Arts and Entertainment

Talented local teens will open up for hip-hop artists

It’s time for the latest in a series of innovative concerts that pair top Seattle music acts with young island performers.

The series, called Sharing the Stage, will bring Seattle hip-hop sensations The Physics and Kublakai to the Open Space for Arts & Community on Saturday night.

The Physics are real-life brothers Thig Nat and Monk Wordsmith, joined by producer Justo D’Amato. The trio has been making music together since they attended O’Dea High School in southeast Seattle.

They’ve released three full-length albums and performed at venues including Sasquatch, South by Southwest, Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and every major nightclub in Seattle. Along the way in their musical journey, The Physics have become critics’ darlings and home-town heroes of the Seattle music scene.

The Stranger’s Larry Mizell, Jr. described  “Love is a Business,” the group’s 2011 album, as possibly “one of the greatest ensemble works Seattle hip-hop has produced, and it’s undeniably one of the best things to come out of this town in years.”

The show’s other headlining act, Seattle MC Kublakai, is the musical vehicle for Vashon High School graduate Ian Waller, who has also received praise from The Stranger. An entry in the newspaper’s Line Out music blog said that “honesty and passion … have always been prominent in Kublakai’s tracks.”

A recent Kublakai video, “One of a Kind,” features ballet dancer Meg Sayre, a Vashon High School junior.

Opening acts for the headliners will be an eager ensemble of Vashon High School students. Kate Atwell and Mallory Breen will perform a duet. The band Trocadero, made up of Dan Green, Henry Kenoyer and Quinn McTighe, will play. Peyton Levin and Tanner Montague will perform a duo act, and Donald Evans III (aka Peter Evans) will also take the stage.

The kids in the opening acts have polished their performances with music mentor Jacob Bain, an islander and bandleader for the groups Publish the Quest and Trolls Cottage.

Sharing the Stage began in 2010, when islanders Fred Strong, Harris Levinson and Rob Bordner joined forces to create a concert series aimed at teenagers on Vashon. So far, the trio has presented shows by Visqueen, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Thomas Marriott, the Blue Scholars and Zac Anthony and Kate Goldby of The Wellingtons.

“We wanted to produce shows in professional venues, where kids would be psyched to go, feel respected and not be told they can’t dance the way they want to dance,” reads a statement on the series’ website. “We wanted to acknowledge the passion, hard work and dedication that kids put into the music that means so much to them.”

— Elizabeth Shepherd

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Open Space for Arts & Community. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults. Purchase them in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com.

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