Classical Music

Free for All: The Five Best Free Events in Denver This Week

Find enough gifts to stuff any stoner's stocking at Stoned for the Holidays.
Find enough gifts to stuff any stoner's stocking at Stoned for the Holidays. Lindsey Bartlett
Mile High culture lovers are spoiled for choice in the days ahead as bookstores, concert venues, and even a cannabis church open their doors to the public for free events. Meet an author, see a world-class performance, or find the perfect gift for the stoner on your Christmas list at one of the five best free events in the Denver area this week.

CU Faculty Tuesdays: Two Pianos
Tuesday, December 12, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall

The Faculty Tuesday Presents music series at the University of Colorado Boulder puts the spotlight on talented musicians in the CU Performing Arts orbit, at concerts that are grand as they are intimate. With an ensemble comprising a trio of pianists seated at two pianos, plus accompaniment from two cellists, two percussionists and a horn player, the concert is a showcase for the musical versatility of the piano, as well as the immense skill required to conquer it. The program opens with Francis Poulenc's "Élégie" and  “Bal Masqué," followed by Robert Schumann's quirky "Andante and Variations;" it concludes with Béla Bartók's sonata for two pianos and percussion, an infamous work that requires the skill of a virtuoso to even attempt. Join Alexandra Nguyen, Hsiao-Ling Lin and Jennifer Hayghe on the keys, David Requiro and Meta Weiss on the strings, Michael Tetreault and John Kenzie on percussion, and Michael Thornton on the horn for the university's weekly gift to classical-music lovers. Visit the CU Presents events page to learn more.

BookBar Book Club: Jazz, by Toni Morrison
Wednesday, December 13, 7 p.m.

Regular book club meetings can be a steep commitment for busy Denverites who lack the time. Fortunately for the busily bookish, Denver's BookBar presents monthly book club readings facilitated by writers, educators and other accomplished friends of the store. Join BookBar regular Kateri Kramer for a reading from Toni Morrison's Jazz, followed by an in-depth and hopefully wine-soaked discussion about the text. One of Morrison's boldest literary experiments, Jazz follows the improvisational variations of the music that inspired it, telling and retelling the tragic tale like a musician riffing on a songbook standard. Jazz can present a bit of a challenge to uninitiated readers, so Kramer's guidance is especially helpful this month. Find more details on BookBar's events calendar.

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Mutiny Information Cafe
Stage Tales 3
Thursday, December 14, 8 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe

Just one of many fine events at Mutiny, Broadway's most bustling bookstore, Stage Tales is the brainchild of Mutiny co-proprietor and music-scene veteran Jim Norris, a storytelling show focusing on the debauched, deranged or disillusioning tales of musicians, roadies and various other scenesters. In the third episode, Norris welcomes music producer Tim Flanagan along with Aaron Howell of MF Ruckus and WHITE FUDGE, plus a special surprise guest sharing tales of the rock-and-roll lifestyle. Admission is free, but donations for the performers are always gladly accepted. Visit Mutiny's Facebook events page for more details.

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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham