Hot Jazz and Hot Classical Music! Learn About War and Peace through Art, and How to Quiet Your Monkey Mind!

Drummer Roy McCurdy, who represents more than 50 years of jazz history, performs with Cory Weeds (saxophones), Thomas Marriott (trumpet), Marc Seales (piano), and Michael Glynn (bass) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Sylvia Center’s Lucas Hicks Theater, 105 Prospect St., hosted by Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center. McCurdy has played with Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Herbie Hancock and “Cannonball” Adderley; this concert is a tribute to Adderley’s music. Tickets are $20 general, $5 students, and is free for WJMAC members and students. Details:

The 41-member Willamette University Chamber Choir and the Willamette Singers, under the direction of Wallace Long, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St.
Choirs from Squalicum High School, directed by Jason Parker; Sehome High School, directed by Jessica Schlichting; and the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Adult Choir, directed by Kevin Allen-Schmid, will also perform in the classical portion of the concert.  The concert will open with a vocal jazz performance by the Willamette Singers, a 17-member vocal jazz ensemble, followed by the guest groups and the Willamette Chamber Choir. The concert is free and open to the public, although a goodwill donation is encouraged.
The performance will include a variety of sacred and secular works, both a cappella and accompanied. The chamber choir performance will include “Magnificat” by Jackson Berkey, “Exsultate” by Brian Galante, “Brazilian Psalm” by Jean Berger and “Ner, Ner” by Jake Runestadt. The Willamette Singers will perform selections including “Nothin’ but Static” by Brian Eichenberger, “Tenor Madness” arranged by Michele Weir, “The Bones of You” and “That Old Black Magic” arranged by Kirby Shaw.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, members of Bellingham Circus Guild present an intimate seated vaudeville show at Washington State’s oldest brick building, the Territorial Whatcom County Courthouse, 1308 E St. Delight in spellbinding entertainment as local circus performers Chipp Allard, Sadye Osterloh, Daniel Sloan, Vanessa Vortex, Wren Schultz, and Della Moustachella tickle your senses with circus, magic, and awe.
All ages are welcome, with entry by donation. Proceeds will go towards ensuring encore events take place at this historic space.
Built in 1858 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places – NPS, the Territorial Whatcom County Courthouse predates the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad, and the emergence of cities on Puget Sound. Constructed during the height of the Fraser Gold Rush, this combination general store, bank, and warehouse was the first masonry building erected in Whatcom Territory. Today, it is the oldest standing brick building in Washington state.

The Hot House Jazz Band plays from 7:30 to 10 p.m. the next night, Saturday, Jan. 19, at the same venue, the Territorial Whatcom County Courthouse, for a night of prohibition-era swing and blues, inspired and made possible by community. Be sure to arrive early for a beginning dance lesson from B’ham Hop on the 160 year-old fir floors. No partner or experience necessary. The event is open to all ages, and it’s free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Dudley Evenson and Dean Evenson talk about their new book, “Quieting the Monkey Mind: How to Meditate with Music,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.
Whether one has meditated for years or is just beginning their path, all will benefit from this guidebook. Drawing from more than four decades of creating music for meditation and yoga, it’s filled with practical tips, exercises, photos, and illustrations to support an empowering journey of inner peace.
Dudley and Dean Evenson are Bellingham musicians who are internationally acclaimed leaders in the sound healing field. Since creating their label, Soundings of the Planet, in 1979, they have created more than 80 albums and videos. In addition to their CDs and DVDs, their music is available on all streaming services. “Quieting the Monkey Mind” brings together what they have been learning about meditation and music. In their presentation, they will demonstrate some of the practical tools and techniques anyone can use to take their meditation to a deeper place.
I emailed Dudley some questions about their musical journey. Here are some of her responses.
Margaret: By using sacred music from so many faiths and ethnicities, how do you stay faithful to each, and yet combine them into music that is rich, powerful, meditative and energizing?
Dudley: On a basic level, the music we create can help a person relax and return to a state of inner peacefulness. We have seen our Peace Through Music bumper stickers and buttons used by everyone from Grateful Dead fans, rock and country musicians, Tibetan monks, and the Scottish national choir. And beyond instrumental music, the beauty of chanting, mantra and affirmations is that they can be personalized to support one’s own beliefs and values. In the book, we teach how to create a personal mantra that applies to one’s own issues and needs.
M: What is the concept of “monkey mind,” and why it is important to “quiet it?”
D: Meditation is a very personal thing which can benefit all aspects of our being and is independent of spiritual philosophies. Modern life can be stressful. We all have a ‘monkey mind,’ which is basically that part of us that just can’t stop thinking about something. It could be a personal issue, a conflict with family or co-worker, worry about paying the bills, or any number of concerns. When we obsess on a thought and keep repeating it, we call that an ‘inner tape loop.’ Those negative thoughts can become detrimental to our mental and physical health. Using the tools and practices we share in the book can help people overcome those inner tape loops and clear the mind for the inner peace that is available to all.
M: How can this book and your music transform one’s life?
D: We are grateful for the feedback we have received over the years of how our music has helped people deal with stress or illness. It surprised us when in the early ‘90s we were contacted by Grammy award-winning country singer, Naomi Judd, who used our music to help heal herself from her liver disease. The music creates a space for people to heal and get in touch with themselves. In the book, we offer many practical tools to help a person calm and focus their energies so they can allow the body’s natural processes to work at optimum levels.
M: You’ve met so many people over your careers — who and why have some of these connections been most personal to you?
D: Some of our early influences were the Native Americans we have been honored to learn from. Their wisdom about Mother Earth and the sacred circle of life inspired us to use the sounds of nature in our recordings when we first started Soundings of the Planet back in 1979.
We have been with the Dalai Lama nine times and six times we recorded high resolution video of him. The wisdom and joy of this humble Tibetan monk have been an inspiration to us in many ways.
Our strongest connections have been the many musicians from around the world that we have collaborated with. Some record labels have a ‘stable’ of musicians they work with. For Soundings of the Planet, our co-creators are more like ‘family’ and we are still working with many of the same musicians we started playing with 40 years ago.
M: What am I not asking that you would like our readers to know?
D: We have been living our dreams when we first met back in 1968. From our early pioneering work in the portable video movement, we branched into music and have been able to keep transforming with the many changes of technology since then. People still download albums or listen on CD but many have migrated to streaming services. Now, after four decades of offering our music directly to the public at workshops, fairs, festivals, conferences, and trade shows, we are able to stay home and allow the current technologies to expand our listening audience beyond anything we could have imagined. We wrote the book to share the wisdom and practical tools that have guided our life and we hope people will find benefits to apply to their own personal lives in a positive way. For more about their music, visit

