Art & Culture Colorado Telluride Telluride Festivals: Art & Culture Colorado Telluride Telluride Festivals
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Art & Culture Colorado Food & Wine Mountain Living Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals Writing & Books: Art & Culture Colorado Food & Wine Mountain Living Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals Writing & Books
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Within the span of the last week, you can really feel that summer is winding down here in Telluride. The aspens are beginning to change and within two weeks, we should be nearing peak leaf-peeping season. With the arrival of this golden autumnal season comes the promise that ski season isn’t far off, two not-so negligible happenings that make summer’s end much easier to accept in this part of the country.
In T-ride, as in many mountain towns in Colorado, the end of summer marks the close of a terrific festival season. This weekend, September 14, 15 & 16, you can enjoy one of the best festivals of the West at Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in beautiful Telluride Town Park, one of the world’s most spectacular settings. Tickets have been selling super fast this year due to an exceptionally stellar lineup. The good news is that there are still day passes available for Friday and Sunday. Plus, at this writing, some seats remain at the glorious Sheridan Opera House for Bal de Maison, the Cajun house party that kicks off Blues & Brews festivities this Thursday night. For more on my take of this year’s festival closer in T-ride, read Telluride Blues & Brews Promises More Fun Than Ever This Year. Let’s just call it the last big party of the summer and even better, the forecast is gorgeous for this weekend.
Art & Culture Colorado Mountain Living Music & Dance Shopping Telluride Festivals: Colorado Mountain Living Music & Dance Shopping Telluride Festivals
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Coloradans love to have fun. And many of our good times are had at festivals, a glorious tradition that was started in our most alluring mountain towns some forty years ago. Some of the greatest festivals have been founded in Telluride, Colorado, and I’m sure we’ll always rank as the frontrunner of all the festival towns. I can say with confidence that the biggest and best take place here in T-ride. It’s likely largely due to our spectacular setting. Have I told you that it’s drop-dead gorgeous here?
It didn’t take long for the rest of the country—and countless people across the globe—to catch on to our festivals. Now the calendar year is marked by Telluride locals and fans from afar by our remarkable happenings. Telluride Blues & Brews bookends the summer festival line up for a glorious three-day extravaganza the third weekend of September. This year, due to the calendar, it comes early on September 14th, 15th and 16th. That just means it promises to be extra sunny and warm.
Art & Culture Colorado Telluride Telluride Festivals: Art & Culture Colorado Telluride Telluride Festivals
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Bluegrass music and Telluride, Colorado go together like sunshine, summer and sizzling, take-me-on-a-memorable-ride events. Together these components make one heck of a happening, a kaleidoscopic celebration of music and good times, known as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, now in its thirty-ninth year.
I’m taking a break from my own festivating to let you know that you, too, can be a part of this world-renowned event. Tune in right now to KOTO, Telluride’s public radio station, to hear the festival broadcast live (that’s during regular festival hours this weekend, of course). Since typically ninety percent of festival artists allow their performances to be aired live on KOTO, you can count on listening to some of the greatest musicians in the land throughout the entire weekend. Click here to see the lineup, throw down your tarp, pour yourself a cool one as fresh and frothy as what you’d find at the KOTO Beer Booth at Bluegrass and allow yourself to be transported to one of the greatest musical gatherings on earth.
“It’s a big undertaking,” says Suzanne Cheavens, co-producer along with Stephen Barrett, of KOTO’s broadcasting of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. “KOTO is programming and radio, and we’re real proud to put it on,” she adds. “We’re real grateful to Planet Bluegrass for getting this on the air and helping us get in touch with the artists,” Suzanne continues.
Being Green Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride Telluride Festivals Travel: Being Green Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride Telluride Festivals Travel
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Here it is Friday afternoon and plus it’s almost summer. Many people in the United States are gearing up for the weekend, starting it full-on actually. This is the time when most of us exercise our God-given right to play. Recreation, sport, play—have you ever contemplated how important this is in our lives? Most of us first learned to play when we were little kids. Play teaches us so much—how to get along, how to compete, how to follow rules and more. It’s not just about fun although fun is a key component to any game.
