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History of the Denver Folklore Center

The Denver Folklore Center (DFC) has been the hub of the acoustic music scene in Denver since Harry Tuft opened the doors on East 17th Avenue in 1962. Modeled after the famed Folklore Center in New York City, the Denver store welcomed artists like 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 Kottke. 

Learn more about our history in our 50th Anniversary Program.

Historic Photo Gallery

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

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

After a brief closure in the ‘80s, Harry reopened the DFC in 1993 at its current location.

In 2016, Harry decided to return to his first love, performing on stage, and sold his beloved DFC to friends and supporters, Saul Rosenthal and Claude Brachfeld, who honored Harry’s legacy until 2023, when the shop was sold to long time manager Ian Dehmel, who continues to uphold the legacy of the store and its beloved customers. The DFC has always been, and will continue to be, a welcoming home for the acoustic music community. For more about Harry Tuft, go here. 

Harry Tuft, the DFC Founder