Edmonds Arts Festival
Frances Anderson Center (FAC)
700 Main St.
Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18
Downbeats will strike throughout the next three days as the 60th Anniversary of Edmonds Arts Festival showcases music and performances on two centrally located stages.
Jazz On The Plaza, inspired by Edmonds music educator Peter Bennett will provide the vibes on the Frances Anderson Center Plaza level. This inspirational group of Edmonds School District 8th graders are holding down an impressive schedule throughout the festival. The program for Edmonds’ up-and-coming jazz musicians are detailed in this My Edmonds News feature.
As attendees make their way from the festival’s plaza level and juried art galleries, to the FAC food court and artists booths, they will be entertained by main stage shows that cross music genres, international lines, with dance contrasted to theatre entertainment, solo singers who follow big band sounds.
Friday, June 16
Edmonds’ own Madrona Middle School Orchestra, directed by Victoria Nelson, has been given the honor of kicking off the main stage line-ups; followed by a little bit of country as Nashville singer-songwriter Jessica Lynne takes the stage at 12:30 p.m. for the Friday lunch crowd.
The day’s line up proceeds with gypsy jazz, Parisian style by Ranger And the Re-Arrangers; and alternative folk provided by Nick Drummond’s ensemble. By early evening those taking a moment from viewing the festival’s juried art and doing the slow stroll through the 240 artists booths will be encouraged to dance to the rhythm and blues of Commander Mojo and the Horns of Discontent. The mellow sound of the Stacy Jones Band, famous for its 2015 IMEA award-winning hit “Can’t do Nothin’ Right” will close the festival’s first day of celebration.
Saturday, June 17
If you have never gone to The Phoenix Theatre (located in Edmonds’ Firdale Village) to experience this troupe’s outrageous humor – “the mountain comes to Muhammad” as the saying goes. Yes! The Phoenix Theatre moves its boards to the FAC main stage for a mid-day morsel of shtick. Directed by Eric Bischoff, the best in humor pokes fun at our neurosis, insecurities, and gaffes in the funniest ways (12:30 p.m. on Saturday).
After you’ve applauded The Phoenix Theatre get ready for the lively, vibrant beat of Cuban jazz ala the Clave Gringa Cuban Jazz Band. Next, cover artist Skinny Blue will entertain mid-day, with The Portage Bay Big Band taking over the dinner hour at 5 p.m. All of Edmonds knows the Easy Band Company, a popular-around-town ensemble that specializes in old favorites and original tunes, that will bring it on home for Saturday night (downbeat at 6:30 p.m.)
Sunday, June 18
Classical guitar from the grand cathedrals of Spain to intimate Seattle venues sounds like a perfect way for Abby Gilbert to provide us with a mellow start to Sunday (10 a.m.)
And don’t forget! Jazz On the Plaza continues throughout the festival as the main stage provides the venue for an 11:30 a.m. performance of the Edmonds-Woodway High School Philharmonic, directed by Karen Helseth; followed by the Meadowdale Middle School Jazz Band, Bruce Laven directing (1 p.m.)
Mid-afternoon on Sunday the Edmonds Woodway High School Jazz I band takes the stage – showing attendees what it takes to get to New York’s “Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival” competition as honorees. This high-performance-level ensemble is directed by educator and jazz musician Jake Bergevin.
At 4 p.m. the Kellee Bradley Band takes the stage to close out this year’s Edmonds Arts Festival with styling that is often compared to Sheryl Crow, Aretha Franklin, and Chrissy Hynde.