Artfully Edmonds: A summer surrounded by music

July 9 African Cultural Heritage
“Rhythm & Life” the Cultural Heritage festival for 2016 will take place in Shoreline in early July offering an array of music and dance from around the world.

Summertime in — and around — Edmonds!

The summer has officially arrived along with arts events, exhibitions and artfully oriented attractions – near and right here – all complimented by music.

An Edmonds-Kind-Of

4th of July. . . .And music!

Whether you will be expressing your artful side with a carefully trimmed mustache or wild man beard; by painting butterfly wings on the faces of your little ones, or by creating an Edmonds-Kind-of costume – there will be countless opportunities to combine fun and creativity at An Edmonds Kind of 4th.

Sights, sounds, singing and celebration! "An Edmonds Kind of 4th"
Sights, sounds, singing and celebration! “An Edmonds Kind of 4th”

Registration is open for such participatory activities as the children’s parade, the main parade, 2016 Beat Brackett 5k, the costume contest and – new this year – the 2016 Brackett’s Beard and Mustache Contest.

The main parade will feature marching bands, ensembles, bagpipes and bangled dancers with a shout- out from the parade stand for Edmonds Citizens of the Year, members of the Edmonds Petanque Club.

On the Civic Field bandstand as the crowd gathers for the fireworks display, Edmonds resident and deejay Wendy Hartfelder (of City DJ) will rap and spin, introduce local dignitaries and set the stage for a performance of The Star Spangled Banner by local singing teacher Malya Muth, owner of NW Vocal Arts.

But there’s more! Introducing Brackett’s Beard and Mustache Contest:

An Edmonds-Kind-of-4th organizers call out to all facial hair aficionados. “Come join the first ever Brackett’s Beard & Mustache contest!”

In honor of Edmonds Founder George Brackett, who himself donned stylish facial hair, the Chamber and event sponsors will offer prizes to winners in these categories for the 2016 Brackett’s Beard & Mustache contest:

  • Best Natural Mustache
  • Best Natural Beard, and
  • Best Festive (Where anything goes!)
    • all ages
    • male or female
    • natural or fake fur

You’re on for a beard and mustache contest? Then, come to the Civic Field bandstand/stage at 8:30 p.m. and have your photo taken. Display your face to the judges at the official judging to be held at 9:15 p.m. before the fireworks display.

Register in advance at this link or arrive to the Civic Field bandstand early to fill out a consent form.

My Edmonds News learned from the Chamber today that a young persons’ singing contest is on the drawing boards for next year’s 4th of July festivities. Details of the contest will be announced by the Chamber, “more toward spring with the contest winners performing during select activities” for An Edmonds Kind of 4th 2017.

Reminder: An Edmonds Kind of 4th will be broadcast via live streaming by the My Edmonds News team.

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Bonnie Birch on the accordion sharing the stage with The Tarantelles
Bonnie Birch on the accordion sharing the stage with The Tarantellas

The 2016 Summer Concerts program, organized by the Edmonds Arts Commission, begins in the coming weeks with two separate series: The City Park Concert series takes place each Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Edmonds City Park (3rd Avenue South at Pine Street). The second series is held each Thursday evening at 5 p.m. at the Hazel Miller Plaza at 5th Avenue South and Maple Street.

3 p.m.

The City Park concert sets will kick off with “The Farewell Tour” of Ginny Reilly and David Maloney on Sunday, July 10.

Folk artists Reilly and Maloney, who discovered each other nearly 50 years ago, have scheduled to make Edmonds one of their final stops on a farewell tour that so far has sold out at every venue they have scheduled.

Really, “Farewell”? Yes, in their own words from their official website, David and Ginny inform their fans, “We feel that our commitment to our act and to each other has been an enduring blessing but that this is the right time to retire our partnership as we have known it.  We have had a good run, and now it’s time to close the show.  With heartfelt thanks.”

A well-known folksinging duo who met in the Bay Area in the ’70s, Ginny Reilly and David Maloney have built a unrivaled fan base on the West Coast. Their venues have included large stages and open-air venues such as the Northwest Folklife Festival and intimate settings in the California wine country. Although the pair took a break from performing together in the 1990s, they reunited in 2000 to discover their fans were waiting enthusiastically for their return.