The Plug In hosts a soft launch party from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave. It’s a night of music, beats, collaboration, and performances for Bellingham producers, beat makers, and music fans.
Open session for producers starts at 7 p.m., open-mic style performances start at 8 (with sign-up starting at 7), and showcase performances start at 9. This event is the soft-launch for what will hopefully become a regular event for our hip-hop/electronic music community. The format of the night is not set in stone. A $7 donation is requested.

Violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist William Coulter, who perform as the duo Fire and Grace, play in a  benefit for the Bellingham Music Club’s Student Awards Fund at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave. Both of them are world travelers; both stayed put long enough to get a master’s degree from San Francisco Conservatory, where Huizinga was concertmaster of both the Baroque and main orchestras. Coulter holds a second masters in ethnomusicology from UC Santa Cruz, where he heads the classical guitar studio.
Fire and Grace is all about dance music. Bach’s lively court dances — allemande, sarabande, courante — dosey-doe with Celtic flings. Gigue and jig meet in this Night Beat gig, and get down with Vivaldi, Riverdance, and wild-eyed Bulgarians. Warning: they’re all on steroids, even — no, especially! — Bach. One price, $25, includes refreshments after the performance. Take-a-teen-for-free! Tickets are on sale at Quist Violins, Village Books, and both Community Food Co-op locations, as well as online at Brown Paper Tickets and and by calling 360-305-6526. for the BMC Student Awards Fund. Washington Remembers WWII: Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom.

The exhibit “Washington Remembers WWII: Their Sacrifice. Our Freedom.” runs Saturday, Jan. 19, through April 14 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. The exhibit features emotion-packed stories documenting the personal experiences of men and women who fought for freedom on the battlefield and on the home-front. The Legacy Washington exhibit was created through the Office of the Secretary of State to honor the tens of thousands of Washingtonians who served in the war. In addition to the Legacy stories, the exhibit will highlight a variety of WWII artifacts, documents, and historic photographs from the Whatcom Museum’s collection. Read more at

Sweden musician Andreas Helkvistm performs on Hammond organ player with Bellingham drummer Julian MacDonough and other guest musicians from 9 to 11  p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave. Helkvistm is known for kicking bass lines with his left foot, comping with his left hand, and taking blistering leads with his right hand all while working the drawbars and other components of the Hammond B-3.

Bellingham Chamber Music Society presents three works featuring oboe, clarinet and strings featuring Jennifer Weeks, oboe; Erika Block, clarinet; Laura Camacho and ShuHsin Ko, violin; Eric Kean and Yuko Watanabe, viola; Coral Marchant, cello; and Spencer Hoveskeland, bass at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham, 2401 Cornwall Ave. Prokofiev’s ever-popular Quintet in g minor, Op. 39 for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and bass is taken from his mostly unknown ballet “Trapèze.” Come discover this amazing work and the unusual circumstance of its commission. BCMS is also delighted to present two works by local composer and Whatcom Symphony Orchestra clarinetist Barry Ulman. His “New Years’ Suite for clarinet and strings” and “Contrasts for Oboe and String Quartet” are stunning and delightful.
Tickets are $!0 general, $5 students, available through Brown Paper Tickets and at the door. More about the BCMS at

“Hello, Dear Enemy! Picture Books for Peace and Humanity,” an exhibit of printed posters featuring images and text from picture books that provide an international perspective on conflict, peace, and humanity, will be on display in Galleries 2, 3, and 4 at Western Washington University Libraries through March 22.
An opening celebration reception with refreshments will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Jan. 23,  in the Wilson Library Reading Room. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. The exhibit is available for viewing during all hours Western Libraries is open.
Conceived by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, the exhibit offers an international selection of unique and striking picture books that explore themes such as: Experiences of War, Destruction, and Displacement; Power Struggles and the Origin and Escalation of Violence; Prejudice, Ostracism, and Imagined Enemies; Utopias of Peace and Anti-War Books. In addition to the powerful exhibit posters, classroom response work and projects will be on display.
Among the books featured are a few classics of children’s literature, but the majority of the titles were published in the last 15 years. They tell stories about everyday life in conflict zones, about suppression, displacement, and persecution, about borders that turn people away, about threats and injuries. They reveal the sources of war and violence, such as xenophobia, prejudice, and the abuse of power.
At the same time, many of these picture books ultimately open the door to a better future in which dividing walls topple, enemies reconcile, and war gives way to peace. Many of these books communicate the message that openness, curiosity, and empathy are prerequisites for a more peaceful and humane coexistence between cultures and peoples.
This exhibit was made possible by Western Libraries, Woodring College of Education, Western’s Department of English, and The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. For more information about the exhibit, please see: If you have questions, or if you would like to arrange a class or large group visit, contact  Desiree Cueto at 360-650-2339 or Sylvia Tag at 360-650-7992.