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Summer Sights & Sounds: Music, Theater and Film In The Parks | Print |  E-mail

By Don Preziosi

Released from winter’s chains, it’s not unusual to burst into the great outdoors, making plans that quickly fill your summer calendar to overflowing with all manner of epic events and voyages.

THE BLACK LILLIES BRING THEIR EAST TENNESSEE, country-tinged Americana harmonies to Brewgrass, in the 1200 block of  S. Pearl St., Sat., June 8. Seven bands, hot food and cold beer make this a day not to be missed. Info: SouthPearlStreet.com. Tickets, $5. Photo: evolutionofafan.wordpress.com

We’d like to suggest that you set aside some time to relax here in the city, sampling from a diverse menu of free family fun. While there’s much to be done, this is the time of year when “the livin’ (is supposed to be) easy.”

From S. Pearl St. to Stapleton, from Four Mile Park’s Shady Grove to the stunning grandeur of Red Rocks, you can look forward to a roster of free and low-cost music and films beckoning your attention all summer long.

So pack up your peeps and a picnic, and get ready for another season of summer fun in the Mile High City.

South Pearl Street

2013 Summer Music Festivals

in the 1200 block of S. Pearl St.

For the seventh consecutive year, the merchants of South Pearl Street in cooperation with Swallow Hill Music invite blues and bluegrass lovers near and far to sample an impressive outlay of “tasty bands and full bodied music” at a pair of concerts to be held in the cozy confines of the 1200 block of S. Pearl St., between Buchtel Blvd. and Louisiana Ave. (Simplify parking, and minimize your footprint on the surrounding neighborhoods: take light rail, walk, or ride your bike. And bring a chair!)

The season kicks off on Sat., June 8, luring bluegrass aficionados to the area for BrewGrass, a mixture of hot licks and cold beers presenting Colorado in a fine light in both categories. Then, on Sat., Aug. 10 all sectors of the blues spectrum will be represented as Blues & Brews brings another strong musical lineup to the South Pearl stage.

Concerts run from noon-10p.m., and welcome all members of your tribe (but no pooches, please). This year’s admission charge is a still affordable $5. Once inside, you’ll have the chance to purchase a variety of microbrew beers as well as some downright tasty festival eats. All shows will take place rain or shine.

For information, visit SouthPearlStreet.com.

June 8


Mountain Standard Time • The Black Lillies

Humming House • Whitewater Ramble

Jonas Friddle & The Majority

Trout Steak Revival • Blue Canyon Boys

August 10

Blues & Brews

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials

Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues

Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band with Erica Brown

Delta Sonics with Ken Saydak

John Long Band • Jockamo

Bad Brad & The Fat Cats

LIL' ED & THE IMPERIALS HEADLINE SOUTH PEARL STREET'S BLUES & BREWS, SAT., AUG 10. Get your free concert fill Sunday nights at City Park Jazz; Saturdays at Stapleton Under The Stars; at South Platte Riverfest, June 22-23; and in parks across the city throughout the summer.

Southwest Movies

Skyline Park, Arapahoe St. at 16th St. Mall

Denver Parks and Recreation has almost totally withdrawn from the summer movie business, but Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District are picking up a good chunk of the slack, offering eight family-friendly flicks screened Saturdays at dusk at Skyline Park, Arapahoe St. at the 16th St. Mall. Lawn chairs, blankets and picnic treats are welcome, as are leashed, well-behaved canines. All films are G, PG or PG-13, with musical accompaniment before each show; allow some time to noodle around downtown to see what’s cooking before settling into a relaxing movie night.

ForSouthwest Movies info, visit downtowndenver.com.

July 6, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

July 13, A League of Their Own

July 20, The Lion King • July 27, Finding Nemo

Aug. 3, Father of The Bride

 Aug. 10, The Amazing Spider-Man

Aug. 17, E.T. • Aug. 24, Hotel Transylvania

Bike-in Movies

Civic Center Park, Colfax & Broadway

The Bike-In Movie Series will return for a fourth season, with free outdoor movies on a combination of Thursday and Friday nights in Civic Center Park. Shows feature a state-of-the-art 40-foot screen and a festive flavor. Attendees can bring picnics or purchase from on-site food trucks featuring the best in Denver’s burgeoning street food offerings – the show begins at dusk. Bike racks are provided. The series is produced by the Civic Center Conservancy, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the Outdoor Cinema Network, and is made possible with the support of: The Denver Post Community, Biennial of the Americas and Mexican Cultural Center, Colorado Rapids, University of Colorado Denver and FirstBank. Info: civiccenterconservancy.org.

