Editor's Note: Because of the threat of rain, this evening's concert has been moved to the Open Space for Arts & Community.
A summer tradition on Vashon will kick off Thursday with the first in a series of outdoor concerts in Ober Park.
The series, presented by the Vashon Park District in association with Vashon Events and Vashon Allied Arts, will offer a slate of performers who play genres spanning soul, honky-tonk, world music and Latin fusion. In addition to music, the series will also include a Shakespeare in the Park show in August.
The music and theater events will go on, despite the fact that construction for the expansion of the Vashon Library is still happening. Performances and seating for the concerts will now be reconfigured to the east side of the parks department building.
There will still be room for the large, all-ages crowds drawn to the concerts, said organizer Pete Welch.
“There is plenty of grass to spread out those picnic blankets and lawn chairs,” Welch said. “Families can come to Ober Park and relax, let the kids play on the playground and enjoy the entertainment.”
The series kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday with local chanteuse Sarah Christine, who’ll bring her band to the stage to play uplifting, danceable music inspired by the flavors of soul, reggae and rythmn and blues. Christine’s band includes some of Vashon’s best-known players.
The next show in the series will feature Incendio, a Los Angeles-based band that combines boleros, salsas, tangos, mambo and other Latin forms with Indian, Arabic and Celtic stylings. That show, set for 7 p.m. Friday, July 5, will be co-sponsored by islander Jessa Zimmerman as a celebration of her 50th birthday.
Billy Joe & The Dusty 45s, a Seattle group, will deliver up honky-tonk, jump blues and rock and roll at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25.
The Seattle Shakespeare Company will bring their production of “The Tempest” to the park at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The company is a year-round professional ensemble that presents performances and youth programs to audiences throughout the Puget Sound region.
The concert series will close at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, with a show by Picoso, a band that is grounded in the Afro-Latino sounds of the Caribbean.
Welch said he hopes islanders show up in droves for the shows.
“If you’ve never experienced the warmth of community at the cool nights of summer concerts in the park, you’re in for a special treat,” he said.