Get Ready for Summer (And So Many Choices This Week!)

From my pal and colleague Marla Bronstein: “If you are in a band, or are associated with a band that is following the Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series on Facebook, you are probably wondering.. WHEN ARE OPEN SUBMISSIONS FOR SUMMER 2020???”
Well, Marla still doesn’t have the confirmed dates for summer, but she says the concerts may start as early as June 11 or go as late as Aug. 27….so…if your band can work with those constraints, check out the history of the series and submit today. For the best chance of getting scheduled, please email Marla your submission before the middle of February to Give her at least three Thursday dates you are available.

I received a press release from Christina Claassen for a media tour at Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building last week, kicking off the first part of a five-year exhibition partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum with three masterworks from one of the nation’s most treasured collections of American art.
From the press release:
“Conversations Between Collections: The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whatcom Museum,” opens this weekend, and shows through Jan. 3, 2021, at the Museum’s Lightcatcher building.
This partnership is made possible by the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative, a nationwide program that expands access to outstanding works of American art.
Two of the masterworks—Fritz Scholder’s “Indian and Contemporary Chair” (1970) and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s “State Names” (2000), will be presented in dialogue with the vibrant stories and art of local Coast Salish People in the Lightcatcher gallery, “People of the Sea and Cedar.” These powerful contemporary paintings by two renowned Native American artists upend traditional colonial narratives and romanticized portrayals of Indigenous Peoples. Scholder, who was one-quarter Luiseño, and Quick-to-See Smith, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation, both draw on notions of Native identity in their expressive paintings. Along with historical and contemporary works created by Lummi and Nooksack artists, the selections in this gallery emphasize the important role that art-making has held for Indigenous communities for millennia.
“The Coast of Genoa” (1854), by Hudson River School painter Jasper Francis Cropsey, will be featured in the Lightcatcher first floor gallery alongside landscapes from prominent West Coast and Northwest artists from the Whatcom Museum’s collection, including works by Vija Celmins, John Cole, Richard Gilkey, and Paul Horiuchi. With the intent to stimulate discussion between what is familiar and what is foreign in a landscape, visitors will observe and share how elements of each work denote place and, specifically, our place within the Pacific Northwest, and how the landscapes we love are deeply rooted to a sense of self.
“Presenting these special masterworks in dialogue with work by American artists from our collection allows the Whatcom Museum to tell a truly expansive and complex story about what American art can look like,” said Amy Chaloupka, Whatcom Museum Curator of Art. “Even more, it offers an opportunity for communities to share what American art looks like to them.”
All three outstanding works on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum bring fresh perspectives around investigations of place and identity that emphasize the preservation and celebration of stories. To further highlight the diverse ways people share stories, the Museum will host a Family Activity Day on March 14 centered on these themes.
The Museum will debut the “Story Dome,” a mobile story-recording booth that will give visitors an opportunity to record oral responses to questions inspired by the exhibition, which relate to personal experiences of place, such as a special hike on Mount Baker or rolling out cookie dough in a grandmother’s kitchen.
In May, acclaimed photographer and storyteller Matika Wilbur, from the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes (Coast Salish), will share a talk on her groundbreaking, seven-year quest to visit and photograph all of the 562-plus sovereign tribes across the United States. “Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America” shares powerful images and stories that Wilbur has collected over the years from hundreds of tribal nations, ranging from the Inupiaq in Alaska, O’odham in Arizona, and Osage in Oklahoma, to Seminole in Florida, Wampanoag on Cape Cod, and Whatcom County’s Lummi and Nooksack tribes. The imagery and oral histories Wilbur will present reveal the dynamic, multi-dimensional variety of contemporary Native American life.
As Wilbur puts it, “By unveiling the true essence of contemporary Indian issues and sharing the beauty of Native cultures and the magnitude of lasting traditions, we can renew the perspective of Indian identity, exposing the tenacity and vitality of Native communities.”
In addition, “The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality,” on view through April 26 at the Lightcatcher building. The show offers the opportunity to learn about and appreciate diverse cultures and their personal, spiritual, and social values throughout the world.
“The Global Language of Headwear” presents 89 hats and headdresses carefully selected from a private collection of more than 1300 extraordinary pieces of international headwear. This exhibition features hats from 42 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, and is a tribute to the stunning diversity of the world’s cultures. With a few exceptions, the pieces are from the mid-to-late 20th century, and many are still worn today in parts of the world for revelry, ritual, and the rhythms of everyday life. More than utilitarian objects of material culture, each hat is a unique work of art, not merely because of the skill required to make it, but also as a singular expression of creativity and cultural meaning. The profusion of shapes, styles, and materials, as well as the ingenious use of embellishments to decorate the hats, are limited only by imagination.
“The Global Language of Headwear” is organized into five thematic sections: cultural identity; power, prestige, and status; ceremonies and celebrations; spiritual beliefs; and protection. Hats and headdresses communicate timeless ideas, not only of beauty, but also of what it means to be human. The Museum will also present a variety of headwear from its permanent collection in conjunction with this collection, including Northwest Coast cedar bark hats.
“The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality” was jointly organized by independent curator of ethnographic headwear, Stacey W. Miller, and International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs, and services to artists, arts institutions, and the public.
Whatcom Museum has two buildings with public hours: Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., and the Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St., both open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The Family Interactive Gallery, located in the Lightcatcher, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m.; Sunday. Admission for Museum members is free; $10 general; $8 youth (6-17)/student/senior/ military; $5 children 2 – 5; under 2 free. Visit for more info.