Thur., July 18, Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) • Fri., Aug. 2, Despicable Me

Fri., Aug. 16, The Goonies • Fri., Sept. 13, Billy Madison

Larimer Square Summer Film Series

in the 1400 block of Larimer St.

Merchants of the storied and historic Larimer Square block will host four evenings of food and film this summer. Show days, offered monthly on Thursday eves feature two films: the first at 6p.m.; the other at about 8:30p.m. Movies are free and open to the public, but the real deal here is reserving a prime seat for dinner at outdoor dining spots set up by Larimer St. restaurants, so you can take in the flick from the expansive ease of your table. Reservations cost $20/person above the cost of the meal, with proceeds benefitting Denver Film Society and Larimer Arts Association. Those not dining may enjoy the film, but from standing room only – no chairs may be brought onto the block. Take light rail or bike on the scenic Cherry Creek bike path – or valet parking will be available at 15th & Larimer for $8/vehicle. Info: larimersummerfilmseries.com or 303-515-4846.

June 6 • 6p.m., Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; 8:30p.m., The Italian Job

July 11• 6p.m., The Sting; 8:30p.m., Chicago

Aug. 1 • 6p.m., City Slickers;8:30p.m., Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Sept. 12 • 6p.m., Breakfast at Tiffany’s;8:30p.m., Caddyshack

University of Denver Lamont School of Music

4th Annual Summer Carillon Recital Series

south of the Ritchie Athletic Complex

This unusual summer series highlights the 65-bell Williams Carillon located in the golden spire of the Ritchie Center athletic complex, at the southwest corner of Buchtel and University Blvd. Cast in 1999 by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry in The Netherlands, it’s the eighth largest carillon in North America by number of bells. Carillonneurs hailing from New Jersey to California will bring their substantial talent to DU’s bells; the best listening space is the courtyard at the south end of the Ritchie Center. All the free recitals take place Sunday evenings at 7p.m., and will be played rain or shine. Sit in the bleachers, or bring a chair, a picnic supper and enjoy! Info: Lamont Concert Line, 303-871-6412.

June 30 • Lisa Lonie (Princeton, New Jersey)

July 14 • Carol Jickling Lens (University of Denver)

July 28 • Lee Cobb (Clearwater, Florida)

Aug. 11 • Jeff Davis (University of California, Berkeley)

Aug. 25 • Joey Brink (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Stapleton Under The Stars

Film & Concert Series

Founders Green Amphitheatre, E. 29th Ave. at Stapleton Town Center

Founders Green comes alive throughout the summer months with a Concert Series featuring top-notch local musicians on Saturdays, starting at 6p.m. Movie Nights on Fridays begin at dark. Performances ofHairspray (in conjunction with the Aurora Fox Arts Center) will run in early June; Shakespeare on The Green will elevate the discourse a bit, Aug. 15-16. Admission is free to the general public. Grab a blanket or chairs, some sustenance for your clan, and head over to 29th Ave. & Quebec St. on The Green. No reservations necessary. Information: stapletondenver.com.

Theater and Concert Series

June 1, 7 & 8, 7p.m. • Theater on The Green – Hairspray

June 22 • Stapleton Rocks: A Concert for a Cause (noon-10p.m.)

July 6 • Hazel Miller Band

July 20 • Six Foot Joe & the Red Hot Rhinos

Aug. 3 • Soul School

Aug. 15 & 16, 6:30p.m. • Shakespeare on The Green

Aug. 17 (4-8p.m) • Beer Festival & Concert, featuring

Chris Daniels & the Kings/Young Austin Band

Sept. 7 • Dotsero

Movie Nights

June 14, Moonrise Kingdom • June 28,To Kill a Mockingbird

July 12, Sandlot • July 26, Lincoln

Aug. 9, Brave • Aug. 23, Oz: The Great and Powerful

City Park Jazz

Bandstand by City Park Pavilion on Ferril Lake, E. 17th Ave. & Steele St.