Come to City Park this Sunday and give Reilly and Maloney an Edmonds-Kind-Of send off into the next chapter of their respective careers.

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5 p.m.

On July 14 The Tarantellas will entertain those gathered at the Hazel Miller Plaza with “Songs of Italy,” with a lively start to the concert season for plaza patrons.

The Tarantellas began their crooning tradition in 2005 with founding members Richard Sclafani and Pete Cicero. Lifelong musicians Sclafani and Cicero grew up in Italian-American families and neighborhoods during the 1950s, the hey-day of the Italian-American crooners.

Their performing partners, most recently, include Bonnie Birch on accordion along with Juan Barco and Lenny Ray Luzzi. The troupe has performed at numerous summer festivals, including Northwest Folklife, Festa Italiana, Bellevue Strawberry Fest, and the Oak Harbor Music Fest over the years.

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Steel Magic readies for summer classes and a fun performance schedule!
Steel Magic Northwest readies for summer classes and a fun performance schedule!

Music Magic Launches! 
Edmonds School District
Summer Music School

 Launch: Monday, June 27
Performance: Friday, July 15

Steel Magic Northwest Executive and Artistic Director Gary Gibson announces the launch this Monday of steel band classes at the Edmonds School District’s three-week summer music school. Up to 68 young musicians will be able to participate in the steel band at the camp, comprising two 34-player ensembles.

The Public’s Invited

The first performance on these brightly colored purple instruments will take place on Friday morning, July 15 around 9-9:30 a.m. at Edmonds-Woodway High School. Middle-school-aged musicians playing the new steel drums will kick off the camp’s concert day.

“The ‘magic’ has been unfolding on the Steel Magic Northwest Facebook page over the past month as the steel drums have been delivered, painted, tuned; and paired with cases and all of the accessory items. Instrument builder and tuner Alan Coyle is in town to complete the assembly and finish-tuning of the instruments,” Gibson tells My Edmonds News.

Online registration for Steel Magic Northwest classes will be opening soon. “We will have open classes for kids 5th through 12th grade, and one evening adult group,” explains Gibson.

For more information, to follow the class registration schedule, or obtain details about joining either an adult or children’s steel band, click on Steel Magic Northwest.

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The young SeaJazz musicians offer jazz in all its forms -- mellow to upbeat, classical to edgy.
The young SeaJazz musicians offer jazz in all its forms — mellow to upbeat, classical to edgy.

Through Sept. 14

Wednesdays 5-7 p.m.
Sundays 1-3 p.m.
(Seattle Teen Music) STM SeaJazz 2016

As you are strolling the Edmonds marina through the summer months, enjoy performances at the Port of Edmonds Public Plaza by award-winning young musicians from the Edmonds School District.

Performers represent 10 different Edmonds-area high schools, middle schools, colleges and individuals according to STM SeaJazz spokesperson Jon Sherrer.

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, playing "Otis" (L) makes a point to "Francis" (St. John) in the Driftwood Players production "Suite Surrender".
Terry Boyd, playing “Otis” (L) makes a point to exasperated “Francis” (St. John) in the Driftwood Players production “Suite Surrender”.

The Thrill of Live Theatre

Both of Edmonds’ playhouses are enjoying highly successful runs this month as evidenced by fan comments. Let’s see what your neighbors are saying about Phoenix Theatre’s “Dixie Swim Club” and Driftwood Players’ production, “Suite Surrender”.

Driftwood Players at
Wade James Theatre
950 Main St.

Suite Surrender
Plays through June 26

“Loved Otis!” proclaimed Gordon P. Law of the big baby bellboy in the Players’ current production, “Suite Surrender.” Otis is played by Terry Boyd, whom we have seen in such Driftwood Players productions as “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Forum” and “Boeing Boeing.”

In character, Boyd cried, he screeched, he tripped over himself and made colossal mistakes (as anyone who has seen “Suite Surrender” and what happened to diva Claudia McFadden’s little doggy. Yikes!)

