawks set the floor on fire. Pink Hawks