City Park Jazz, presented this year by Cornerstone Apartments, returns for another great summer of music exploring the many strands of modern jazz. More than a quarter century ago, a small group of neighbors thought it would be great to bring the neighborhood folks together for an evening of family, friends, music and community fellowship. CPJ continues to be organized and managed by volunteers.

The 2013 schedule is an eclectic mix ranging from straight-ahead jazz to salsa and Latin and Cuban rhythms, with a little rhythm and blues mixed in. Rain or shine, all shows are held at the City Park Bandstand, 6-8p.m.; concert-goers are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic (food trucks will be on site with good eats for sale), and to take time to explore Denver’s namesake green space. While nonmotorized transport takes pressure off the surrounding neighborhoods (the park is closed to vehicles on Sundays, and BikeDenver provides safe storage during concerts), the Museum of Nature & Science garage and parking lots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For info about the City Park Jazz series, visit cityparkjazz.org or call the hotline at 303-744-1004.

June 2 • The Hazel Miller Band w/special guest, the Harmony Chorale

June 9 • AOA w/special guest Aleks Girshevich

June 16 • Tribute to Neil Bridge w/the Neil Bridge +7 featuring Karen Lee

June 23 • Salsa Con Jazz  •  June 30 • Ron Miles Quartet w/the Denver Municipal Band

July 7 • Sam Mayfield Blues Band

July 14 • Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, Faculty/Student Band

July 21 • Kenny Walker Sextet  •  July 28 • Los Bohemios

Aug. 4 • Henry Butler

The Coors Light South Platte RiverFest

Confluence Park – 15th St. & Little Raven – LoDo

Denver’s premier urban RiverFest, set for Sat.-Sun., June 22-23 at Confluence Park, will include free stand up paddle board lessons and demos, free music all day, a water stewardship expo area, a chance to meet professional stand up paddle boarders, a world- class beer garden, lavish festival eats and drinks and more. And – no reason not to bike down – roll into Confluence Park via the Cherry Creek or Platte River bike paths.

RiverFest benefits The Greenway Foundation, a non-profit organization working for for more than four decades to reclaim, restore, and revitalize the South Platte River and its tributaries in Denver and adjacent towns. These efforts have led to the construction of over 100 acres of riverside parks, 100+ miles of interconnected greenway trails, and the elimination of over 250 sources of direct pollution into our urban waterways.

RiverFest is sponsored by Coors Light, REI, Confluence Kayaks, and Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. Information: visit greenwayfoundation.org or call 303-455-7109.

Saturday, June 22

11:30a.m., The Recovery Act • 1:15p.m., Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams

3p.m., Bonnie & The Clydes • 4:45p.m., Dirty Bourbon River Show

6:30p.m., Desert Noises • 8:15p.m., Marco Benevento

Sunday, June 23

11:30a.m., Crushed Out • 1:15a.m., Strange Americans

3p.m., Yawpers • 4:45p.m.,Hollis Brown • 6:30p.m., What Made Milwaukee Famous


THE INAUGURAL LARIMER SQUARE SUMMER FILM SERIES SCREENS EIGHT MOVIES over four Thursday nights, June-September. Bill Murray’s classic Caddyshack plays Thur., Sept. 12, 8:30p.m. Outdoor dinner reservations available. Info: larimersummerfilmseries.com.

Denver Municipal Band

Free Parks Concerts

Denver Municipal Band, our city’s longest-running musical organization, returns for its 121st season of free musical performances. Under the direction of Gerald Endsley, the band will mix performances by the full 40-piece Concert Band with the smaller DMB Jazz Band, Brass Quintet and other ensembles.

The DMB always serves up a top-flight musical performance with a nod to easier days gone by. Following is a list of close-in performances scheduled at press time. All shows are free and open to the public. For a complete, up-to-date recorded schedule, call 303-322-8608 or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for email updates.

