Arts Briefs | Feb. 29 edition

Jam in the Atrium, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Colwell Scholarship Benefit, Poetry book launch, and more.

Jam in the Atrium

Jazz will return to the atrium of Vashon Center for the Arts in the next installment of the Jam in the Atrium series, from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 2, with pianist Danny Kolke and saxophonist Kandin Neri joining island jazz bassist and host Bruce Phares. With a strong style of swinging piano style reminiscent of Oscar Peterson, Kolke is renowned for his powerful improvisational chops. The show is free. Find out more here.

Stephanie Anne Johnson

Tacoma vocal powerhouse Stephanie Anne Johnson — a Vashon favorite — will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

Johnson, who released a new album, “Jewels,” in 2023, has opened for Bernie Sanders and artists such as Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Ani DiFranco, Joseph, Cedric Burnside, and Black Joe Lewis.

Purchase tickets and find out more at Youth tickets are free, and unless the show is sold out, all tickets will be “pay-what-you-can” at the door.

Colwell Scholarship Benefit

A special fundraiser performance, featuring many well-known island singers and songwriters, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Vashon High School Theater.

The event will raise funds for the Paul Colwell Music Scholarship, which is part of the Vashon Community Scholarship Program and was created to honor Paul’s contributions to music on Vashon and around the world. The scholarship is awarded annually to graduating high school seniors who intend to continue with music in higher education.

Performers will include Mark Graham, Orville Johnson, Susan Lewis, Chris Andersen, Kat Eggleston, Camille Reeves, Steve Amsden, Mark Wells, Carter Castle, Rick Doussett, Steve Itterly, David Hawkins, Kate Atwell, Mindy Little, Chuck Roehm, and Paul and Steve Colwell.

There is a suggested donation of $10 to $20 at the door. Those who cannot attend the performance may donate to the fund by visiting and clicking on the donate button — include the words “for the Paul Colwell Music Scholarship” in the comment or memo box.

Max Gomez

Max Gomez, a New Mexico singer/songwriter known for carrying the torch of Western troubadours, including Michael Martin and Ray Wylie Hubbard, will appear in an intimate concert presented by Debra Heesch at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Snapdragon Bakery & Café. Gomez, a songwriter’s songwriter who has opened for Jeff Beck and Tommy James and the Shondells, has also shared the stage with Americana stars Shawn Mullins, James McMurty, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Patty Griffin and John Hiatt.

Find out more about his music at and buy tickets for the show here.

Allessandra Rose

Allessandra Rose, a Bremerton-based chanteuse who frequently performs on Vashon, will appear with a full band at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Snapdragon Bakery & Café. Islander Debra Heesch is presenting the show.

To find out more and listen to Rose’s music, visit Tickets to her Snapdragon show, $10, are on sale at

“The Healing Heart of Lushootseed”

Vashon Land Trust, the Backbone Campaign and the Vashon Heritage Museum will present “The Healing Heart of Lushootseed,” a documentary that tells the extraordinary story of how a diminutive great-grandmother, the late Vi Hilbert, tenaciously gathered support from unlikely corners for her most ambitious project: to heal the heart of the world.

Admission to the screening, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Vashon Theatre, is by donation. A discussion with the filmmaker, Jill La Pointe, the granddaughter of Vi Hilbert, will follow the film’s presentation. La Pointe is the director of Lushootseed Research (LR), a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Lushootseed language and culture.

Kissing the Joy as it Flies

Vashon Repertory Theatre will present “Kissing the Joy as it Flies,” Mike and Gerry Feinstein’s collection of revered author Brian Doyle’s sometimes comical, often moving observations and stories that celebrate being human, even in dark times.

The production is an encore presentation of the show, first performed in 2019. It is directed by Charlotte Tiencken and features members of the original cast — Cate O’Cane, Jeanne Dougherty, David Mielke, and Paul Shapiro, with musical interludes by Kat Eggleston.

The late Brian Doyle published more than 30 books of essays, fiction, and poetry and received many awards including the coveted Pushcart Prize before he died at the age of 60 in 2017. “Kissing the Joy as It Flies” is a celebration of his life and work.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22; 2 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24. Find out more and get tickets at

Poetry book launch

Hear poets Yvonne Higgins Leach and Linera Lucas read from their new poetry collections from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Vashon Bookshop. Admission is free.

“In the Spaces Between Us,” by Higgins Leach, includes works that have sprung from the author’s continuing search for answers about the profound human experience. “Answering Chaos: A Handbook,” by Lucas, is a manual for survival through poetry, a record of how to withstand the necessary and unnecessary traumas of a long life. Lucas hopes that by being forthright about her many mistakes, the reader will know they are not alone.