Tunes around town | Arts and Entertainment Briefs
June 5, 2012 · Updated 1:00 PM
Get a dose of the Aloha spirit
Makana, an internationally acclaimed singer, composer and player of Hawaiian slack key guitar, will play a concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Open Space for Arts & Community.
Makana, whose music integrates elements of folk, rock, ethnic, classical, bluegrass, jazz, traditional, ambient, electronic and Hawaiian slack key, has earned rave reviews by music critics. He was called “a dynamic force within the style” by the New York Times, and Esquire Magazine called him “the greatest living player” of slack-key guitar music. He was recognized as one of America’s top three guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine in 2008 and has five albums to his credit. His music can be heard in the film “The Descendents,” and he’s toured with such famous folks as Jason Mraz, Santana, Elvis Costello, Sting and John Legend.
Recently, Makana has garnered attention for “We Are the Many,” an Occupy/protest song he performed at the APEC summit in Honolulu in 2011 in front of Barack Obama and 20 other world leaders.
Tickets to the show, $15 and $17, are on sale at the Vashon Bookshop and www.brownpapertickets.com.
A taste of Texas comes to the Heron
Islanders can sample the spicy, bluesy taste of the Austin, Texas music scene at 8 p.m. on Friday, when Grand Marais, an indie-rock trio from the Lone Star State, plays a shows at the Blue Heron.
The band — singer Erik Sanden, guitarist Joe Reyes and bassist Odie — is coming to Vashon to play with their friend Ian Moore, a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has lived on Vashon for a dozen years.
It’s the second time Moore has lured the Grand Marais to Vashon; a couple of years ago, when the trio called themselves Buttercup, they played with Moore at Red Bicycle Bistro. But this time around, their music will sound a little different.
According to Vashon Allied Arts’ Janice Randall, the band has moved away from what she called “psychedelic-pop strains” and now plays a fusion of punk, dance and acoustic folk music. Their performances, she said, feature elaborate vocal harmonies and spare instrumentation.
For Moore, a Texas native, it will be a chance to reconnect with friends he deeply admires.
“The songwriting is witty and sly, sometimes cutting, but not sarcastic,” Moore said in an article in this month’s Island Arts. “These guys ... represent the intelligence and gentility of Texas — traits which are often overlooked when looking at the state’s arts.”
Tickets to the show, $13 and $16, are on sale at the Blue Heron, Heron’s Nest, Vashon Bookshop and www.brownpapertickets.com.
Kingbees head to the Bike
Bill Brown & The Kingbees will buzz into the Red Bicycle Bistro at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, playing their brand of high-octane rocking blues.
The group, led by harmonica-wielding frontman Bill Brown, has a new drummer — well-known Island percussionist and teacher Todd Zimberg. The band also includes lead guitarist John Gaborit and bassist Michael Stango, who are both music veterans with decades of experience playing around the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
The show is an all-ages, free event until 11 p.m. After that, the show is for folks 21 and older only.