So imagine being a child in a war-torn country where play of any kind is nonexistent. Frank Marshall, part-time Telluride resident, renowned Hollywood producer and director of the ESPN movie “Right to Play,” talked about his film and the necessity of play last weekend at a coffee talk at Mountainfilm Festival here in T-ride. Mr. Marshall told the story about how one kid in a far flung, ruined country became popular because he had a long sleeve shirt that could be rolled up into a ball and used for play. Contemplate that when you’re out on your boat this weekend.
Thank goodness there are heros like Johann Olav Koss, an Olympic speed-skating champion from Norway that used his drive and influence to create the global organization Right to Play. Now over 700,000 children in about two dozen countries are benefiting from the joy and discovery of play made possible by Johann Koss, a score of other Olympic athletes and teams of workers from around the world. Frank Marshall captures the indomitable spirit of this Olympic champion and the hope and love he brings to the children touched by Right to Play. Best of all: You can watch the forty-two minute “Right to Play” film tomorrow afternoon, Saturday June 2nd, on ABC. Check your local listings for the correct time in your zone. It’s such a wonderful film that I’d guess it will be played again on other outlets at other times. more »
Art & Culture Colorado French Life Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals: Art & Culture Colorado French Life Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals
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Who said silent films are a thing of the past? “The Artist,” an ebullient silent film depicting Hollywood during the roaring Twenties, generated quite the buzz this year at both the Cannes and Telluride Film Festivals. I missed it since I was away for most of this year’s festival in T-ride but hope to catch it after its November 23 release in movie theaters (likely art houses) across America. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius and starring Cannes Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin, leave it to the French to create and produce a silent film in the year 2011.
I was, however, able to catch “From Morning to Midnight,” a German silent film from the Twenties the last night of this year’s Telluride Film Festival, a showing made memorable by the accompaniment of the Alloy Orchestra. The film itself was rather macabre (dare I say very German?). But I was highly entertained nonetheless by watching and listening to the Alloy Orchestra, a Telluride Film Festival favorite that has been gracing this world-renowned festival with their presence for about two decades. This three-man musical ensemble has played the world, bringing silent films magically to life in such distinguished cultural centers as The Louvre, Lincoln Center, The Academy of Motion Pictures, the National Gallery of Art and more. If you ever have a chance to see them, seize it! This year was my first in the eight years I’ve been attending the Telluride Film Festival and I’ve become a huge fan.
Why are they so great? I guess it’s their unusual combination of found percussion instruments and state-of-the-art electronics. (Hence the name Alloy.) Part Blue Man Group, part Stomp, part Philadelphia Philharmonic, these three guys know when to hit the right notes at just the right times. Clearly they have humor, too. (They do after all refer to themselves as an orchestra.) I met band leader Ken Winokur over a glass of wine in the park before the show and said a quick hello to Roger Miller and Terry Donahue afterward. Look forward to seeing you guys again!
Never has silence been so golden…and such an amalgam of metals.
Read Hiding Up in Telluride, Silver Mined on Screens, a piece in this week’s New York Times for more on this year’s Telluride Film Festival and the movies to look for in the coming months. You may also enjoy Telluride Film Festival: A Moviegoer’s Lovefest, my own take on this fantastic event.
Have to go—I’m off to see a friend that acted as George Clooney’s bodyguard here all last weekend. She’s tall, blond, athletic and I’m sure tight-lipped about any inside scoop on this year’s real talk of the festival. Maybe she’ll give me a tidbit after I ply her with a couple of wines. This is when silence is fire-engine red!
Colorado Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals: Colorado Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals
O.K., maybe not always on my mind, but at least quite often. I’m crazy about Willie Nelson and I can’t imagine a better place on earth to see him for the first time but right here in my beautiful backyard of Telluride, Colorado. For the eighteenth year in a row, Telluride Blues & Brews is gracing our most golden season—late summer—with a festival that combines world-class music and tasty brews in an unparalleled setting. And this year, Willie is one of the headliners.