June 22       1p.m.            Bible Park, S. Quebec St. at E. Amherst Ave. • Jazz Combo

June 22       5p.m.            Platt Park, 1501 S. Logan St. • Jazz Band

June 30       7:30p.m.         City Park Bandshell, E. 17th Ave. at Steele St. • Jazz Band featuring internationally renowned trumpeter Ron Miles

July 4          11a.m.           Washington Park Boathouse, 715 S. Franklin St. • DMB Brass

July 4        7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Concert Band 4th of July Patriotic Festival

July 13      7:30p.m.       Southmoor Park, E. Hampden Ave. at S. Oneida St. • Concert Band

July 14      7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Concert Band

July 18      7:30p.m.       Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Gates Concert Hall, 2344 E. Iliff Ave. • Concert Brass with Summit Brass soloists

July 20      6p.m.           Clement Park, W. Bowles Ave. at S. Long St. DMB Wind Festival, Concert Band with 3 guest bands & 16 Civil War cannons for Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

July 21      7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Jazz Band

July 27      6:30p.m.       Harvey Park, 2120 S. Tennyson St. • Concert Band followed by fireworks at 9p.m

July 28      7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Concert Band

Aug. 4      7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Concert Band

Aug. 6      7p.m.           Cook Park,6500 Cherry Creek Dr. S. • Jazz Combo

Aug. 11     7:30p.m.       Washington Park, 715 S. Franklin St. • Concert Band

Aug. 11     TBA            Cheesman Park, E. 8th Ave. at Franklin St. • Jazz Combo

Aug. 16     7p.m.           Bates Hobart Park, W. Bates Ave. at Hobart Way • Jazz Band

Aug. 24     7p.m.           Mayfair Park, E. 10th Ave. at Ivy St. • Jazz Band

Sept. 7      6:30p.m.       Pulaski Park, Cherry Creek Dr. at S. Madison St. • Jazz Band

Shady Grove Picnic Concerts

Sponsored by Swallow Hill Music

Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St.

Swallow Hill’s 2013 Wednesday evening series will fill the Shady Grove with folk, jazz, roots, chamber, bluegrass, blues and country music, with historic Four Mile Park, built in 1859 providing a perfect backdrop for an early evening picnic in the fresh summer air (no glass containers or pets, please). For details on individual performers and general Swallow Hill info, call 303-777-1003 or visit swallowhillmusic.org. All shows begin at 6:30p.m. Walk-up tickets only: $7 for Swallow Hill members/seniors, $10/nonmembers; $2/children under 12. Bike over to Four Mile – and you’ll receive member pricing for admission throughout the 2013 season.

June 12 • The Parlor Pickers

June 19 • Clay Kirkland/Al Chesis & The Delta Sonics

June 26 • Trout Steak Revival

July 3 • Jonny Barber & The Rhythm Razors

July 10 • JT Nolan Trio/Matt Skellenger Group

July 17 • Harry Tuft and Dick Weissman  •  July 24 • Wendy Woo

July 31 • Rocky Mountain Jewgrass w/David Ross

Aug. 7 • Minor Melody  •  Aug.14 • Southern Exposure

Denver Concert Band

Free Parks Concerts

The Denver Concert Band is a group of 90 volunteer musicians who have an undeniable love for music, and an eclectic sound ranging from jazzy Sinatra stylings and Mozart concertos to a rousing march or even bluegrass rave-ups. Audiences know they should expect something new and different every concert, which makes DCB performances fun for everyone. For a full schedule, visit denverconcertband.org. Free, unless noted.

July 4     noon                 Four Mile Historic Park, 715 S. Forest St.

(fee for Four Mile Park admission; concert is free)

July 20   6:30p.m. Clement Park, W. Bowles Ave. at S. Long St. Denver Municipal Band Wind Festival

Aug. 25  1p.m.                 Southmoor Park, E. Hampden Ave. at S. Oneida St.

Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Civic Center Park, Colfax & Broadway

The 4th annual Independence Eve Celebration, Wed., July 3, 8p.m., will feature a free patriotic concert by the Colorado Symphony, an inventive light show illuminating the City & County Building, and a stunning fireworks finale. Lawn seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; blankets or low-rise concert/beach chairs are encouraged. Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnics; concessions will also be present on-site. Civic Center is easily accessible by light rail, bus, bicycle or the 16th Street free MallRide, and use of public transportation is encouraged. Parking is available at nearby surface lots and parking garages.

Produced by the Civic Center Conservancy, the City and County of Denver and the Colorado Symphony, the 2013 Independence Eve Celebration, presented by Anadarko, is made possible by: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Denver Arts & Venues, VISIT DENVER, Comcast, The Denver Post Community, CBS4 Denver, Southwest Airlines and the CU Denver Boots to Suits program.

Info:civiccenterconservancy.org or coloradosymphony.org, or call 303-623-7876.

