There's no more perfect a recipient for the Evil Companions Literary Award, accorded annually to an author writing about or having ties to the West--rough-hewn Jim Harrison, whose masculine novels describe life in spacious, historical strokes, was born to receive such an honor, and that's just what he'll do tonight from 6 to 8 at the Oxford Hotel, 1600 17th St. Harrison will accept his kudos and read from his newest, The Road Home, during the event, a benefit for the Colorado State University literary journal, Colorado Review; to reserve tickets, $40 ($70 couple), call 1-970-491-5449.
In a way, it's a shame to call it the Charlie Hunter Duo, although eight-string axman Hunter's name may be more easily recognizable than his bandmate's. And it's all well-deserved: As any Hunter fan will tell you, the Bay Area guitarist with a penchant for blending funk, jazz and that unpredictable other into a sound all his own has creative chops that are far from worn out. But consider duo-mate Leon Parker, a consummate percussionist who's backed pianist Jackie Terrasson in addition to making several solo recordings. An innate beat-keeper with a wandering musical soul, Parker provides more than ample counterpoint to Hunter's multi-octave noodlings. The pair performs tonight at 7 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder; for tickets, $14.75, call 303-443-3399 or 303-830-TIXS.
The people and places of late-nineteenth-century Paris are the real draw when Toulouse-Lautrec From the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens today at the Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave. Toulouse-Lautrec's brilliantly fluid caricatures are cast adrift among the flying skirts of Moulin Rouge cancan dancers and the devil-may-care visages of expressive comedians and snooty actresses in feathered hats, and they traipse through the gloomy hallways of Parisian cathouses. The artist's portraits and posters will be literally splashed across the museum's walls through July 4, along with a more somber accompanying look at a life rife with the sorrows of dwarfism, alcoholism and illness; an admission price ranging from $4 to $9.50 includes a random-access CD-ROM audio guide you can turn on or off as you please. For advance tickets call 1-888-903-0ART; for more information call 303-640-4433.
As the days lengthen and warm up, the call of the wild beckons--it's time to get off your rear and hightail it out into the sunshine. And as all you sporty Coloradans know, there's more than one way to do so. Check out some of them at the Colorado Outdoor Sports Supersale and Expo, taking place today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stazio Softball Fields, 2445 Stazio Dr. in east Boulder. Close to 300 vendors will be there, hawking everything from skateboards to scuba gear; admission is $3 at the gate (parking is free). Call 303-921-2143.
It's not the first time the Swallow Hill Music Association has put on a Zydeco House Party, but tonight's soiree boasts a special attraction: All the way from Eunice, Louisiana, comes cowboy-hatted Creole Geno Delafose, a hot zydeco accordionist descended from a long line of same, along with his kick-butt band, French Rockin' Boogie, to help keep the dancers on the floor. It all begins at 8 at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 E. Yale Ave., with a dance lesson for timid and rookie hoofers, followed by the dance proper at 9; admission is $13 ($11 for Swallow Hill members). Call 303-777-1003.
The Hillel Council and Holocaust Awareness Institute team up to sponsor a number of Holocaust Awareness Week events at the DU campus, University Boulevard and Evans Avenue, beginning today at 1 with the installation of a Field of Flags memorial on the school's General Classroom Building lawn. Noted author Rabbi Harold Kushner gives a lecture, Can We Forgive?, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Driscoll Ballroom, 2055 E. Evans Ave., and the Litany of the Martyrs, a 24-hour marathon reading of the names of Holocaust victims, begins at 10 a.m. April 14, continuing through the following morning, also on the GCB lawn. All events are free; for more information call Denver Hillel at 303-777-2773.
It's fitting, on the brink of the millennium, to look back on the life of one of the most influential fine artists of the century--a task PBS's American Masters series takes to heart in Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius, a new documentary exploring the evolution of Rauschenberg works that first shocked and later engaged the art world beginning in the mid-Fifties. A well-put-together critical pastiche of those works, augmented by numerous interviews and including the insights of the artist himself, the program premieres tonight on KRMA-TV/Channel 6; tune in at 9:30.
You know Edward James Olmos for his moving portrayals as an actor, in everything from television's stylish cop show Miami Vice to the inspirational film bio of a tough barrio high school teacher, Stand and Deliver. But Olmos is also a tireless activist for Latino causes, and it's in that capacity that he helped edit Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a all-encompassing, lushly illustrated overview of Latino-American culture from the street to the movie screen. Olmos drops by the Tattered Cover Bookstore tonight at 7:30 to discuss and sign copies of the book; free tickets for a seat and a place in line will be available beginning at 6:30. For details call 303-322-7727.
Uh-oh. Midweek culture crisis? Why not visit a gallery or two--or three--and wash away all traces of the rat race, at least for a couple of hours? A good place to start--or end--might be with a brew and a gander at the Celebrate Colorado Artists Preview, a selection of works by artists chosen to participate in a new all-Colorado arts festival debuting Memorial Day weekend at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The sneak-peek show can be viewed through May 26 at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th St.; call 303-297-2700. Not far away at Ron Judish Fine Arts, 1617 Wazee St., hangs Layers, a three-person show of paintings by Rob Douglas, mixed media by Norah Krogman and photography by Ron Pollard, tied together by their use of textural and conceptual strata. See the show through May 8; call 303-571-5556. Also in LoDo, Studio 1818, 1818 Blake St., features The Paper Chase, a selection of new works on paper by emerging artists at the Open Press printmaking studio (hanging through April 25; call 303-296-9132), and, across the tracks, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, 1513A Boulder St., touts its own with Selections From the Permanent Collection, through May 8. Call 303-433-9591. Keep heading north, and you'll find yourself at the Ground Works Art Gallery, housed inside the neighborhood coffeehouse Common Grounds, 3484 W. 32nd Ave., where the espresso flows and Cosas del Corazon, an exhibit of Madonna-faced glazed tiles and other Latino-themed works by Patricio Córdova, continues through April 29. Call 303-458-5248. Or head uptown to the Colorado Vintage Poster Gallery, 138 W. 12th Ave., for a germane glimpse at Contemporaries of Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, an antique graphics show on view a few blocks from the art museum through April 24. There, now. Isn't that better? Call 303-436-0225.