Asian American festival, Marimba madness at Levitt, Professor Phelyx and more

Denver Zoo launches Asian American festival

Saturday-Sunday. To celebrate Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month, Denver Zoo this weekend is its first Asian American and Pacific Islander Festival. The event is driven by the zoo’s partnership with the Filipino-American Community of Colorado, organizers said, and will offer multicultural dance, music, art, workshops and community engagement, highlighting “the Zoo’s unique connection to Asian cultures and countries through its animals and conservation programs.”

Denver Zoo’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Festival debuts May 14-15, 2022, and focuses on the Front Range’s diverse Asian culture. (Provided by Denver Zoo)

Along with the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Sakura Square’s Cherry Blossom Festival and a handful of others, it’s one of the few events anywhere in Colorado celebrating the Front Range’s diverse Asian population. In other words: don’t miss it.

It runs 11 am-5 pm Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, at 2300 Steele St. The festival is included in regular daytime admission, $14-$20. Visit denverzoo.org/events for the schedule and more details.

Marimba maniacs!

Friday. As part of its “Marimba Maniacs” spring tour in the US and Mexico, the Gama brothers will swing by Levitt Pavilion on Friday, May 13, for a free, all-ages show headlined by their band Son Rompe Perawhich mixes traditional Mexican sounds with punk, garage and other contemporary influences.

The show begins at 1380 W. Florida Ave. in Ruby Hill Park, and (as noted) admission is gratis thanks to Levitt’s nonprofit concert model. See more free shows and register for Son Rompe Pera at ticketweb.com.

Salida Film Fest premieres

Saturday and Sunday. Outside of Telluride, Denver, and Boulder, Colorado’s film-fest scene can be hard to pin down, with dozens of high country events competing for attention. This weekend’s inaugural Salida Film Fest is the latest, with another beautiful setting and thoughtful, discrete lineup at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center.

A still from Julie Jackson's
A still from Julie Jackson’s “Native Horses,” which is screening in Salida this weekend as part of the first Salida Film Festival. (Provided by Volz Media)

Audiences can catch up with A24’s “C’Mon C’Mon” (on opening night) and four other features, documentary shorts, a free table read, a local-filmmakers celebration, a free movement class, and a free panel conversation around Denver’s just-completed SeriesFest.

Four-day passes for the event, which began Thursday and runs through Sunday, May 15, are $80, while individual screenings are $12. See the full schedule salidasteamplant.com/salida-film-festival.

Get schooled by Professor Phelix

Friday. Louisville will get a little bit weirder on Friday, May 13, when internationally touring, Denver-based mentalist and illusionist Professor Phelix steps on stage. The old-school gentleman with a mischievous grin has for years been reading audience members’ minds without resorting to hypnotism or other magic-hacks, but he’s also a deft comic, storyteller and improvisational performer.

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