Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival • Spontaneous Productions Presents The Exonerated • Boise State Presents The Vagina Monologues • Lunafest • Heart Shrine Relic Tour 

Something for Everyone and a Little More

Wednesday 22-Sunday 25

Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival

This event is a bit of a drive, but the size and scope of the entertainment makes it worth a trip.

The University of Idaho has hosted its Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival since 1968. In the nearly 40 years since its inception, it has grown from a one-day event to a four-day festival and has hosted such jazz greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Sarah Vaughan and, of course, Lionel Hampton and his New York Big Band.

On Wednesday, the festival kicks off with student ensemble performances in the afternoon and at 7:30 p.m., the International Jazz Concert with a special tribute to jazz great Lou Rawls. On Thursday evening, listen to the Ray Brown Special Guest Concert with its special tribute to Hank Jones. On Friday afternoon, student vocalists will show off their chops and at 8 p.m. the All-Star Concert pays special tribute to James Moody. Saturday afternoon seea the student instrumentalists wow the crowd and at 8 p.m. and the festival will have its grand finale with the Giants of Jazz Concert, featuring the Lionel Hampton New York Big Band and special guest Jack Jones.

Each evening's concert also features the outstanding musicians from that day's competition.

Feb. 22-25, $21-$31. University of Idaho Kibbie Dome, Perimeter Drive and Rayburn St., Moscow, 208-885-6765. For more information, visit the festival's Web site at www.jazz.uidaho.edu.

Friday 24-Saturday 25

Spontaneous Productions Presents The Exonerated

When Spontaneous Productions was looking for a new performance home, it seemed like a perfect match when they teamed up with Visual Arts Collective. You have your chance to find out, because the two are presenting their inaugural collaboration with The Exonerated, a devastating play written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen that takes six real-life stories of people convicted of violent crimes, sentenced to death and later exonerated. The play is directed for Spontaneous Productions by Mike Silva (who directed a staged reading of the play last July at the Flicks, with proceed to benefit the ACLU of Idaho).

Feb. 24-25. Doors open at 7 p.m., performance begins at 8 p.m. $15 general, $20 reserved bistro table seating (tickets available through www.ticketweb.com or at the door). Visual Arts Collective, 1419 W. Grove St. For more information, call 363-7053 or 573-0623 or visit www.sponprod.com.

Friday 24-Sunday 26

Boise State Presents The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues was written, produced and performed by Eve Ensler in 1996. Ten years later, we're still talking about the play. This current production is presented by the Boise State Women's Center as part of the V-day 2006 College Campaign, a worldwide movement to stop sexual violence against women and girls. The goal of the performance is to educate the community by talking positively and openly about women's bodies.

Lauren Tweedy, who is directing the play for the Women's Center, has created additional monologues for this production and promises an experience that is equal parts enlightening and sexy. And we'd be blind to the spirit of the event if we didn't mention that if you take your ticket stub to the Pleasure Boutique, you can exchange it for a free silver bullet vibrator.

Feb. 24-25 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. $10 general, $5 students. Boise State Special Events Center, 1800 University Dr., 426-4316.

Saturday 25

Lunafest

Lunafest is a national touring festival of films for women, by women and about women. Come check out the eight flicks at the Flicks. It's for a good cause: proceeds benefit The Breast Cancer Fund. For more information see "Special Screenings" under screen listings on page 27.

$15 advance, $18 at the door. Attendees will receive a gift bag and those 21 years and older receive a complimentary wine tasting before each screening. The Flicks, 646 Fulton St., 342-4222. www.theflicksboise.com.

Saturday 25-Sunday 26

Heart Shrine Relic Tour

Like the Dalai Lama's September visit to Sun Valley, the stop of the Heart Shrine Relic Tour in Boise is a bit inexplicable given its importance, but highly anticipated and appreciated nonetheless. Prior to being enshrined in the Maitreya Buddha being constructed in Kushinagar, India, the relics tour is traveling the world to "bring big blessings to small towns." The relics, which are pearl-like crystals left behind after the cremation of a Buddhist spiritual master representing the yogi's compassion and wisdom and indicate the level of the his spiritual attainment, have been collected by the spiritual director of the Maitreya Project Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Most of the relics are from the Buddha (including eight donated to the tour by his Holiness the Dalai Lama), with some of the relics belonging to the Buddha's disciples and other saints. The tour's stop in Boise includes lectures, dances and several blessings sessions. Filmmaker Saandra Steinfelt and student filmmakers from Boise State will be filming the tour for a documentary to be aired on TVTV in the coming months.

For more information on the Maitreya Project or the Heart Shrine Relic Tour, visit www.maitreyaproject.com.

Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Feb. 26, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. FREE, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 6200 N. Garrett, Garden City. For information, call 344-4345 or e-mail info@eclipseweb.org.

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