When you've got that hankering to go river rafting, chances are that Salida, one of the state's prime meccas for rapids-runners, will be your destination. But the picturesque mountain town has a lot more passing through it than the Arkansas River: With some forty little shops, restaurants and galleries lining its streets, it's also home to a fair amount of culture. And the art you'll see there won't all be the kind you expect from a mountain burg. Salida's burgeoning resident artist community turns out works that vary from fine modern art to one-of-a-kind wearables, all showcased year-round, but especially every June during ArtWalk. Face it: In-town fests are crowded, hot, and hell on your feet, but in Salida, you'll get a real vacation along with your art.

When you've got that hankering to go river rafting, chances are that Salida, one of the state's prime meccas for rapids-runners, will be your destination. But the picturesque mountain town has a lot more passing through it than the Arkansas River: With some forty little shops, restaurants and galleries lining its streets, it's also home to a fair amount of culture. And the art you'll see there won't all be the kind you expect from a mountain burg. Salida's burgeoning resident artist community turns out works that vary from fine modern art to one-of-a-kind wearables, all showcased year-round, but especially every June during ArtWalk. Face it: In-town fests are crowded, hot, and hell on your feet, but in Salida, you'll get a real vacation along with your art.

The Rocky Mountain Music Association was once the primary advocate for local musicians in these parts, but over time the group grew less and less effective, causing one wag to joke that anything sponsored by the RMMA "couldn't draw flies." Now the Colorado Music Association, or COMA, has undertaken the same mission with an energy and drive that can't be denied; in its first year of existence, membership has grown from the tens to the hundreds. In addition, the group has a first-rate Web site (www.coloradomusic.org) and sponsors concerts, discussions and workshops that people actually attend. Imagine that.

The Rocky Mountain Music Association was once the primary advocate for local musicians in these parts, but over time the group grew less and less effective, causing one wag to joke that anything sponsored by the RMMA "couldn't draw flies." Now the Colorado Music Association, or COMA, has undertaken the same mission with an energy and drive that can't be denied; in its first year of existence, membership has grown from the tens to the hundreds. In addition, the group has a first-rate Web site (www.coloradomusic.org) and sponsors concerts, discussions and workshops that people actually attend. Imagine that.

Fortunately for jazz and avant-garde enthusiasts, New Yorker Alex Lemski brings diversity and excitement to the city with forward-thinking cultural events like the Denver Free Music Festival and the Edge of the String concert series. The president and driving force behind the nonprofit Creative Music Works, Lemski has also branched out and begun sponsoring jazz classes and seminars through the grass-rooted Lamont School of Music. A consistent supporter of free-form sounds and risk-taking since the mid-'80s, Lemski's the staunch non-commercial odd man out in today's increasing tide of Ticketmaster-induced slavery, placing music over the almightiest of moolah. Here's to the outer reaches of jazz -- and beyond!
Fortunately for jazz and avant-garde enthusiasts, New Yorker Alex Lemski brings diversity and excitement to the city with forward-thinking cultural events like the Denver Free Music Festival and the Edge of the String concert series. The president and driving force behind the nonprofit Creative Music Works, Lemski has also branched out and begun sponsoring jazz classes and seminars through the grass-rooted Lamont School of Music. A consistent supporter of free-form sounds and risk-taking since the mid-'80s, Lemski's the staunch non-commercial odd man out in today's increasing tide of Ticketmaster-induced slavery, placing music over the almightiest of moolah. Here's to the outer reaches of jazz -- and beyond!
It's hard for most people over the age of eleven to imagine the Backstreet Boys as heroes -- fashion dolls manufactured by Mattel, maybe, but not heroes. However, via its management, the group came to the rescue of innocent ticket-buyers last fall by blowing the whistle on House of Blues's scummy policy (first exposed in Denver) of setting aside large blocks of tickets for various parties rather than making them available to the general public. Backstreet's back? All right!

It's hard for most people over the age of eleven to imagine the Backstreet Boys as heroes -- fashion dolls manufactured by Mattel, maybe, but not heroes. However, via its management, the group came to the rescue of innocent ticket-buyers last fall by blowing the whistle on House of Blues's scummy policy (first exposed in Denver) of setting aside large blocks of tickets for various parties rather than making them available to the general public. Backstreet's back? All right!

Over the past few years, these neo-grass, cross-genre rockers have gone from playing bar basements to headlining Red Rocks. It's the kind of progress bands in any hometown dream of, a feat fueled by excessive touring, good musical vibes and astute business savvy. Nothing cheesy about that.

Over the past few years, these neo-grass, cross-genre rockers have gone from playing bar basements to headlining Red Rocks. It's the kind of progress bands in any hometown dream of, a feat fueled by excessive touring, good musical vibes and astute business savvy. Nothing cheesy about that.

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