“Suite Surrender” was reviewed by Artfully Edmonds on June 18.

Tickets to this production are available by contacting the theatre at 425-774-9600, or by purchasing your tickets online at this link.

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The Phoenix Theatre
Firdale Village
9673 Firdale Ave.

Dixie Swim Club
Plays through June 26

How much do fans love The Phoenix? This past Saturday night 11 season tickets for 2016-17 were sold during and just following the performance. For a small theatre troupe, that is an incredible show of community support. Congratulations Phoenix!

“Dixie Swim Club” tells the story of five women who befriend each other on their college swim team. Over nearly 50 years of experiences, they hold each other up during life’s challenges, and celebrate life’s gifts. Poignant, insightful and funny, “Dixie Swim Club” holds telltale similarities to “The Golden Girls,” which is a product of the same team of writers.

“Dixie Swim Club” was reviewed by Artfully Edmonds on June 5.

Tickets to “Dixie Swim Club” are available at their online ticket outlet here.

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The Driftwood Players are ready to reveal their shorts -- for the 7th year in a row!
The Driftwood Players are ready to reveal their shorts — for the 7th year in a row!

July 8-10

The 7th Annual Festival
   Of Shorts

Tickets are on sale for the Driftwood Players (Players) wildly popular “shorts” festival, in which 8 lucky playwrights from across the nation vie for the “People’s Choice” award and/or the “Adjudicator’s Award”.

It’s “shorts” season at playhouses around the world and the Players festival organizers have lined up eight 15-minute productions in quick succession, with incredibly fast set changes ifor one of the most popular Players’ traditions.

Speed dating was never this exciting!

$15 bucks! 15-minute productions! Eight plays! It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s guaranteed that Artfully Edmonds will be in the front row – as always!

Experience the productions this season that will be making history next season.

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Shoreline Celebrates Cultural Heritage
Saturday, July 9
7-10 p.m.
Shorewood High School Theatre
17300 Fremont Ave. N., Shoreline 

Rhythm & Life
Cultural Heritage 2016

Lavish costumes, exhilarating performances, high fashion and fascinating cultural previews are what brought this cultural exhibition, “Rhythm & Life” back to Shoreline for the second year in a row, according to Eben Pobee, event organizer and a resident of Shoreline.

“Rhythm & Life” is sponsored by The Cultural Education and Community Development Project (Cultural Heritage), which Pobee explains is, “by its nature, a community-based and community driven project which seeks to involve people from all segments of the community to ensure the success of the project.”

The founder of Cultural Heritage, Pobee tells Artfully Edmonds, “The increase that we see in diversity in the Shoreline/Edmonds/Lynnwood areas mean there is a growing need to find ways to make sure all cultural communities have opportunities to connect in order to better understand each other, hence Cultural Heritage.

“The intention of the Cultural Education and Community Development Project is to collaborate with the community and other organizations to develop, organize and implement performance-based programs that educate and unite individuals in the community through cultural understanding and exchange of ideas.”

“Rhythm & Life” Cultural Heritage 2016 will feature on-stage performances by guest performers representing the countries of Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Congo, Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia.

The grand finale concert begins at 7 p.m. Taking the stage will be Portland-based renowned artists Saeeda Wright; the Obo Addy Legacy Project (Okropong); Seattle Hawaiian dancers; Empty Vessels Crew and Yaw Amponsah, among others.

“Rhythm & Life” is “intended to provide north King County and the South Snohomish County with engagement opportunities into a diverse community for the purpose of learning the connections between rhythms, life and humanity,” Pobee tells us.

Tickets for the late July cultural event are available through Brown Paper Tickets; questions about the event are answered by calling Harriet at 206.922.9498 or Juliana at 206.234.4460.

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Artist Earl Debnam will exhibit his art at the grand opening of MOSA.
Artist Earl Debnam will exhibit his art at the grand opening of MOSA.


A Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, July 23
1-4 p.m.
Museum of Special Art (MOSA)
Bothell Country Village
23718 Bothell-Everett Highway

Artfully Edmonds has been notified of the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Museum of Special Art (MOSA) taking place on July 23 in Bothell.

Founded by Leslie James, MEd the museum is the first visual arts museum in Washington State to specifically feature the work of disabled artists. As MOSA’s executive director, Ms. James has been instrumental in developing the NW Special Artists’ program and has collaborated with community arts’ organizations in opening exhibits at ArtWorks, the Edmonds Arts Commission – Edmonds Library, Bellevue Arts Museum and the Pacific Science Center.

As the past director of NW Special Artists she taught workshops and arranged exhibitions at ArtWorks for students and workshop attendees.

MOSA will provide space for workshops on such skill-building as artist self-advocacy; marketing and retail; how to reproduce works, prepare for an exhibition and sell to the art community.

The museum space features space for a gift shop, classes, and exhibitions.

The opening reception, titled “Heartfelt Possibilities” will include artwork created by NW Special Artists and also All Aboard artists.

The MOSA Museum is located in the back area of the Bothell Country Village complex on the left hand side next to the Rosewood Room facing the children’s play area at 720 238th St. SE., Bothell.

For more information visit the MOSA website at

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Congratulations to Edmonds Center for the Arts on their 10th Anniversary.
Congratulations to Edmonds Center for the Arts on their 10th Anniversary.

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
A Birthday Bash!
RSVP Today for
Saturday, July 30

In celebration of Edmonds Center for the Arts’ 10th Anniversary Season, ECA is holding a free-of-charge “Birthday Bash” event on Saturday, July 30.

The invitation reads: Ten years ago, the dream of creating a world-class performing arts center in the beautiful waterfront city of Edmonds became a reality. The historical campus that once served as the original Edmonds High School was transformed into an elegant state-of-the-art performance venue. Over half a million patrons have experienced the magic of live theatre, music, dance, comedy, film and other events in ECA’s theatre.

The Birthday Bash is an all-ages festival-style event, presented to the Edmonds community as a thank you for ten years of incredible support and partnership.

The public is invited to join the celebration.   Live music performances will take place on both ECA’s main stage and an outdoor stage from 3:00-9:00 pm. Featured artists include soul sensations Grace Love & The True Loves, country-classic rock quintet Vaudeville Etiquette, fiddle-driven trio The Onlies, Latin rhythmic group Alma y Azucar, Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project, and more!

The event will conclude with a Square Dance After-Party with The Rabbit Stew String Band in the ECA Gymnasium.

ECA will celebrate partner organizations Cascade Symphony Orchestra, Olympic Ballet Theatre and Sno-King Community Chorale, along with long-term rental clients, in a dedicated exhibit room for partners.

Organizations will be represented in ECA’s Center Classroom from 3:00-5:30 pm, and invite the public to stop by and learn more about their work.

Edmonds Arts Corridor

The Birthday Bash will also serve as the official dedication of Seattle artist Iole Alessandrini’s Luminous Forest installation on the 4th Avenue arts corridor. The composition of the exhibition includes solar LED light elements embedded in the roadway between Daley and Main Streets.

2016-17 Season

ECA’s 10th Anniversary season kicks off on Sept. 29, 2016 with Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers. In addition to Presented Events, Special Engagements and a Dementia-Inclusive series, ECA will be launching ECA Saturday Matinees and an ECA Film Cabaret Series.

To RSVP to ECA’s Birthday Bash, visit or call the ECA Box Office at 425.275.9595. Seating is general admission and first-come, first-served for all performances.

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Summer Performance Camps

Each of these camp programs will be presenting their productions for kids and their families in the upcoming months. Watch Artfully Edmonds’ show notices for each troupe or to check on availability of late-season student/camp admissions.

Driftwood Theatre

Missoula Children’s Theatre

Driftwood Troupe

Ballyhoo Performing Arts

Ignition Theatre

Summer camp

  • Purchase tickets for July performances at this link.

Edmonds Center for the Arts

Click here for information on the ECA’s many Summer Arts Enrichment Camps

— By Emily Hill


Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. Emily is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her here.


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