This three-day celebration goes off all over town by day and night in Telluride’s strikingly scenic Town Park as well as in indoor and outdoor venues in town. By day, you can enjoy live blues, rock, funk, gospel and soul and then at night you take it to the juke joints and after-hours jams all around town. The whole festival experience is one big glorious goodbye to summer, hello autumnal glory. This year Telluride Blues & Brews takes place September 16th, 17th and 18th and although lodging sells out fast for this peak weekend, there’s still plenty to choose from for planning a memorable trip to Telluride.
Being Green Mountain Living Telluride: Being Green Mountain Living Telluride Telluride Festivals
Some 12,000 people ushered in summer over the weekend at the thirty-eighth annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival here in my pristine mountain town. That’s about four times the year-round population of Telluride, a town that has remained picture-perfect partly due to its remote location. Just over 4,000 of these folks were campers, many of whom came from all over the country to attend this world famous four-day happening of sun and song, free spirited-ness and fun. If you look around T-ride today, you’d hardly guess that the town of Telluride and Planet Bluegrass had put on such a party just a couple days ago. Even throughout the festival, there’s scant evidence of un-managed festival waste and even fossil-fuel burning vehicles are kept at a minimum. (Lots of bicycles and enthusiastic walkers though.) Indeed, the organizers of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival know that our majestic mountains and verdant valleys are as much a prized part of this great summer solstice gathering as the picking and strumming of festival regulars Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan and Béla Fleck. Festival organizers have imparted this love and will for preserving the environment to their devoted festivarians and best of all, facilitate people’s ability to reduce waste at every turn.
Indeed, Telluride and Telluride Bluegrass Festival serve as an inspiring model for how to take the best care of a good thing. But as I was reminded in a post, entitled State of the Ocean: Shocking Report Warns of Mass Extinction from Current Rate of Marine Distress, from today’s Huffington Post, not everyone is on the same page. Many people are talking about the direction in which the world is headed, but it seems as though not enough people are doing enough about it. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman ponders in his recent piece, The Earth is Full, we’re apt to look back at the first decade of the twenty-first century in a few years and wonder why we didn’t panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population red lines all at once.
In this time of soaking up the great outdoors, I challenge everyone to begin today to take even better care of the world around us. It all begins with awareness. And then more awareness. And more. And more. And then you start to fine tune your habits. I did just that when I saw “Bag It,” a film about plastic and its effects on our bodies and our world, at last year’s Mountainfilm. In case you missed it, read Brand New Me, Brand New Me: Surveying My Potions, Lotions and Other Pampering Paraphernalia and “Bag It” and Green Travel. I’m still working to reduce my use of plastic and my carbon footprint overall and there’s lots of room for improvement. My amount of recyclables far surpasses my trash, however, and I choose glass over plastic at every opportunity. (I’m almost compulsively collecting plastic bottle caps under my sink, so if anyone knows for sure what to do with them, please tell me.)
Thank goodness we have people driven enough to go beyond their own personal responsibility of picking up after themselves. Tim DeChristopher, and his act of peaceful civil disobedience in this time of global climate crisis, is one such person. Yeah, he’s the guy that upended the auction of prime wilderness in Utah that would have otherwise been slated for oil and gas drilling. We’re talking about land very much like Arches National Park and Canyonlands. Just look at the above images. That’s the place, folks. Images that weren’t even allowed as evidence in Tim DeChristopher’s trial. I had no idea that Tim was such an intelligent and strongly committed environmentalist until I saw the Bidder 70 presentation at this year’s Mountainfilm. Documentary filmmakers and part-time residents of Telluride, Beth and George Gage tell Tim’s story in “Bidder 70,” a moving and inspiring film that will likely be finished after Tim’s upcoming sentencing. Tim’s sentencing was supposed to take place this Thursday, but that has been postponed until July, likely to divert attention from the Climate Action Protest planned around this event. The protest is still set to occur and I encourage you to find out how you can express your opposition to global warming and more at Peaceful Uprising. If nothing else, please think twice about driving your SUV to the corner store.
