George Cessna takes over the hi-dive reservation
In April, hi-dive co-owner Curtis Wallach will have his hands full when he opens another concert venue, Trinidad Lounge. Wallach, who moved to Trinidad in November, figured that since he wouldn’t be able to give his all to high diving, as he has done with co-owner Matty Clark since 2012, he wanted to give up his talent for buying duties. . Wallach wanted someone who had been on the road and saw the reservation on the other side.
“I just don’t trust the promoters who haven’t seen it from the other side,” Wallach says.
So he enlisted the help of 29-year-old George Cessna, who has been the bassist for his father’s band Slim Cessna’s Auto Club since 2019. Cessna also leads his own band, the Snakes, was a member of the Sterling Sisters and also performs solo. .
“Matty and I really don’t want the hi-dive to turn into an old island Denver rock club,” says Wallach, 40. “We were taking the pandemic to really see where we wanted the high diving to go next. And we wanted to stay relevant and have some fresh blood in there, and that just keeps on being exciting, and I think it keeps our finger on the pulse. ”
Cessna has worked at the gate and as a hi-dive bartender since returning to Denver three years ago. The city was his hometown before moving with his family to Rhode Island and Pittsburgh, then going to college in Baltimore. He performed his first show at the age of fifteen and started performing with his father as a teenager.
As the chief talent buyer at Hi-dive, Cessna, who will share booking responsibilities with Clark and Maggie Moody, says he will try to add to Wallach and Clark’s legacy for a decade.
“Curt wants us to use the space like ours and modify it as we see fit,” Cessna says. “So I don’t think it will be exactly the same, but it will be more just building on what he has done so far, which is very impressive.”
As for the musical direction Cessna will take, he says hi-dive has had a nice range of things that he has always enjoyed.
“It’s going to take a little while for me to understand my own take on the place,” Cessna says. “I think that will come naturally over time – or I hope. I think working with Matty and Maggie as a team is going to be really helpful, and it will be more all of our voices working in that direction, not just me. So I don’t want to say one thing or another. But we certainly continue to build on Curt’s work, and we’ll take a lot of that back when the shows fully return, which will be great. ”
While hi-dive has hardly anything on the books until May, it may not be until the end of the summer before, as Wallach puts it, the place offers “shows that are at. new fun ”. Cessna says he’s reserving seriously enough for the fall, bringing in local and touring artists who are friends of the venue, who will be okay if they don’t play shows at full capacity under COVID restrictions in constant evolution.
Considering the hi-dive has only had one show in the past year and the next show is around a month, Cessna says it’s a great time to chill out in her new concert and not be overwhelmed by a whole lot of things at once.
When the hi-dive gets ready for the shows again, Wallach says, the room will be totally different, since he, Clark and Moody used last year to make a number of long-needed improvements to the space, like patch holes in the ceiling, renovate downstairs office space and other things.
“It will be very different from what it was last March,” Wallach said.