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Get a preview of the upcoming Colorado River Days with a pre-festival event Thursday at the Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen Ave. As part of the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival Summer Showcase, the "Celebration of The River" will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature the Arizona premiere of "Kickass Katie Lee," presented by the filmmakers and Lee herself. Admission is $8.

Colorado River Days will officially run Sept. 2-12. The multi-day event is designed to educate people about threats to the river and also celebrate the river and its watershed. Events include movies, book signings, live music, family events, lectures, hikes and more at venues across Flagstaff with around 30 participating organizations.

The keynote lecture "Grand Canyon End to End" will be presented Sept. 9 at NAU's Cline Library, 1001 S. Knoles Dr. At 6 p.m., Rich Rudow and Chris Atwood will kick off the evening, recounting their 57-day end-to-end traverse of the Grand Canyon below the rim.

At 8 p.m., Flagstaff journalist Kevin Fedarko will take the podium. To explore pressures on the canyon and watershed, including mining activity, helicopter traffic and massive development schemes, Fedarko decided to traverse the canyon by walking from Lees Ferry to Grand Wash Cliffs. His epic, nearly 700-mile adventure is featured in the September issue of National Geographic.

For a full schedule of events, visit www.coloradoriverdaysflagstaff.org.

Festival brings live music to the Canyon rim

The annual Grand Canyon Music Festival launches today with a free concert at Desert View Watch Tower. As part of the celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service, the concert will feature Puhutawi, a new genre of music that fuses Hopi traditional music with contemporary chamber music.

Then on Friday, at 7:30 p.m., the Bonfiglio Group will perform at the Shrine of the Ages. With Robert Bonfiglio on harmonica, Joe Deninzon on violin and Stephen Benson on guitar, the trio will perform music described as "an unpretentious bridge between jazz, classical, rock and pop."

Puhatawi will again be the focus on Saturday at a 7:30 p.m. concert, also at Shrine of Ages.

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 and 10, 7:30 p.m., at Shrine of the Ages, "The Stories We Tell" will be performed by Arizona Opera artists and Sage Bond. In collaboration with the Arizona Opera and Heard Museum, "The Stories We Tell" consists of new, micro-operas composed by young Native composers, current and former Native American Composer Apprentice Project apprentice composers, and their teachers, Raven Chacon and Michael Begay.

Concert tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children. For a full schedule of events, visit grandcanyonmusicfest.org.

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