When seven-year-old Ryan Anthony first blew the trumpet, he had no idea that, years later, that sound would become his self-proclaimed battle cry. Having played brass in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 12 years, performing in concert halls around the world, he’s accompanied some of the industry’s most talented musicians—including Doc Severinsen, the renowned jazz trumpeter known for leading Johnny Carson’s band on The Tonight Show.
But the true value of those industry relationships didn’t reveal themselves until five years ago, when Anthony was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. A specialist estimated he had two or three years to live; he prepared himself for a stem-cell transplant and intensive chemotherapy; he pictured his wife and young children without him. Severinsen, expressing his deep sympathy, asked Anthony if there was anything he could do. Anthony asked, “Promise me we’ll share the stage again one day.” Severinsen agreed. What started as an inspiring message to push him through his treatment inched closer and closer to a reality. He told his wife, Niki, that they could really pull this thing off—a concert featuring the best of the best in brass, including Anthony himself. “Yeah,” they joked, “and we’ll call it Cancer Blows.”
The name stuck, and soon enough, Cancer Blows events became a staple for the nonprofit Ryan Anthony Foundation, putting together concerts with some of the biggest names in music to raise funds for blood cancer and multiple myeloma research.
Colorado will get a taste of the brass talent on Friday, when the foundation partners up with Lone Tree Brewing Company to host a concert dinner at Snooze an A.M. Eatery in Lone Tree. Anthony and the H2 Big Band—fronted by Denver-based trumpeter Al Hood—will accompany the dinner, which features four courses paired with beer from Lone Tree Brewing Company, an IPA collaboration with Cannonball Creek Brewing Company, and whiskey from Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Guests can expect dishes ranging from steak medallions to toasted ciabatta with ham and pork, to cupcakes and cookies from Suga Me Sweet in Highlands Ranch.
Christine West, the unofficial “charity coordinator” at Lone Tree Brewing Company and the daughter of one of Anthony’s colleagues in the Dallas Symphony, says the goal of the dinner is the same for any other Cancer Blows event: Raise the next dollar. Find the next medication. Give Anthony (and others like him) the next year of his life. Although Anthony’s cancer has since reemerged, he remains optimistic: He cites that, when he was first diagnosed, none of the five drugs he’s used this year were in existence. He likes to think Cancer Blows—and his own determination to keep playing—have had a hand in that progress.
If you go: The dinner takes place at Snooze An A.M. Eatery in Lone Tree, 10002 Commons St., on Friday, July 6. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com or at the Lone Tree Brewing Company tasting room.