Memorial Day is here, and while we've already listed ways to enjoy your day off, the days beyond this holiday of remembrance offer plenty of free events to put on your calendar. From jazz and classical concerts presented by local musicians to arty parties and other extraordinary events, Denver's creative community continues to fight the ordinary. Keep reading for the five best free events (fine print notwithstanding) in Denver this week.
Lamont Jazz Ensemble
Tuesday, May 29, 7 to 9 p.m.
Support the next generation of talents while enjoying an evening of toe-tapping tunes as the University of Denver's Lamont Jazz Ensemble takes the stage at local hep haunt Dazzle. Expect the swinging sounds of the big-band genre as director Mike Marlier leads the skilled young players through a repertoire of crowd-pleasers. Admission is free for students with a valid ID, and $5 for everyone else. Visit Dazzle's box-office page for more details.
Opening Reception: Cyberscapes by Serenity Forge
Wednesday, May 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Though a few staunch traditionalists may still reject the notion, most artsy types have come to regard the medium of video-game design as the newest frontier of creative expression. That's particularly true of Boulder-based studio Serenity Forge, whose programmers endeavor to create a more meaningful gaming experience by challenging both players' skills and their perceptions. Serenity Forge games are also notable for their striking, otherworldly landscapes, particularly in games such as "Lifeless Planet," "The King’s Bird" and "Once Upon a Coma." Cyberscapes, an exhibit co-sponsored by Serenity Forge and Denver Botanic Gardens, showcases the immersive environments of these groundbreaking games, and proves conclusively — and beautifully — that video games are indeed art. The opening reception at 5:30 p.m. May 30 is free, as is the artist talk at 6:30 p.m., but the DBG asks you to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more at the Denver Botanic Gardens events calendar.
An Evening Celebrating Denver Public Art
Thursday, May 31, 6 to 8 p.m.
For thirty years, the people behind Denver Public Art have dedicated their efforts to beautifying the Mile High, creating and commissioning over 400 different pieces, including Lawrence Argent's "I See What You Mean," an icon of the cityscape. To celebrate this milestone anniversary, Denver Arts & Venues and Clique Studios are hosting a launch party for Denver Public Art's new website. Enjoy Ratio Beerworks brews, light appetizers and live music while mingling with the creators and contributors who make Denver's arts community possible. Admission is free; visit Denver Arts & Venues' Eventbrite page to register and find out more.
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Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.
Newman Center for the Performing Arts
The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music showcases its skilled students as the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Choirs present their season-closing concert. The program is fittingly dramatic for a show of such finality, kicking off with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's haunting Requiem in D Minor and concluding with Camille Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 ("Organ Symphony"). Admission is free, but reserving a seat costs $5. Visit the Newman Center's box-office page for more details.
Free Fridays at Mile High Flea Market
Friday, June 1, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mile High Flea Market
Summertime is flea market season, and it's heating up. For the next three months, the Mile High Flea Market is making good deals even better with its monthly Free Fridays, when guests can get access to an assortment of shopping treasures without paying an admission fee. Be sure to bring your youngsters along, because the flea market's delightful rides will be free, too. Visit the Mile High Flea Market's Facebook events page to learn more.