Also at Mountainfilm, I saw “The City Dark,” a film that chronicles the disappearance of darkness. Yes, those twinkling city lights can be enchanting but the impact they’re having on the environment is shocking. The lack of a dark, night sky is effecting all kinds of species and habitats, including hatching sea turtles, for example, that are finding themselves more drawn to coastal lights than to the ocean where they must go to survive. As you look up into the night’s sky this summer, just imagine how many more stars and planets you could see without such luminary interference by man.
By the same filmmaker Ian Cheney and also at Mountainfilm, I loved Truck Farm, a whimsical and inspiring movie about how you can take green roof technology, heirloom seeds and an old pickup truck and create a mobile garden that delights both the belly and eye. Ian Cheney takes sustainable living to a new level, one that everyone is sure to enjoy, especially city dwellers that may long for their own patch of land. Buy the DVD for the favorite gardener in your life!
I love animals and movies and T.V. shows that help us to better understand our relationship with our four-legged friends. “Buck,” a documentary I also saw at Mountainfilm, opened last week in New York. I hope it will make it to other movie theaters around the country this summer for it’s a touching film about life’s challenges and how you can turn even a bad situation around to your advantage. Based on the story of Buck Brannaman, the inspiration behind the novel and movie “The Horse Whisperer,” “Buck” enlightened me about how to more effectively communicate with animals and people. There’s a lot to be said about a firm, yet gentle approach. Read the review in last week’s New York Times.
I was also recently very moved by The Last Lions, a National Geographic movie about the battle for survival that’s being waged in Africa by the world’s big cats. Did you know that fifty years ago there were about 450,000 lions in Africa and now, due to the encroachment of man, they’re down to as little as 20,000? Watch the trailer and Nat Geo will contribute $.10 to lion and big cat conservation in Botswana. The cinematography is, of course, magnificent. For more information on National Geographic’s conservation efforts all over the globe, go to Cause an Uproar.
Even with all the challenges the world is facing, we have an infinite number of reasons to be happy. If you have any doubts at all, find a way to see Happy, the movie, by Academy Award nominated director Roko Belic. Or just click here to see the trailer. And then encourage your favorite local theater to screen it. You’ll want to spread this kind of happy. It’s a movie. It’s a movement. It’s a way of life. If you adopt this kind of happy, you’ll likely stay home more and spend more time with the ones you love. You’ll realize you don’t have to be doing and buying as much to make yourself happy. That in turn will make the world a happier place.
And then that will end up circling back to you. You’ll be able to see more stars in the sky and more animals roaming in the bush. There will be more fish in the sea and cleaner surf. Our fruits and vegetables will taste better. Our unspoiled lands will remain forever wild and scenic. We’ll begin to be more in balance.
Happy summer everyone!
Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols, marine biologist extraordinaire, will be my guest on my next Travel Fun that airs Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. mountain time. As we plunge into this big season of sand and surf, J. will share his knowledge of and experiences in the big blue and how we can better take care of our oceans. As I saw in the most photogenic short “Chasing Water,” by Pete McBride, also at Mountainfilm, the Colorado River dries up long before it hits the sea. Never doubt the connection between the mountains and our oceans. We’re all connected in fact.
Here’s a new festival to hit Telluride: the Compassion Festival. This three-day event will bring together cutting-edge neuroscientists, Tibetan Buddhist practitioners and teachers of Native American wisdom traditions together for panel discussions, conversations, ceremonies, movies and more in an effort to take a more encompassing look at our world in crisis. Presented by the Telluride Institute July 8-10.
Thank you to Benko Photographics, Beverly Joubert and lots of other kind folks for the use of the above images.