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The Denver Folklore Center

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Overview

Ever since Harry Tuft opened the Denver Folklore Center (DFC) on East 17th Avenue in 1962, the store has been the hub of the folk and acoustic music scene in Denver. Modeled after the original Folklore Center in New York City, the Denver version has attracted such well-known artists as Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Arlo Guthrie, Elizabeth Cotton, Muddy Waters, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Geoff Muldaur, John Phillips and Leo Kotke.

Over the years the DFC has also been the launching pad for many performers including Hot Rize, Grubstake, Otis Taylor, Tim and Molly O’Brien and Trout Steak Revival, some of whom formed their bands while employed at the store.

The Folklore Center also gave birth to Swallow Hill Music Association, now the largest music school and concert venue dedicated to roots, acoustic and folk music west of Chicago. One of the performance halls at Swallow Hill is appropriately named in honor of Harry Tuft.

After a brief period of being closed during the 1980s while Harry pursued other career opportunities, DFC re-opened at 1893 S. Pearl Street in Denver in 1993.

In 2016 Harry decided to return to his first love of performing on stage and sold DFC to friends and supporters Saul Rosenthal and Claude Brachfeld who plan to honor the legacy Harry created by preserving the spirit of the store and introducing the next generations of musicians and music lovers to the DFC experience and community.