Music, Engaging Writers, Honoring Local Tribes, and a Challenging Play

Hailing from Tasmania, Australia, mandolin virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Luke Plumb performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Firehouse Arts & Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Through his work with Shooglenifty  (a renowned Scottish “acid croft” folk band), Irish folk legend Andy Irvine (Patrick Street/Planxy/Mozaik), and many collaborations in Australia have made him a driving force on the acoustic music global stage. During his 10-year tenure with Shooglenifty, Luke’s original tunes and arrangements dominated the band’s repertoire. Recent recording collaborations with Andy Irvine (2016’s “Precious Heroes”), and Kate Burke (2019 duo album of groove-based interpretations of traditional folk songs) have gotten rave reviews.
Accompanying Luke is Seattle and Lopez Island’s Stanley Greenthal (guitar, bouzouki and vocals). Greenthal is an internationally acclaimed songwriter and instrumentalist who stretches musical borders from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Greece, and the Balkans. Stanley and Luke met years ago while teaching and performing at ZoukFest, the first international gathering of bouzouki players, which evolved into an innovative World Music Camp, held most recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their musical friendship and collaboration continues, with this opportunity to play their arrangements of traditional and original music for audiences in the Northwest.
Tickets, $18 adults, $6 youths 6 to 17, are available at the door, Village Books, the Firehouse, and the Community Food Co-op and online from More on the musicians at and

Whatcom Land Trust will host a breakfast buffet and award the Bob Keller Business Conservation Leadership Award to The Conservation Alliance from 7:15 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Bellingham Yacht Club Marina Room, 2625 S Harbor Loop Drive. The keynote speaker is Hilary Franz, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands.
Tickets to the breakfast event are $50 per person and are available at and by calling the Land Trust office at 360-650-9470.  A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door.
Whatcom Land Trust’s Business Conservation Leaders celebrates the strong relationship between conservation, recreation, agriculture and other businesses throughout Whatcom County, and honors our business supporters whose collective investment benefits land conservation and stewardship in our community. Each year Whatcom Land Trust recognizes a noteworthy business with a leadership award named for former Land Trust board member Bob Keller. This year’s award goes to The Conservation Alliance in recognition of its financial support to protect Galbraith Mountain and the Skookum Creek Conservation Corridor, and its conservation ethic linking land stewardship with vibrant recreation economies in communities where they do business. The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that makes grants to grassroots environmental organizations nationwide.
“We are thrilled to award the Bob Keller Business Conservation Leadership Award to The Conservation Alliance this year and recognize local Alliance members American Alpine Institute, NuuMuu, REI, Runner Girl Races, and Superfeet,” said Land Trust executive director Rich Bowers. “The Alliance welcomes businesses of all sizes to join together so they have a stronger voice to address big environmental issues on a local, grassroots level. We at the Land Trust share their strategy of building partnerships to get more done and energizing local citizens to achieve lasting land protections.”
Guest speaker Hilary Franz, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands, will build on the theme of growing public and private partnerships to achieve land conservation, recreation and economic results that benefit people, lands and businesses of Whatcom County in her keynote address. She will talk about ways Whatcom Land Trust and the Washington Department of Natural Resources work together to protect conservation, resource and recreation lands in Whatcom County as well as big-picture challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
Following the breakfast, the Trust will host a public tour of its newest land acquisition at Skookum Creek in the South Fork Nooksack River basin on Friday, Oct. 18. There is no charge for the tour but space is limited and pre-registration is required by reserving at or contacting Chris Brewer at 360-650-9470 or before Tuesday, October 15.

Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center presents Jazz Walk 2019! from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in downtown Bellingham. It’s a fundraiser for the WJMAC Education Program, which provides excellent jazz education to musicians high school age and older. Headliners The Groover Quartet (Mike LeDonne, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth) are coming from New York City to play at 8 p.m. in the Sylvia Center for the Arts’ Lucas Hicks Theatre, 207 Prospect St. Other venues: Brandywine Kitchen, The Cabin, Caffé Adagio, Camber, and the Studio Theatre. Ten local, regional, and national jazz bands fill up the night: Greta Matassa Quartet, Arête Quartet with Joe Doria, MANTrio with Sage Romey, Jerry Steinhilber Trio, Mark Taylor Trio, Josh Cook and Jerry Steinhilber, Steve Kaldestad Quartet, Milo Petersen Trio, Miles Black and Kevin Woods, and The Thomas Harris Quartet. One ticket is your admission to all venues (one venue is 21 and older). First come, first seated. Start the evening at The Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St, Bellingham, after 5 p.m., where you will pick up your wristband, program, and map. Then venture out to the other venues and take in some great jazz.  Tickets are free for WJMAC members, $10 students, $25 general, and are at: All proceeds will benefit scholarships, outreach and special programming. Program is subject to change. Please check for updates:. Email us at

Windborne specializes in close harmony singing and has been bringing back songs from the past 400 years that are focused on the working class movements for people’s rights. They are now singing these songs for today’s struggles. The ensemble will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Boundary Bay Brewery’s Mountain Room, 1107 Railroad Ave. Tickets are $20. This is a Jan Songs Production, hosted by Jan Peters.  Hear Windborne at

Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native People, created by Matika Wilbur of the Tulalip/Swinomish People, is Wilbur’s effort to photograph each federally recognized tribe in the nation. Her 10-year project has resulted in an unprecedented repository of images and oral histories that accurately portray contemporary Native Americans, including the Nooksack and Lummi Tribes. She will share these images and stories with visits to four locations during her visit to Whatcom County:
1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Northwest Indian College (Building 7A, 2422 Kwina Rd., Bellingham) and at 6:30 p.m. at Ferndale Library.
6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Nooksack Tribe’s Community Center (2515 Sulwhanon Drive, Everson)
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Deming Library.
The Friends of the Deming Library (FODL), a volunteer group that helps the library raise funds for programs, building repairs, and other needs, helped Carabba develop community partnerships and secure funding to bring Project 562 to Whatcom County. FODL board member Leaf Schumann was successful in writing a grant to the Norcliffe Foundation. He says, “This program is important because it will help the library build relationships with our immediate neighbors and our area’s original inhabitants, the Nooksack Tribe. Programs like this support our organizational goals to focus our efforts on inclusion and the richness of diversity.”
Carabba and Schumann worked closely with Nooksack Tribe Academic Enrichment Manager Charise Wenzl, and Keith Lindsey, the Nooksack Tribe’s youth academic intervention specialist, on this event. With support from the Nooksack Tribe Education Director Donia Edwards, Lindsey was able to secure the Mí sq’ eq’ ó Community Building for one of Wilbur’s presentations. Lindsey will lead his students in a photography project inspired by Wilbur’s work. An exhibit of the students’ work, Nooksack Faces and Places, will be on display at the Deming Library from Oct, 30 through November. More information about Matika Wilbur and Project 562 can be found at and on Instagram @project_562. 

The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. Sam Steiner’s “Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” imagines a world where a new quietude law — the “hush law” — has limited each person’s speech to 140 words per day. The play is staged at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.  Set in an Orwellian, dystopian England, where members and Parliament have special dispensations to use more than the allotted limits, Steiner challenges us to question relationships, silence, sex, protest and class in his stress-test of our modern world.  As Bernadette (Western Washington University junior Monty Rozema) and Oliver (WWU junior Mitch Stevens) meet, fall in love and move in together, they navigate what they call “word sanctuaries,” and create special code-abbreviations, like “lovu,” to communicate, and also use their own kind of sign language, more like a game of charades.Monty and Oliver have a friendly chemistry onstage that’s hard to fake, and they make this imagined, unjust future quite real.
The play is directed by Western Washington University graduate Max Koh; the producers are award-winning playwright Valerie Dalena and WWU graduate Jordan Neyens; honorary producers are Scott Ward and Cameron Vail, and artistic sponsors are and Eileen and Steve Nelson. Tickets are $18 general, $12 students, available at Brown Paper Tickets.There’s a talkback immediately following the Oct. 4 performance, and a  “meet the company” after the Oct. 10 performance.

Western Washington University’s Sanford-Hill Piano Series presents pianist Benjamin Hochman at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at WWU’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. The program: Brahms’ Ballades Op 10; Thomas Adès Darknesse’s “Visible;” Chopin’s F minor Ballade; and Schumann’s “Kreisleriana.” He presents a free masterclass, open to the public, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. at the PAC.
Following his debut with the Chicago Symphony in a Mozart Piano Concerto project with Pinchas Zukerman and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hoffman performed his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut at the Hollywood Bowl and was engaged for three subscription series with the Pittsburgh Symphony. More about Benjamin Hochman here. Get tickets online or call WWU’s box office at 360-650-6146.

Judy Kleinberg and Luther Allen present SpeakEasy 26: Reading Bertolino,  an evening of poetry written by Bellingham’s James Bertolino, from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5,  at the Mount Baker Theatre, Encore Room, 104 North Commercial St.
Jim’s poetry has been published internationally in hundreds of magazines, scores of anthologies, and dozens of books over the past 50-plus years. He holds an MFA from Cornell University, has won numerous awards, and taught creative writing for more than 36 years. Jim’s first book was published in 1968, and his recent publications include “Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems” (MoonPath Press, 2014) and “Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry” (World Enough Writers, 2018), which he edited. Bertolino’s poem “A Wedding Toast” was featured on Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, on June 29, 2019. Please honor this prolific and influential poet in this free event. Details:

Seattle dancer and author Mary Lou Sanelli presents her first novel, “The Starstruck Dance Studio of Yucca Springs,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Sanelli will be joined by dancers from the Northwest Ballet Theater who will include a bit of dance and movement as part of the event!
Her novel explores the wide range of human emotion as if from behind the intimate curtain of a dance studio; the meaning of family in all its diverse varieties; determination; the struggle to understand ourselves and the behavior of others; the hope that comes from compassion and acceptance; and resilience — how pursued dreams become, over time, simply the way life is if you stay true to yourself.  
Sanelli has published seven collections of poetry and three works of non-fiction. Honorariums include an Artist Trust GAP Award, Poetry on the Buses, A Jack Straw Writers Award, A Seattle Bumbershoot Festival Book Award, The Skagit River Poetry Festival, and a GoodReads Notable Book Award. She is a regular columnist for Art Access & City Living magazine, and a regular contributor to Dance Teacher magazine. Her work appears on the opinion page of the Seattle Times, and has been aired on Weekend Edition, National Public Radio.