It may be February according to our calendar, but China has yet to ring in 2018. Celebrate the new year a second time at the Chinese New Year bash at the McNichols Building. If you're looking to ring in another milestone, consider joining Tommyknocker Brewery as it celebrates its 10,000 brew. All that and more is on our calendar of the best events of the week.
Tuesday, February 6
One of the most distinctive voices to emerge from the Odd Future collective, Tyler, the Creator writes music that courts controversy, confounds expectations, and delights hip-hop heads hungering for a new sound. Tyler's most recent album, Flower Boy, is replete with bangers, but it's drawn the most attention for its lyrical revelations about the rapper's sexuality and verses that complicate both Tyler's public image and the outcry that surrounded previous records Goblin and Bastard. Tyler's coming to the 1ST BANK Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane in Broomfield, on Tuesday, February 6, with Vince Staples, one of the game's sharpest rhyme-writers and a headliner in his own right, and international artist Taco. Doors open at 7 p.m.; visit axs.com to buy tickets, $39.95 to $45, and learn more.
Wednesday, February 7
It’s a great time to get down with the chosen people. You can do it together in a darkened theater and celebrate Jewish culture in expansive detail at the 22nd annual Denver Jewish Film Festival, a mixed bag of films with Judaic themes, from biopics of Sammy Davis Jr., Hedy Lamar and David Ben Gurion to the unexpected Shalom Bollywood, which explores the Indian Jewish community through performances in Bollywood film clips. The fest opens on Wednesday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of the post-WWII drama Bye Bye Germany, then runs through February 19 at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street. Tickets start at $10 to $13 for individual screenings and go up to the $255 festival pass; learn more at maccjcc.org/film.
Get in the swing on February 7 when Wednesday Night Hop relaunches with a free night of dance at VFW Lodge No. 1, 841 Santa Fe Drive. Take a beginner swing lesson from 7:30 to 8 p.m., then strut your stuff to music from the Jeremy Mohney Band from 8 to 11 p.m. on the smoothest wooden dance floor in Denver. Through it all, there will be Colorado-made non-alcoholic beverages and giveways. Wednesday Night Hop will continue on the first and third Wednesdays of every month; find out more at swingindenver.com or the event's Facebook page.
With substantial snow on the ground, it's starting to feel a little more like winter. Celebrate accordingly at Winter's Glow, a celebration of all things cold, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, in Curtis Park, 2323 East Orchard Road in Greenwood Village. Bring the kids and enjoy everything from live ice carving to fire dancers, inflatable sculptures, interactive light displays and tasty treats befitting a winter event. The event is free; find more information at greenwoodvillage.com.
Thursday, February 8
Any recounting of urban Chicano lore would be incomplete without mention of the zoot-suit era of the 1940s, a youth movement defined by street-smart Mexican-Americans who defied old stereotypes with a fiery new culture of high fashion, lowriding cruisers and street slang. Of course the Museo de las Americas does it right with Pachucos y Sirenas, a new exhibit that explores the imagery, style, pride and influence of the movement with art festooning the galleries and programming that includes a fashion show and a lowrider demonstration, among other things. Pachucos y Sirenas opens on Thursday, February 8, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive, and runs through May 26; a Conversación Contacto artist talk follows on February 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. Find more information and a schedule of ongoing related events at museo.org.
Friday, February 9
Lunar New Year isn't until February 16, but why wait to celebrate the Year of the Dog (obviously the best year)? The Nathan Yip Foundation, which funds educational projects for children in rural Colorado and China, is putting on the dog at the biggest Chinese New Year bash in town on Friday, February 9. From 6 to 11 p.m., three floors of the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, will be transformed into a Chinese night market; from the traditional (lion dancers, calligraphers, fortune tellers) to the modern (silent disco, karaoke), revelers will be treated to pawsome entertainment while wining and dining at mastiff food stations and enjoying the open bar(k). Tickets are $100 for those 35 and under ("young professionals" tickets) and $225 for everyone else; fetch yours at nathanyipfoundation.org and get ready to party your tail off.
The Colorado Symphony pays tuneful tribute to one of the country's most revered composers at John Williams: An American Journey, a pair of weekend concerts celebrating the film scores that have made Williams the most frequently nominated living person in Oscar history (he received his 51st nod this year). In addition to the obligatory selections from Williams's iconic Star Wars themes, the program includes the composer's less-touted but equally rousing works from Schindler's List, The Terminal and JFK, as well as fanfares he wrote for the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. While the concerts — which begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 9, and Saturday, February 10, in Boettcher Concert Hall — are a fitting showcase for the music behind some of our most cherished movie memories, the performances also highlight the world-class musicianship of the symphony players. With soloist spotlights for principal trumpeter Justin Bartels, principal clarinetist Jason Shafer and concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams, An American Journey is sure to be a stirring symphonic experience you won't soon forget. Boettcher Hall is in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; get tickets, $20 to $99, at the Colorado Symphony box-office page.
