1. Holier Than... Everyone
It’s been nine years since the Dalai Lama last visited the Mile-High City, so it might be wise to catch him this time around. The Dalai Lama will publicly share his thoughts on how to reconcile modern science and spiritual inner reflection—a central theme of the sponsoring organization, the Mind and Life Institute in Boulder. Flutist and Grammy Award nominee Nawang Khechog, accompanied by Tibetan dancers, will perform before Mayor Hickenlooper introduces His Holiness.
The Science of a Compassionate Life: Sept. 17, Pepsi Center
2. Slice of Italy
Festival Italiano’s signature food and wine weekend is more than a pasta-lover’s paradise: It’s two days of diet-breaking bliss as 65 Italian vendors tempt you with sausage, gelato, pizza, wine, baked goods, and other authentic Italian treats. Between bites, drop the kids at the Balistreri Vineyards grape-stomp while you watch flag throwers from Florence, take an Italian language lesson, try your hand at bocce, indulge in regional wine-tasting, or catch an Italian film classic (all free of charge). New this year is the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Festival Italian Overture, written specifically for the festival.
Italian Food and Wine Festival: Sept. 23–24, Belmar
3. Journey South
Jazz89–KUVO’s three-day guided trip this month to southwestern Colorado offers a first-hand look at the Native American culture and Hispanic history of the region—without the hassle of planning or driving. The tour bus rolls through the San Luis Valley and the historic Hispanic settlement of La Garita, then stops overnight in Pagosa Springs to allow for a soothing sulphur soak. Next up are the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park, and dinner and dancing in Durango’s La Plata Mountains. The last stop is the Southern Ute Reservation in Ignacio for a cultural experience led by the local elders. Jazz89–KUVO, Denver’s first Hispanic-controlled public radio station, will use the proceeds to install a new transmitter tower and other broadcast upgrades.
Southwestern Colorado Milagro Tour: Sept. 15–17, Southwestern Colorado
4. Diversity of Sound
Jazz Aspen Snowmass, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving jazz and world music, is known for its “diverse and eclectic” booking policy, but this year’s Labor Day lineup might take the cake. Where else can you see LeAnn Rimes, Kanye West, John Mellencamp, Matisyahu, and Los Lonely Boys on the same stage? Not to mention the up-and-coming openers with killer vocals belting out everything from soul to pop to R&B. Don’t be afraid to rub elbows—an audience more than 6,000 deep fills the open-air park every day.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass: Sept. 1–4, Snowmass Town Park, Snowmass Village
5. A Peacable Night
Join six women Nobel Peace Prize winners for an evening of dialogue between laureates who have never before conversed on one stage. Learn about Wangari Maathai’s work on sustainable development in Kenya, listen to Jody Williams tell of her international treaty to abolish land mines, or hear from Shirin Ebadi about her fight for women’s rights in the Middle East. These women and their colleagues, whose Nobel achievements span 1977 to 2005, are sharing their personal triumphs in order to raise money for PeaceJam, a nonprofit that supports the younger generation of peacemakers. The panel will be held in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner who remains under house arrest in Burma because of her struggle for democracy and human rights.
International Stories of Courage: Sept. 17, Ellie Caulkins Opera House