Wednesday June 7 Taping measures: Local jazz vocalist Lynn Skinner will be in fine company tonight when she performs with two of Denver's best instrumentalists--guitarist and master of chordal changes Dale Bruning and open-minded trumpet player Ron Miles--at Vartan Jazz, 231 Milwaukee St. The 8 p.m. show--which promises to smoke (in spite of the fact that Vartan is a no-smoking venue)--will double as a live recording session; admission is an easy five bucks. For additional information call 237-9739.
Thursday June 8 Arranged marriage: The Denver Art Museum and the Denver Botanic Gardens are about to embark on a happy collaboration for spring: Flowers and Art, a weekend display juxtaposing DAM artworks with over sixty interpretive floral arrangements, begins today at the museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. And what a display it will be, gussying up usually austere galleries all over the structure. There'll be miniatures on the second floor, arrangements using Colorado plants complementing Native American pieces on the third floor, and delicate ikebana accompanying the Japanese art collection on the sixth floor, along with other horticultural delights, including rock and herb gardens, roses and an exhibit on conservation techniques. Related events begin today with a noon picnic luncheon and lecture by nationally known floral designer Renny Reynolds ($45 per person) and continue through the weekend with free Nooner Tours, demonstrations ($5 fee) and separate Sunday tutorials for children and adults ($18 kids, $75 adults). Museum admission is $3 ($1.50 kids and seniors, DAM or DBG members free); call 640-2793 for information.
Stringtime in the Rockies: Seasonal returnee Richard Thompson unfurls his wit once again tonight and tomorrow at Chautauqua Auditorium, balanced admirably by Pentangle graduate and bandmate Danny Thompson on bass. The headlining Thompson, a songwriter and exceptional guitarist, will undoubtedly feature the out-of-the-fold phrasing he's famous for. But as if that weren't enough, joining him on the bill this year is David Lindley, another talented pioneer of the fretboard. A student of musical traditions from around the world, Lindley--who surrounds himself on stage with spiffy Hawaiian guitars, electric ouds, bazoukis, mandolins and just about anything else with strings attached--defines the meaning of multi-instrumentalist. Jordanian percussionist Hani Naser adds dimension to Lindley's reggae/Middle Eastern/ Cajun/Madagascaran-with-a-slide sound. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concerts range from $18 to $23; call 440-7666 or 830-TIXS. Chautauqua is located south of Baseline Road at 9th St. in Boulder.
Friday June 9 Texas toast: A pair of low-key and ironic Texas storytellers--Robert Earl Keen and James McMurtry--will put their words to music tonight at 8 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax. Either one alone would be enough to draw an appreciative crowd of laid-back fans to the intimate, nice-sounding room, but this double bill deserves a medal. Tickets are $13 in advance ($14 day of show); call 322-2308.
It's a date: Having a tough time getting a date these days, girls? You can always pay for one--there's no shame involved if the hunk you bid on donates his fee to Boulder County Partners, an organization providing at-risk kids with adult mentors. And bachelors on the block at Some Like It Hot, a BCP bachelor auction, include Channel 9 newsman Phil Keating, Denver Bronco Steve Sewell and 29 other eligibles, all of varying dating ages. Something for everyone! Admission to the event, which takes place at 7 in the Hotel Boulderado Ballroom, 2115 13th St., Boulder, is $10 in advance ($15 at the door); ticket prices apply toward date packages. For details and reservations call 772-1411.
Saturday June 10 Knights to remember: If you long to roam amongst jousters and jesters while gnawing on a gargantuan turkey leg, fear not--the Colorado Renaissance Festival is back and opening this weekend for another season. Comedy, magic, arts and crafts, singing executioners, sword-swallowers, knighting ceremonies, endless entertainments for kids, and food--including such delicacies as steak on a stick and wild-boar sausage--are part of the agenda at the festival, open from 10 to 6:30 Saturdays and Sundays through July 30 in Larkspur. Admission to the all-day cultural experience is $11.95 ($5 kids, under five free); to get there, take I-25 south to Exit 173. Call 688-6010.
Monkee see, Monkee do: Finally, an event for those who are unabashedly nostalgic for the innocent music of the '60s--this year's KOOL Koncert, being touted as the last of its kind, features the Best of the Monkees, a reunion of former zany group members Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, along with Johnny "Secret Agent Man" Rivers, Motown's Four Tops and the forever-falsettoed Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. If you know who these people are and remember the words to any of their songs, tickets can be had for $7 to $12 in advance at metro-Denver Cub Foods locations. And bring the kids--they'll enjoy the classic pop (beginning at 3 at Mile High Stadium) and the concert-ending fireworks. Fun, fun, fun.
Tea for tutus: Little ballet enthusiasts are invited to put on their toe shoes and tutus and come meet Angelina Ballerina, the beloved storybook mouse, during a children's event today at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave. The ballerina party, featuring ballet tips and firsthand stories from Angelina herself, begins at 10:30 a.m.; call 322-7727.
Sunday June 11 Come over and see my etchings: Skin art isn't reserved for the chests of sailors and truck drivers anymore. These days, it's just as likely to show up on bank tellers' ankles and babysitters' rear ends. And those are just the demure examples. If you're especially fond of yours and think it deserves to win a prize, or if you just want to see what's out there before going under the needle, check out the Rocky Mountain Tattoo Show, starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Cactus Moon, I-25 and 104th Ave. Tattoos will be judged in ten categories, ranging from best Native American motif to best full-back piece. A ride-in motorcycle show will also take place; registration for either event begins at 10 a.m. and costs $10. Spectator admission is $5; call 254-4473 for more information. Proceeds benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation.