A Musical Weekend

This is one of those weekends that makes us happy and astounded at the variety of music taking place in our corner of the world.

Uncle Bonsai returns to the Fairhaven Library (upstairs) at 1117 12th St.,  to celebrate the release of its ninth recording, “The Family Feast: The Study of the Human Condition, First World Problems, and the Lasting Physiological and Psychological Effects of Eating Our Young.” Now in its 36th year, the Seattle acoustic folk-pop trio continues to tackle topics such as first-world problems, the creation of the universe, the afterlife, and, of course, holidays with the family. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., and admission ranges from $12 to $15. Tickets are available online at  bonsaibham.bpt.me or call 800-838-3006. It’s co-sponsored by the Whatcom Family & Community Network and the Whatcom County Homemade Music Society.South Hill’s

South Hill’s David Harris and Grace Phelan have been organizing concerts of the folk-Americana-world-bluegrass genres since at least 2005 and have probably hosted more than 60 concerts. They say they began arranging concerts when East Coast musician friends wanted to do West Coast tours but had no contacts.

“We knew folks in Seattle who hosted house concerts, and from them and others we figured out who were good contacts in Portland, Port Townsend and Vancouver B.C.,” says David.

“It was logical that if a performer or a group’s tour would start out in California, proceed to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, that a concert in Bellingham should be scheduled. Once we had promoted a few concerts for East Coast musician friends, we began to get inquiries from other performers and bands and have always tried to accommodate individuals and groups that embrace old time or traditional music.”

They typically provide dinner for the artists on the day of the concert and house them that night, and more, if needed. They’ve have had world-famous performers as well as less-known regional musicians. All have been pleased and sometimes surprised by the enthusiastic Bellingham audiences, they say. “Grace and I never really thought much about why we do what we do,” David adds, “except that we love doing it and think that we are exposing folks to wonderful musicians.”

There are three events that they are coordinating this month alone. All take place at 7 p.m. at the YWCA Ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St., and tickets are $15 each at the door. First up are violinist Ruthie Dornfeld and guitarist John Miller, performing at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the YWCA ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St.

Ruthie and John have been performing together for over 20 years now, playing café music from around the world–Finnish polskas and schottishes, French musette waltzes, Venezuelan merengues, Brazilian choros, American and Canadian fiddle tunes, as well as a host of original tunes. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is $15. For more information about this concert, contact John Miller at: john@johnmillerguitar.com or call 206-817-8785. Coming up are Albanie Falletta and the Sweet Tooth Serenaders on Nov. 26 and John Reischman and the Jaybirds on Nov. 29.

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra’s third Harmony from Discord concert honors the story of Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at Mount Baker Theatre. The concert showcases “Bestemming – Concerto for Cello, Orchestra, and Narrator” by  composer Sharon Farber, performed by international cellist Amit Peled with noted baritone Erich Parce narrating. Farber’s work inspired by Lowens’ acts of heroism in saving more than 100 Jewish children, and two American pilots. The afternoon closes with Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica).

Faber will talk with Western Washington University’s Ryan Dudenbostel at 2:15 p.m. in MBT’s Walton Theatre, free with concert tickets.

For tickets, call 360-734-6080 or go to mountbakertheatre.com. Here’s more on the concert from music director Yaniv Attar.