Wonderbound exercises its hybrid of classical dance and modern themes with a Valentine’s Day special, Aphrodite’s Switchboard, a theatrical evening-length romp in collaboration with the avant-folkies in Chimney Choir, who provide an exhilarating soundtrack. The dance imagines Aphrodite as a switchboard operator with the power to plug mortal couples in or out of love; who knows what misadventures might ensue? Wonderbound will travel with the show to three venues, beginning with a three-day run, from Friday, February 9, to Sunday, February 11, at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School, 1001 West 84th Avenue in Federal Heights, before moving on to the PACE Center in Parker on February 17 and 18, and the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on February 24. Admission ranges from $22 to $50. Visit wonderbound.com for more information and links to tickets at each venue.
Is there any better Colorado destination for Valentine’s Day pre-gaming than Loveland? Each year, at the Fire & Ice Festival, families flood downtown to enjoy carriage rides, ice and fire sculptures and live music, all while relishing treats and drinks from local restaurants, breweries and wineries. There will be fireworks, first-responder vehicles to tour, and a boatload of wandering performers to keep you entertained. The free festival starts at 5 p.m. Friday, February 9, and goes until 8 p.m. Sunday, February 11, on 4th Street between North Jefferson and North Garfield avenues. For details, go to lovelandfireandice.com.
Celebrate three years of beer and cheer at Ratio Beerworks Anniversary Weekend, a three-day extravaganza filled with live music, standup comedy and special brew debuts. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 9, with an acoustic session from Prawn in the taproom, followed by a comedy show with Ian Douglas Terry and Whitmer Thomas. On Saturday, February 10, the award-winning brewery will open at noon with a tapping ceremony for Ratio's One Fine City Belgian Quad — 100 bottles will also be for sale on a first-come, first-served basis — and cap off the evening with a rollicking concert from local punk pioneers Scooter James, Broadway Calls and the Gamits. Finally, on Sunday, February 11, partied-out brewhounds can soak up all those suds at an 11 a.m. hangover brunch with the Rosenberg's Bagels food truck and a soundtrack by the Denver Vintage Reggae Society. Admission to all events is free at Ratio, 2920 Larimer Street; visit the brewery's Facebook events page for more details.
Get ready to huff some gas, because the Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series will take over the Pepsi Center for three days starting Friday, February 9! Forget a run-of-the-mill monster trucks show; this event is going to up the ante, as speedsters and ATVs will join the traditional monster trucks for three nights of doughnuts and rolls —and we’re not talking pastries. Drivers will go head-to-head in what Monster Jam is billing as a gender-equitable sport, and fans will have the chance to vote, via their phones, on who the winners will be. Tickets start at $15 at altitudetickets.com.
Racial issues don’t always unfold in stark black and white. As Colorism — Breaking the Chains of Complexion proves, they are sometimes finely divided by intra-racial shades. 5280 Artist Coop, a group supporting the arts in downtown Aurora through poetry readings, theater and art exhibits, is re-mounting poet and actor Kenya Fashaw’s show, which garnered a ton of praise from the African-American community for telling it like it is during its first staging. With a new cast and a roller-coaster ride of emotions, the collection of stories exposes skin-color discrimination within the black community, with the goal of getting people talking. Colorism runs Fridays through Sundays, February 9 through 25, at the Aurora Cultural Arts District, 1400 Dallas Street in Aurora; for information and tickets, $15 to $23, go to 5280artistcoop.com. Admission goes up to $26 at the door.
Saturday, February 10
Donald Trump may or may not have called Haiti a “shithole,” but the truth is that the Caribbean island nation supports a rich folkloric culture that far surpasses the world’s stereotypical, voodoo-centric views, and a new exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center offers a more realistic view. The Art of Haiti: Loas, History and Memory touches on the human side of Haitian culture, sharing contemporary works by Edouard Duval-Carrié, Tessa Mars and Ralph Allen that borrow and transform imagery from history and lore. The show opens on Saturday, February 10, at the CSFAC, 30 West Dale Street in Colorado Springs, and runs through May 20. Along with recently opened shows by Chiho Aoshima and Yoshitomo Saito, The Art of Haiti is worth the drive south. Learn more at csfineartscenter.org.
