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What’s Happening May 27 – June 3

RiverBend will play a show next Friday, Michael Tracy’s history lecture and performance, and more.

  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 6:27pm
  • Arts

Rock, bluegrass and jazz shows at Vashon Center for the Arts

Patterson Hood, who is well known and celebrated nationwide both for his solo career and his band, Drive-By Truckers, will play a second show at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 29, following the sell-out of his first show on May 28. The second concert is for vaccinated people only.

VCA will be operating at 50% capacity for this show which is 150 seats. Masks will still be required but there will be no social distancing enforced. A photo ID and a vaccination card (or photo of card) showing a second shot on or before May 15 are required for entry into the VCA Atrium and Kay White Hall. This protocol was developed by VCA in consultation with VashonBePrepared and its Medical Reserve Corps. Get tickets at vashoncenterforthearts.org.

The local band RiverBend will play a show at 7 p.m. Friday, June 11.

RiverBend is a popular island band that performs bluegrass, old-time country and folk. Band members are Paul Colwell, Peter Larsen, Chuck Roehm, Dick Gordon and Mike Witmer. Colwell is well known for playing with numerous island groups as well as internationally with The Colwell Brothers, the Sing Out, and Up with People groups. Roehm and Larsen played as part of the island band The Garage Boys, and Larsen also played in the island group Down Yonder as well as a popular German group called Kampfire in Hamburg. Gordon was a member of the popular Seattle band Rag Daddy in the 1970s, played on the island at Sound Food, Al and Tony’s Pizza and with the Garage Boys and the Geezers. Mike Witmer has performed in blues bands for the last 30 years and hosts a blues program on Voice of Vashon.

Tickets for the in-person, limited capacity show are $15. It will also be live-streamed on the VCA website and YouTube page. Purchase tickets at vashoncenterforthearts.org 24 prior to the show.

A music history lecture and performance with Michael Tracy, “Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn: Partnership in Jazz” will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at VCA.

In the 1920s out of segregated Washington DC, a self-taught Black pianist, composer, and bandleader, Edward Kennedy Ellington, embarked on a career that would last into the 1970s. By the late 1920s, Ellington was performing in Manhattan’s Cotton Club, by the 1930s playing to sold-out crowds in Paris, London, and cities throughout the US. In 1938 Ellington met a 23-year-old, gay Black musical prodigy, Billy Strayhorn. For the next 30 years, Ellington and Strayhorn formed Jazz’s great partnership producing such great songs as “Take the A Train”, “Lush Life” and many other famous hits.

Michael Tracy, the lecturer, will be joined by accomplished and well-traveled musicians to play Ellington and Strayhorn’s music: jazz pianist Dylan Hayes, bassist Stanley Ruvinov, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier.

Tickets to the talk and performance are $10, buy them at vashoncenterforthearts.com.This event will have in-person seating for a limited capacity in the Kay White Hall and also be live-streamed on VCA’s website and Facebook page.

Water Protectors: Museums and Movements Talk

Beka Economopolous and Jason Jones, island residents and activists, will present a Zoom talk for the Vashon Heritage Museum at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10.

The talk will focus on their project, The Natural History Museum, which stands for the principle that museums are being called on to act as allies and amplifiers of Native-led movements to protect water, land and sacred sites. Jones and Economopolous will speak about recent initiatives organized by the Lummi Nation, and how the symbolic and infrastructure power of museums might be leveraged to protect natural and cultural heritage as well as our collective future.

This talk advances an important upcoming exhibition on Vashon.

In July and August, The Natural History Museum will install their traveling, outdoor exhibition and IMAX-style film projection venue outside the Vashon Heritage Museum, with a presentation of “Whale People: Protectors of the Sea,” featuring a 3,000-pound killer whale totem and an award-winning film that tells the story of the environmental emergency through the figure of the orca. The talk is free, with a $10 suggested donation to support future talks.

Find out more and register at vashonheritagemuseum.org/speakers.

Strawberry Festival merch available soon

Vashon Chamber of Commerce is launching a new website, ThisisVashon.com, on June 1, where islanders can find information about and merchandise for this year’s Strawberry Festival, coming up July 16 to 18, in town. Hats, mugs, mousepads, totes and more all have the new iconic logo of Vashon’s very own festival. Check it out.


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