For at least one cross-section of the populace, Big Bird is the absolute bomb, and if any of those pint-sized denizens live in your house, tickets to this weekend's performances of Sesame Street Live: 1-2-3...Imagine! are a must for the whole family. See Ernie travel the seven seas while Elmo hangs in the rainforest and Oscar the Grouch takes some R & R at Club Mud, beginning tonight at 7 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; the show continues through Sunday, with several showtimes daily. Admission ranges from $10 to $16; call 303-893-4100 or 303-830-TIXS.
The 15th annual Festival of Mountain and Plain...A Taste of Colorado, returning this weekend to Civic Center Park at Colfax and Broadway, is known for presenting a little bit of everything and a whole lotta food (a good sun hat and empty stomach are recommended gear for hardcore festival-goers). But in addition to the endless eats, arts-and-crafts booths, carnival rides and other stuff, the Taste offers entertainment on six stages, highlighted by a few national acts. This year's headliners have nostalgic leanings: Night Ranger brings back the '80s at 1:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday, while the BoDeans take the middle of the road through the '90s at 6:30 p.m. Monday. And '70s revivalists Disco Inferno (actually part of a whole Disco Inferno network that sends similar bands out to get booties shaking across the nation) will reprise such hits as "Jungle Boogie," "Brick House" and "Staying Alive" at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. today through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, and admission is free; call 303-478-7878.
If you long to taste sweet mountain air instead of a mountain of grub, you can head for the hills, where there are end-of-summer festivals galore, with glitzy lineups and ticket prices to match. Janus Jazz Aspen at Snowmass gets under way tonight with reggae artist Pato Banton and funkmaster Maceo Parker and continues tomorrow with a roster of red-hot mamas, including Bonnie Raitt, Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson. Sunday features Crosby, Stills and Nash, Taj Mahal and Keb Mo, while Sonia Dada and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, wrap it up Monday. Admission ranges from $55 to $69 daily, with lodging/concert packages available; call 1-970-920-4996 for details, 1-970-920-5770 for tickets and 1-800-SNOWMASS for lodging information.
All of the Vail Valley gets into the Labor Day act when the Vail Jazz Party blasts off today with such jazz stars as Jimmy Heath, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Red Holloway, Nicholas Payton and the bluesy team of Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford, as well as an all-star big band of future stars made up of recipients of the Vail Jazz Foundation's Young Musicians Scholarship. The event runs today through Monday at various Vail-area locations, including the Marriott Mountain Resort, the lawn at Lionshead and Ford Amphitheater; for information call 1-888-824-5526 or 1-970-479-6146.
Easily the most laid-back of the mountain fetes and no less star-studded, the One World Music Festival will take over Crested Butte. A multicultural mix of acts--among them, Widespread Panic, Bunny Wailer, the Robert Cray Band, Spearhead and Delbert McClinton--will grace some of the town's mountain taverns and the foot of Mount Crested Butte. Music begins tonight in the clubs and continues through Monday; call 1-970-349-2325.
Labor Day weekend means all play and no work--and here's your chance to explore that concept to the hilt. Winter Park will host an Adventure Sport Weekend with nonstop hands-on sport clinics focusing on everything from kayaking to disc golf. Skate, fish, bike, run and windsurf from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow at Beaver Creek Lodge, Cooper Creek Square and Hideaway Park in the Winter Park area; some clinics are free, while others carry a minimal fee. In addition, a Junior Adventure Challenge for children ages eight to fourteen takes place on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. The only drawback to this weekend might be the liability waivers you'll have to sign; call 1-800-903-7275.
A little mountain-fest fallout drops down on Boulder tonight when Bernie Worrell and the Woo Warriors, in the area to perform at the One World Music Festival (see Friday), shake up the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., beginning at 9. A Parliament-Funkadelic founder, keyboardist Worrell is one of the most sampled musicians on this planet (or any other); for tickets, $12, call 303-443-3399 or 303-830-TIXS.
In anticipation of the Mexican Independence Day celebrations coming later this month, Latin Jam '98 brings a Latino flavor to holiday weekend proceedings around town. An all-day affair at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Brighton, the jam's entertainment focus is twofold: music and sports. Providing fuel for the former are veteran Latin music machines El Chicano, Malo and Tierra, as well as a full lineup of local talent that includes Latin Crossover, Sammy Mayfield, the Freddi-Henchi Band and others; a second stage will feature rap and hip-hop. At 2 p.m., the Aztlan Entertainment Boxing Invitational gives the afternoon a one-two punch, presenting several regional bouts in a number of categories, including women's and junior-class boxing. Food vendors, a volleyball tournament, a display by graffiti artists and a fireworks show flesh out the party. Tickets for the entire day are $22 ($10 for kids under twelve); call 303-331-2335.
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The blues just got a lot sweeter with the release of guitarist Robert Cray's latest CD, Sweet Potato Pie, which mixes a shot of rich Otis Redding-style soul into Cray's usual down-home-yet-urbane mix. Mmm-mmm: He'll slather it on thick with the Robert Cray Band tonight at 8 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder; for tickets, $25.20, call 303-786-7030.
We know of no more folksy way to spend the day (outside of a patio barbecue with the family) than at the Labor Day Cajun Cookout, an annual tradition at the Gold Hill Inn, up Sunshine Canyon from Boulder in Gold Hill. This year's bash includes authentic squeezebox fare from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and Colorado's own Zukes of Zydeco, as well as such bayou-true edibles as fried catfish, beans and rice and jambalaya. The party takes place from noon to 5; tickets are $12 for music and an additional $10 for food. For details and reservations call 303-443-6461 or log on to www.goldhillinn.com.
If you're willing to stand in line, you can meet a hero face-to-face this evening at 6 when Denver Bronco Terrell Davis stops running long enough to drop by the Tattered Cover Bookstore, 2955 E. 1st Ave., to sign copies of his book, TD: Dreams in Motion. The man of the moment is so popular you'll have to have your book in hand to get a place in his receiving line. If you buy a copy beforehand at either T.C. location, you'll automatically be issued a ticket; if not, plan to arrive an hour before the signing, when in-store tix will be given out. Then...on to another Super Bowl win? Call 303-322-7727.
Here's the rare case where you can have your detective fiction and eat it, too. From 5:30 to 7:30 tonight, popular culinary mystery author Diane Mott Davidson will preside over a dinner based on recipes from her latest book, Prime Cut, at Pour La France!, 1001 Pearl St., Boulder, before moving on to a reading at the Rue Morgue Mystery Bookshop, 946 Pearl. Seating is limited, and reservations are highly recommended for both the dinner and the book-signing; a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Boulder County Safehouse, an agency helping women who, like Davidson protagonist Goldy Bear Schulz, are survivors of domestic violence. Call the Rue Morgue at 303-443-8346 and Pour La France! at 303-449-3929.