Local celebrations of Israeli Independence Week kick off tonight at the Shwayder Theater, Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia, with a Yom Hazikaron (Day of Remembrance) community memorial service and reception featuring Colonel Ilan Ramon, who will speak about his experiences in the Israeli military and in NASA's astronaut training program, beginning at 7 p.m.; call 303-399-2660. A family celebration follows at the center on Wednesday, featuring live performances by the Dor Sheini Song and Dance Troupe and Souvenir Russian Dance Troupe at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., with an Israeli-style dinner sandwiched in between at 6:30. A minimal fee will be charged for the meal; for reservations or information call 303-399-2660.
To a certain type of lady, the only thing more romantic than a handsome crooner is a handsome French crooner. If you're that kind of lady, it's your day: Alliance Français de Denver, the local French-language organization, presents top-notch pop crooner Julien Clerc, who fits the French crooner description like a fine leather glove, in his first-ever Denver appearance. Magnifique. Hear Clerc tonight at 7 at the Teikyo Loretto Heights Theater, 3001 S. Federal Blvd.; for tickets, $19, call 303-830-TIXS.
Kudos to the Denver School of the Arts Jazz Workshop: The member of this hardworking ensemble are on their way to New York next week for the prestigious Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Workshop, an honor that affords them a chance to play with trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis. Good for them. They could, however, use more than a pat on the back (it costs money to travel), and to that end, they'll give you a chance to hear them perform at "The Cottontail Concert: In Celebration of the Duke Ellington Centennial," a benefit performance tonight at 8 at the Casino, 2633 Welton St. Recommended donation is $10; call 303-722-4669 for details.