Do you play a horn, percussion, or other mobile instrument? Are you looking to get more involved in meaningful social justice? Come to the first rehearsal of the Beet Root Street Band from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College Auditorium (room 300). The mission of the group is to bring music and energy to local marches, actions, protests and demonstrations, with the vision to bring music into activism spaces to turn depletion into rejuvenation; to challenge injustice; and to bring inspiration, healing, and unity within our communities and ourselves.
Communities they support include, but are not limited to: immigrant rights, racial justice, farm worker justice, indigenous sovereignty, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental justice, and women’s rights, prioritizing support for marginalized peoples and communities.
Bring a friend, an instrument, and a music stand. Send an email to stay up to date:, and RSVP on Facebook: 

Bellingham Music Club applauds the winners of the organization’s High School Winds & Percussion Competition in honor of Nicholas Bussard and the High School Vocal Competition in honor of Jack and Ginny Frymire at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 at at Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 Texas St. Come early for Anniversary Coffee Hour in the atrium at 9:30 a.m. BMC is 104 years young!
On the program are works by Bach, Handel, Cecile Chaminade, and Fumiyo Usui, performed by Olivia Grendon, tenor saxophone, and flutists Leigh Hjelmseth, Ella Thompson, and Byanca Holguin. Singers Jacob Lann, Mia Lustick, Phoebe McNair-Luxor and Anne Thorsen will perform pieces by Carl Maria von Weber, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann.

What can a production mounted in 2020, of a play written in 1599, about events which happened in 1415, tell us about the consequences of war, the responsibilities of leadership, and the vagaries of the heart? William Shakespeare’s “Henry V,”  his epic coming of age saga of war, politics, and love, is onstage Thursday, Feb. 6, through Feb. 15 at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center’s DUG (Underground) Theater. Tickets range from $7 to $15, available by calling 360-650-6146 and online

Western Washington University’s Global Spice World Music series presents Haiqiong Deng, guzheng and guqin master, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in its Performing Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Haiqiong Deng is a master performer on the traditional Chinese instruments the guzheng (21-string zither) and guqin (7-string zither). She was the recipient of 2018 Florida State University College of Music Research Fellow, the 2017 Florida Cultural Heritage Award, the 2013 Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Master Artist of the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Award in 2012, and the winner of the Outstanding Performance Prize at the 1995 Chinese National Zheng Competition in Shanghai.
Both her CDs, “Mountain, Water, Sentiments: Traditional Chinese Zheng Masterpieces Performed by Haiqiong Deng” and “Stringing Echoes: Classical Indian Music by Sitar and Zheng” were nominated for the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards in “World Traditional” Category in 2014. Tickets are $12 general, $8 student/senior, available by calling 360-650-6146 and online.

