Arts Briefs | March 30 edition

Jam in the Atrium

Islanders will be treated to “The Sound of a Dry Martini” in another installment of the Jam In The Atrium series at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at Vashon Center for the Arts, when visiting jazz artists Brent Jensen and Jamie Findlay showcase their stylings of classic jazz repertoire.

Jensen is lauded for his delicate and luscious tone, evoking the memory of the late, great Paul Desmond — the honored tribute recipient of Jensen’s acclaimed recordings with Jamie Findlay, on the critically acclaimed albums “Sound of a Dry Martini” and “More Sounds of a Dry Martini.”

Findlay is considered one of the true masters of contemporary acoustic guitar. He is acclaimed for his numerous recordings and prolific talents as a jazz guitar educator.

Local jazz bassist Bruce Phares will also play and host the show, leading his “Deconstructing Jazz” segment of the show in conversation with the artists.

Rainbow Girls

Rainbow Girls, a folk trio from California with an ardent Vashon fan base, will play a show, presented by islander Debra Heesch, at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at Vashon Theatre, with special guest Alessandra Rose. Purchase tickets at

“American River”

The Vashon premiere of “American River,” a documentary film based on island author Mary Bruno’s book of the same name, will screen at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

The film, directed by Scott Morris, recreates Bruno’s true-life journey of kayaking New Jersey’s blighted Passaic River, a place that during her childhood, she was told to never go near. The film’s story — part personal history, part environmental science — has made the film a favorite at numerous recent film festivals. After the screening, Bruno and Morris will discuss their film and answer audience questions. Find out more and get tickets at

Stephanie Anne Johnson

Stephanie Anne Johnson, an acclaimed Americana/blues musician from Tacoma, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The show is one of four in the Northwest to launch Johnson’s new album, “Jewels” — a tour to venues that will include The Triple Door, in Seattle, and The Alberta Rose Theatre, in Portland.

Johnson is a Black, nonbinary artist who has opened for Mavis Staples, Allen Stone, Ani DiFranco, Black Joe Lewis and even Bernie Sanders, at the Tacoma Dome.

Johnson’s new album, “Jewels,” was produced by Jeff Fielder at Oliver Blue Studios in Seattle. Fielder, a revered Northwest guitarist, also plays most of the instruments on the record.

Get tickets and find out more at

Maori Cultural Arts Workshop

The power of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom will flow from the other side of the Pacific Rim to Vashon’s shores in a series of workshop sessions with Amelia Butler, Maori dance and cultural arts teacher, to be held on Friday, April 14, at the Vashon Methodist Church’s sanctuary.

These sessions, arranged by islander Erin Durrett, are designed to provide islanders with insight and inspiration to delve into a relationship with the land through embodied movement, rhythm, voice, and ritual based in the deeply spiritual traditions of Maori culture.

Three sessions will be offered — “Singing the land: Maori Sacred Song, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; “Song by hand: Maori Action Song,” from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and “Haka: Embodied Song,” from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Haka is the traditional dance of the Maori, incorporating full-body movement, voice, self-expression, mind, breath, spirit, posture and action — a transformational, enlivening and empowering experience.

The suggested donation for adults is $60 per session and $150 for all three sessions. For youth and children, there is a suggested donation is $15 per session. If cost is an issue, pay what you can. For more information and to register, email