Concert In The Park – Lowry

Sunset Park, E. 2nd Ave. at Olive St.

Enjoy an evening in the park, Fri., July 12, 6-9p.m. Bring the whole family, a picnic dinner and your lawn chairs and enjoy live music, treats from the ice cream truck, magic shows and balloon art, bouncy castles and more. The event is free of charge.

Mondays At Infinity Park

Infinity Park, S. Cherry St. at E. Kentucky Ave., Glendale

The Village of Glendale has created a first class athletic/entertainment venue in the heart of their little kingdom just east of Colorado Blvd. In addition to building the first pure rugby stadium in the United States, the complex includes a 35,000-square-foot sports/fitness center and adjacent event center.

Monday Movie Madness is back, showing six family classics, old and new. Grab the kids, a picnic, blankets and chairs, and enjoy a warm evening under the stars. Admission is free; movies begin at 8p.m.; and alcohol and pets are off limits. Call 303-248-7100 or visit infinityparkatglendale.com for information.

June 10, Grease • June 24, Despicable Me

July 8, Beetlejuice • July 22, Up

Aug. 5, The SandlotAug. 19, The Princess Bride

Film On The Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison

There may be a more impressive venue for music and movies under the stars, but we don’t know where that would be. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and dress for the vagaries of summer nights in the foothills. Each evening will begin with music at 6:45p.m.; movies start at dusk. Tickets are $12 general admission and can be purchased from the Denver Film Society at denverfilm.org or at Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Ave. Day-of-show tickets – if available – will be sold at Red Rocks box office for $14. VIP packages including transportation and close-in seating are available. Info: denverfilm.org.

June 4, Risky Business (band: The Lone Bellow)

June 11, Wet Hot American Summer (band: The Knew/Kissing Party)

June 18, Mean Girls (band: Sarah and the Meanies/Kitty Crimes)

June 25, The Blues Brothers (band: Hearts In Space/Dragondeer)

July 2, Die Hard (band: In The Whale/James and The Devil)

July 9, Point Break (band: You Me & Apollo/Mile High Soul Club)

July 15, The Hunger Games (band: Vicci Martinez)

July 23, The Princess Bride (band: School of Rock)

Aug. 13, Rocky Horror Picture Show (band: School of Rock)

Yoga Rocks The Park

Sunken Gardens Park, Bannock St. at W. 9th Ave.

Yoga Rocks the Park brings live music and yoga gatherings to beautiful Sunken Gardens Park, 9:30a.m.-noon, June 2-Sept. 22. Weekly registration opens at 9a.m., music begins at 9:30a.m., with yoga at 10a.m. Each Yoga Rocks – led by different instructors each week – includes a 75-minute all-levels yoga class topped off by a vendor area including massage, acupuncture, sustainably-produced apparel, organic food and drink and much more. Camp Yoga Rocks, an interactive kids yoga program for little ones ages 5-10 allows moms and dads grown-up time to devote to their practice. Camp is led by skilled children’s yoga instructors. Face painting, hula hooping, free snacks and other surprises are in store for kids this summer, along with a headstart on a lifelong yoga practice! Buy $12 advance tickets at yogarocksthepark.com/denver. Tickets cost $15 on event day.

June 2 • John Friend (band: Devotion Explosion)

Kids Camp: Yoga For Young Warriors

June 9 • Sarah Russell/Laura Wade Jaster (band:DJ Orpheus)

Kids Camp: Yoga For Young Warriors

June 23 • Gina Caputo (band: Luminaries)

Kids Camp: Yoga For Young Warriors

June 30 • Katrina Gustafson/Lisa Schlelein (band: Shaman’s Dream)

Kids Camp: Radiant Beginnings

Aug. 18 • Dave Famar (band: Dub Sutra)

Kids Camp: Kids Yoga Guide

Aug. 25 • Lora Haase & Juli Rathke (band: DJ Russo)

Kids Camp: Kids Yoga Guide

Sept. 1 • Justin Kaliszewski (band: Ken K)

Kids Camp: Kids Yoga Guide

Sept. 8 • Tracey Lanham & Heather Lindemann (band: Solo Moon)

Kids Camp: Kids Yoga Guide

Sept. 22 • Patrick Harrington (band: Derrick Beres)

Kids Camp: Kids Yoga Guide

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