“Come Together,” a showcase of island bands and musicians performing songs by The Beatles, will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Open Space for Arts & Community.
The evening follows a crowd-pleasing format, developed over the years by organizers Pete Welch and Allison Shirk, of inviting homegrown talent to take the stage to pay tribute to giants of popular music. Past showcases in the long-running series have included a celebration of “Bob and Bob,” (performers chose songs by Bob Marley or Bob Dylan), a hard-rocking show called “Pink Zeppelin,” (celebrating Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin) and “Dead Elvis,” (a pairing of hits by the The Grateful Dead and Elvis Presley).
This time around, all of the songs will come from the Fab Four canon. Performers will include a who’s who of almost 50 islanders, playing solo, duo and ensemble renditions of such classics as “In My Life,” “Dig a Pony,” and “Got to Get You Into My Life.” Sing-along opportunities for the audience will no doubt abound, with renditions of “Let It Be” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Imagine” also on the docket.
A short list of performers includes the band Saint Ophelia, Madeleine Wolczko, Kevin Moe and Sarah Kaal, Martin Feveyear and Michael Whitmore, Allison Shirk, Gus Reeves, Tab Tabscott, Kim Bothen and Ron Frombach, among many others.
Welch said he expected that “Come Together,” like past Vashon Events showcases, will contain a touch of magic.
“When we do these shows, people always get up there and surprise the heck out of you,” he said.
Shirk will emcee the night with local comedian Richard Moore, keeping songs and jokes rolling in the Grand Hall of Open Space, where there will be lounge-like seating arranged around a dance floor. A bar stocked with offerings from Vashon Brewing and Palouse Winery, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, will be open throughout the evening.
The evening is a fundraiser to support Vashon Events. The nonprofit presents a wide range of musical experiences on Vashon, including all of the music stages of Vashon’s annual Strawberry Festival and pop-up events throughout the year. Vashon Events also regularly books shows at island venues and co-presents Vashon’s popular “Summer Concerts in the Park” series. The lineup for this year’s series, set for Thursday nights in August at Ober Park, includes Ian Moore, Clinton Fearon, Portage Fill Big Band, The Paperboys and Polecat.
The nonprofit’s website, vashonevents.org, includes an up-to-date calendar of cultural happenings on Vashon, as well as directories of local music teachers and a free lending library of musical instruments.
“The filter that we work through is, ‘does this support our local musicians?’ said Welch. “If it doesn’t, we don’t do it.”
Attendees at the fundraiser will also have a chance to bid on silent auction items.
“Come Together” is the first of four showcases planned for the year by Vashon Events. In September, Vashon Events will host a pride-focused night of song, filled with LGBTQ anthems. In November, there will be a release party and concert for “Vashon Calling,” a Vashon Events-produced album of music by local bands. And in December, Vashon Events will hold its annual event, “Will Sing for Vashon,” a benefit for all the island’s nonprofits. All the showcases will be held at Open Space.