May 2009

[Click "Play" button to hear Susan's conversation with Jimmy Herring]

Telluride Jazz, May 5-7. Sideman out front: Jimmy Herring

L_e6755d8529ba3cd6cb3ad15886d5e16f He has been the legend behind the legends, a musician's musician, but the 33rd annual Telluride Jazz Celebration, June 5 - June 7, will set the record straight. After three decades as a sideman, guitarist Jimmy Herring is finally getting exactly what he deserves: center stage.

Fusion guitarists that claim the middle ground generally skew one way or the other: former Telluride Jazz Celebration headliner John Scofield, for example, has deep roots in jazz,  and Carlos Santana is a rocker at heart. Jimmy is a rarity: he stakes his claim where jazz harmonies and rhythmic concepts and the edgy power of classic rock come together, improvising with an intensity that underlines his roots.

Jimmy's formidable chops have been used to great advantage by outfits ranging from Widespread Panic to the Dead, Phil Lesh and Friends (a Dead offshoot), Project Z, the Allman Brothers, Col. Bruce Hampton's Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jazz is Dead and others.

[click "Play" button to hear Susan's conversation with Valerie Madonia] Sunday, May 31, 3 p.m., at the Michael D. Palm Theatre, the Telluride Dance Academy holds its annual dance recital showcasing the talent of tots (age 3+) to...

May 28 to June 4, 2009

Visible Planets: Morning: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter   Evening: Saturn

Sc001148d1 As the Moon waxes toward full – growing larger each evening – tap in to your inner goddess, feel Mother Nature’s rhythm and intuit your path. Connecting with natural cycles and “going with the flow” is not just an airy-fairy, New Age idea or adage - it’s a genuine, time-honored process of self-discipline and awareness practiced by sages, gurus and avatars for millennia.

The Gemini lunar and solar cycles encourage curiosity, communication and thought. It is the celestial zodiac’s first air sign and therefore deals with primal thinking and skills of cognition – using the mind to perceive, identify, reason, deduce, categorize and prioritize. This sounds simple and basic, and it is. But, in today’s world, we have a tendency to be over-amped when it comes to mental and sensory stimuli and activity, therefore reducing the quality of transmission and turning mega-bytes of data into static. Our brains can feel like over-saturated sponges with no more room for water.

Memorial Day in Telluride was wet and windy. There were movie surprises early in the day: "The Cove" was an unheralded entry and grabbed one of the "TBA" slots. Audience reaction was wild, including a long standing ovation at the conclusion. "Cove" tells of the...

IMGP0408 IMGP0411 Red letter days under blue skies. Our life in Telluride.

The morning of May 27 started out with a hike out our back door, crack of 7:30 am, our dog Gina running ahead, breaking through the crust of frost. You heard me.

We divided to conquer the middle of the day: Clint rafting on the Uncompaghre with TASP and me holding down the fort, posting and podcasting, which has nothing to do with fishing.

In the evening we joined locals at the Ah Haa School Depot Building, where the winners of the Telluride Writers Guild's annual Write Here Contest were on the boards, strutting their stuff. Writers Guild director Amy Cannon beamed as she introduced the winners.

At the Nugget Theatre in Telluride, the movie for the week of May 29-June 4 is "Star Trek." The movie is showing twice each night at 6:00 and 8:30 pm., and is rated PG-13.This prequel takes us back to a time before Kirk was...

Thursday evening, 7 p.m., Telluride's Wilkinson Public Library, enjoy a recap of the Mudd Butts' April trip to Wondo Genet, Ethiopia.  Local trip participants and staffers Wendy Brooks and Luke Brown host a narrated slide show of the trip, and play excerpts from the...

Telluride Mountainfilm was an appropriate venue for the announcement on May 23 of a new program of renewable energy in the Telluride region. The introduction to the session was given by Bill McKibben, longtime advocate for solutions to global climate change. Mountain Village mayor Bob...

Violinist Maria Bachmann of the incomparable Trio Solisti is also the artistic director of the Telluride Musicfest. Now in its seventh year, the event takes place  in town June 24 – July 5. This year, the world famous artist Philip Glass is Composer-in-Residence.   On...

IMGP0406 Sunday late afternoon, Telluride: A double rainbow appeared in the sky at the end of town, a colorful postscript to a hailstorm and soggy Memorial weekend. Perhaps the light show was also an auspicious sign. Perhaps we will succeed in facing down some of the many global challenges we are faced with today –  Mountainfilm's hope and its reason for being.

Mountainfilm is not just about mountains or films. The opening shot of Telluride's busy summer festival season has evolved into a hydra beast, its multiple heads looking back at its roots in mountains and mountaineering, at fixed points in the present – endangered cultures, eco-systems, species, and ideas – and into the future at the positive change the nonprofit exists to effect through lectures, breakfast talks, gallery walks, Mountainfilm on Tour, and yes, films.

Mountainfilm's directors, David Holbrooke and Peter Kenworthy, say their event is not just about talking. It is about doing. And not just doing, doing to effect positive change. In its maturity – Mountainfilm just turned 31 – they  focus a little less on adrenaline, and a little more on activism. The writing was on the wall from Day One: Speaker after speaker, film after film reminded us that the real work is out there in the field.