Arts Brief | May 25 edition

“Eugenie Jones: Silk and Souls,” Martin Koenig and the Folklife Festival, and more.

Eugenie Jones

Islanders are in store for a jazz, soul, and R&B night to remember with “Eugenie Jones: Silk and Souls,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27, in the Kay White Hall lobby of Vashon Center for the Arts.

An extraordinary vocalist and gifted lyrist, and former Earshot Jazz Recording Artist of the Year and Vocalist of the Year, Jones is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter with a growing international fan base and a stellar reputation among players in the top echelon of jazz.

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Lights, camera, Folklife

Filmmaker and islander Martin Koenig will engage audiences at the 52nd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival, a three-day celebration of traditional music and cultural heritage, with four presentations.

Koenig will speak from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Monday, May 29, at the Center House Theater in the Seattle Center Armory with the festival’s artistic director, Ben Hunter, to discuss his 144-page book, “Sound Portraits From Bulgaria: A Journey Into a Vanished World 1966-1979,” adorned with over 100 photos and accompanied by two CDs containing 37 tracks of music, released by the Smithsonian Institution.

Additionally, Koenig will present three films at the SIFF Film Center, situated on the Seattle Center Campus.

The first film, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 26, “The Spirit Travels: Immigrant Music in America,” runs for 55 minutes and is narrated by Linda Ronstadt. This documentary celebrates the influence of native music, traditions, and cultural expressions on the diverse tapestry of American music. Koenig, the film’s associate producer, will lead a Q&A after the screening.

“Balkan Echoes: Village Dancing from Southeast Europe,” will be screened at 4:20 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Filmed and recorded by Koenig between 1968 and 1988, this 25-minute documentary showcases traditional music and dance forms from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. Koenig, along with his collaborators Richard Jones and Ivan Tashev, will have a Q&A session following the screening.

“Valya’s Song,” presented at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28, is an exploration of the recording process and subsequent journey of Bulgarian singer Valia Balkanska’s song, which was included on NASA’s Golden record aboard the Voyager spacecraft. The original film, directed by Gena Traykova for Bulgarian TV, has been adapted into a 20-minute version with English subtitles. Koenig, who recorded the song alongside Ethel Raim in 1968, will join Gena Traykova and Ivan Tashev, the editor, for a Q&A session after the screening.

In addition to the film presentations, festival-goers can also attend an artist’s talk with Traykova at the Friends of Folklife Lounge on the Fisher Terrace. For more information, visit

Garden Tour

Vashon Center for the Arts will present its annual Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, including five fabulous island gardens and activities at the VCA campus including exhibits, food trucks, vendors, and more. Find out more and get tickets at