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The way Denver musician Barry Shapiro sees it, people don’t find themselves in Colorado by accident.
“Denver is the kind of place where people move here because they want to be here,” he said. “Denver draws people here for the right reason, and that openness extends to the music scene as well.”
Shapiro knows what he’s talking about — he was born in Brooklyn, and lived in Boston before coming to Colorado 27 years ago, when he was 18. He was inspired to start in music thanks to the inspiration of his mother and grandmother, who played piano. In high school, he got inspired by the work of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
After years of playing in the Colorado scene, Barry Shapiro will be playing at Boulder’s famous eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St., at 7 p.m. Dec. 9. He’ll be joined with Sean Kelly from local favorites The Samples, and his band includes Steve Gaskin, an Arvada West jazz band alumni.
Shapiro recorded his full-length debut album called “In Remission “ in 2000 about the healing power of music, followed it up in 2005 with “Beacon Street,” inspired by life in New England, and his most recent release is called “Boardwalk Rain.” His music is largely inspired by places he visits, and that includes Colorado.
“The Colorado music scene is a scene of nooks and crannies, and great little rooms that people don’t know about, and those are some of my favorite rooms to play,” Shapiro said. “My favorite thing about playing is when my creativity inspires somebody else to create something else.”
For tickets and more information, go to www.etown.org/events/etown-presents-barry-shapiro-band.
Murder at the Golden History Museum
There’s a more than decent chance you’ve never heard of Robert S. “Batt” Battalino, and even if you have, it’s probably because he was the first person executed for committing a crime in Jefferson County for a murder he committed in the foothills west of Golden.
But he was also a prizefighter who made an appearance on the TV show, “The Greatest Fights of the Century.”
History buffs can learn more at the Murder and the Shanghai Prize Fighter event, held 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Golden History Museums, 923 10th St. The cost is $10 for Golden History Museums members and $15 for non-members.
Led by Dennis Potter, a retired captain with Jeffco’s Sheriff’s Department, the program will dive into the story of Battalino’s life, the crime he committed, and the bond he formed with the sheriff as he waited for death in the gas chamber. Potter uses genuine artifacts from Golden’s archives, including the actual handcuffs Battalino wore.
For further information, visit www.goldenhistory.org.
An interactive classical listening experience
When the Denver Art Song Project was founded in 2015 by Eapen Leubner, Mallory Bernstein and Michael Bevers, the idea was to create themed art song programs that blend spoken word, art, and super-titles. They also wanted to use this art to build a community of fellow performers and audiences. This led to the release of their first album, “A Single Step… Songs of Beethoven and Donaudy.”
At 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, the Denver Art Song Project will bring the works of Dvorak, Barber, and Vaughan Williams to the Arts at Cabrini, 6773 W. Chatfield Ave. in south Jefferson County.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than under 18. There will be food, wine and non-alcoholic beverages available by donation.
For more information, call 303-979-7688 or visit www.artsatcabrini.com.
Practice photography with flying friends
No matter how cold it gets outside, there’s always a warm place to spend with crawling and fluttering insects at Westminster’s Butterfly Pavilion.
The facility, 6252 W. 104th Ave., is also helping photographers with their wildlife skills with a Tripod Photography class, beginning at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. The cost is $15 for non-members and $13.50 for members.
The self-guided event lets photogs-in-training get photos of butterflies and tropical flowers in the pavilion’s tropical rainforest. There aren’t many places in Colorado, particularly as we move into the long dark of winter, where you’ll find these kinds of flora and fauna.
For information, call 303-469-5441 or visit www.butterflies.org/rainforest-photography.
Booze tasting and adult milk and cookies
Breweries all over the metro area are rolling out holiday and seasonal drinks this time of year, and you can sample several offerings over the weekend.
Wheat Ridge’s Colorado Plus brewery, 6995 W. 38th Ave. will be showing off its Milk and Cookies Imperial Stout and made from scratch cookies at its Milk and Cookies Pairing.
The free event goes from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, and will feature a specialty crowler edition of imperial stout, which received a gold medal at the All Colorado Beer Festival 2017.
Molly’s Spirits, 5809 W. 44th Ave., is celebrating its second anniversary with a party from 4 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. The party will feature live chalk artist painting by Mythica, who recently competed on TV’s “Skin Wars,” free food trucks, and Campo Viejo wines from Spain and Left Hand Brewing tastings.
To learn more, head to www.mollysspirits.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached email@example.com.
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