The Woods/Stowell/Black Trio delights audiences with their emphasis on interplay, communication, and collective improvisation in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center Choir Room (16).
Trumpeter/composer Kevin Woods is quickly emerging as one of the most melodic and emotive voices in improvised music in the Northwest. His passion for both performance and education have made him in demand as a leader and a sideman as well as a composer, arranger and clinician. Woods is director of jazz studies at WWU.
John Stowell began his successful career in the early 1970’s with private study with guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a duo that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. John continues to tour, record and teach internationally. He has been Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, and in the United States and Canada. Since 1995 he has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including “Downbeat,” “Guitar Player,” and “Canadian Musician.”
Vancouver, BC-based composer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Miles Black 
has more than 38 years of professional experience. He has recorded on over 800 albums, and has performed world-wide with many music greats, including Sweets Edison, Max Roach, Dee Daniels, Houston Person, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan and Lew Tabackin. Miles is currently co-leading the award winning and Juno-nominated modern jazz quartet Altered Laws with reed-man Tom Keenlyside. He is a member of the Oliver Gannon Quartet, The Mike Allen Quartet, He is also pianist with an exciting new jazz trio called “Triology”, and leader of his own octet.

Celebrate the day of love with the ones you love in a Family Activity Day from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave., sponsored by Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department! Families are invited to play and be silly together. Enjoy oodles of games, crafts, and fun! Cost: Free or $3 suggested donation. Details: 360-778-7000.

Bellingham Park and Rec is working with Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St., a local, nonprofit, all-ages venue and art gallery, to host another Teens Raise the Mic from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. Teens and young adults can explore their creativity and support each other in spoken word, comedy, and songwriting. It’s free, and all ages are welcome to attend, but performers must be younger than 21. Those age 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Donations are appreciated.

The newest Cabin Fever CD, “Nightjar,” is here and the musicians are celebrating in style with a house concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. What began 20 years ago as an adventure by two best friends, Cabin Fever NW has grown into a powerhouse quintet. The entire band will be performing, including Tara Caldwell (vocals, clawhammer banjo) and Dianne Bochsler (vocals, rhythm guitar) both of Bellingham;, Ed Johnson (vocals, lead guitar) of Menlo Park, CA; Paul Elliott (fiddle) of Seattle; and Cary Black (vocals, bass) of Sebastopol, CA. Tara and Dianne say “This recording is our favorite ever, blending folk roots with gospel influence, acclaimed vocals, songwriting, and musicianship.” This concert will sell out, so reserve your seats right away! For reservations and location details, contact host Neal Harold at Doors open at  6:30 p.m., music starts at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation $20 per person.

My friend Pace Rubadeau has been talking for months about the concert he’s promoting with C.W. Stoneking, taking place Saturday, Feb. 8, at the YWCA Ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St. It’s all ages, and costs $25, and features The Shadies, Hot Damn Scandal, and a vintage dance performance by B’ham Hop. Doors open at 7 p.m.
A warning! Pace says that at the time of this blog entry, there were only about 13 tickets left! So hustle over to
Pace says Stoneking was only planning shows in Vancouver, BC. and Seattle, but Pace says that “Bringing rare and outside education to Bellingham is one of my primary goals as I feel strongly this underlooked scene is one worth investing in; just need all the help possible get getting the good word out to make B’ham more of a destination than a scenic drive-thru.”
Pace adds that all the supporting acts attached to this landmark gathering are contributing their skills just to have the guest of honor travel to Bellingham.
He quotes Jim Hickson in the Winter 2018 edition of fRoots issue 423:
“There are multitudes in Stoneking’s music. It’s probably easiest to describe him as a blues artist, but the term disguises what makes his music special. There’s so much in there. A 1920s pre-war blues sound is key, but there’s almost equal helpings of New Orleans jazz, jug band music, hokum, country and calypso, and he’s lately brought in elements of jump jive, early rock’n’roll and gospel. His gift is that he brings them all together without anything sounding out of place.”
Pace says that as this event will be open to all ages, there shall be no alcohol permitted onsite. “Local gem Redlight (strategically located two blocks from the venue at 1017 N. State St.),” Pace says, “has graciously agreed to offer a 30 percent discount off food and drink day of show for any presale ticket holders.”

Nick Taylor plays an 8-string Novax guitar. It is a hybrid bass/guitar which allows him to play basslines, comp chords, and play melodies all at the same time. Nick’s album “Live Collaborations” features 15 Bellingham and Seattle area musicians and himself and was recorded live, with no overdubbing and minimal edits. The tracks are all 1-takes.  His music incorporates the elements of funk, hip hop, smooth groove, and jazz. For this show, Nick brings with him Asa Morris on drumset, Matt Ambrose on Tenor Saxophone, Conner Helms on keyboard and Lee Pence on guitar. He’ll debut the album at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.  Admission is $10, available in advance.