Hearts and flowers and goodies galore — that’s what you’ll find at the February Denver Handmade Homemade Market, just in time to shop for your valentine. The HaHo’s first market of 2018 offers a spread of makers hawking candles, confections, handmade jewelry, fabulous soaps and more, all perfect for lovey-dovey gift-giving, while giving makers and artists a cost-efficient option for the chance to show their wares. Come for the shopping and stay for the food and music on Saturday, February 10, from noon to 5 p.m. at Forge, 970 Yuma Street, and feel free to bring the kids — and the dog, too. It’s just that homey. For information, visit denverhaho.org.
The Art Students League of Denver will get straight to the art on Saturday, February 10, when it presents the latest edition of Art & Soul, an annual celebration of the artistic spirit that includes displays, demonstrations and auctions, as well as live music, food and drink. "Art & Soul is an experience that showcases the broad range of media taught at ASLD and the wide range of programs offered throughout the year," says Rachel Basye, executive director. "The event also provides students and faculty an opportunity to exhibit their work and inspire the community to create and collect art." A $125 VIP ticket gets you in the door at 6 p.m. for a meet-the-artists cocktail reception and the chance to buy art early; those with general admission tickets ($75) get in at 7 p.m. The fun runs until 9:30 at the ASLD building at 200 Grant Street; find out more at asld.org.
How long does it take to brew 10,000 batches of beer? About 24 years, according to Tommyknocker Brewery, which opened in 1994 in Idaho Springs and will soon release its 10,000th brew. While the lion's share of previous batches have been from the brewery's regular lineup, the new release will be a Baltic porter made as a collaboration by past and present Tommyknocker brewers. If you want to be among the first to taste it, make the drive up to 1401 Miner Street between 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 10. Sip samples of the rich, dark beer while enjoying food and drink specials and music from the Rapidgrass Quintet. Mark your calendar, because there won't be another party like this for another 10,000 brews. Find more information at the event's Facebook page.
An industrious outlier who's contributed more to the delightful weirdening of hip-hop than anyone else, Madlib hasn't made one predictable move in a career that goes back over twenty years. From producing classic collaborations with MF Doom, releasing albums under the guise of his robot-voiced alter ego Quasimoto, or remixing the Blue Note Jazz catalogue, for Madlib, the only constant is experimentation. See a DJ set from the master himself during the Madlib Medicine Show on Saturday, February 10, at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street. Also on the bill: the Ethiopian funk stylings of Ayalew Mesfin and Debo Band. Doors open at 8 for the 9 p.m. show; tickets are $23 to $25 at Ticketfly.
Children’s-book authors will gather all day on Saturday, February 10, in the children’s wing of the Denver Public Library Central Branch, at 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, to lead Meet and Make With Children's Authors, a workshop that will teach kids about bookmaking. Attendees will have the chance to get their hands dirty with crafts and will learn about how award-winning writers and illustrators work together to shape compelling stories. The lineup at this free event is as follows: Jillian Tamaki at 10:30 a.m.; Jewell Parker Rhodes at 12:30 p.m.; Mariko Tamaki and illustrator Brooke Allen at 2:30 p.m.; and Sayantani DasGupta at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 720-865-1111.
Sunday, February 11
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On the heels of the blockbuster Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism, which recently closed, the Denver Art Museum continues in the impressionist mode with another sure hit: Degas: A Passion for Perfection, a massive exhibit bringing together more than 100 works in a variety of mediums to track modern techniques and recurring themes — from the ballet backstage to classic nudes — in Edgar Degas’s sixty-year career as a painter. Degas opens on Sunday, February 11, and runs through May 20 at the DAM, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway; the ticketed event is $5 for youth ages six to eighteen and $24 for adults, and includes admission to the rest of the museum. Reserve a date and time at denverartmuseum.org or call 720-913-0130.
Clyfford Still’s wall-hogging, expansive, color-streaked canvases seem to invite introspection as you walk by them in galleries swept by perfect natural light. So it’s not surprising that STILLness: Meditation in the Galleries has become a popular monthly event at the Clyfford Still Museum, inviting the self-reflective to take advantage of its peaceful qualities. Facilitated by the Shambhala Meditation Center, meditation sessions are scheduled on every second Sunday of the month, including Sunday, February 11, from 8:45 to 10 p.m.; the experience is free, but because of the event's popularity, registration is required in advance. Be one with the metaphorical STILLness: Learn more at clyffordstillmuseum.org or denver.shambhala.org.
Monday, February 12
Who says you can't keep a garden? Grow yourself a green thumb at the New Gardener Boot Camp, a gardening-for-idiots guide brought to you by the masters themselves at the Denver Botanic Gardens. You'll learn about everything from picking the right soils to growing vegetables to planting season-appropriate blooms. The four-part evening series kicks off at 6 p.m. Monday, February 12, at the Gardens, 1007 York Street, and continues on Tuesday, February 13, and the following Monday and Tuesday. Find tickets, $60 to $80, and more information at botanicgardens.org.