A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Northwest Firelight Chorale and Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus concerts this weekend

June 13th, 2017 by Doree

Northwest Firelight Chorale will perform “Africa: A Legacy of Song” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, 225 N. 70th St. Tickets online are $22 for adults, $12 for ages 12 and under, children 4 and under are free.

From the enticing rhythms to the infectious melodies, from haunting spirituals and joyful gospel to jazz and hip-hop, join us for a thrilling evening of music from African peoples and from American musical traditions shaped by African-American composers in this soul-stirring concert.

Also Saturday, Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus performs its annual concert to raise money for a school in Haiti. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N., with special guests Carol J. Levin on harp, Izumi Fairbanks on drums and Eric Likkel on clarinet. The concert is free, but donations are encouraged to the Georges Marcellus School through the Mona Foundation.

The chorus’s motto is “sing locally, act globally.” The 65+ member chorus has raised more than $60,000 since 2005 for Haitian schools. Chorus member Mike Veitenhans put together this short video showing some of the kids and teachers at the school.

Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus 2016 concert. Photo by Ken Astrein.

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Jazz Festival at Couth Buzzard Books this weekend

May 25th, 2017 by Doree

Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting its second annual Jazz Festival this Memorial Day weekend, sponsored by Earshot Jazz.

The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with Orville Johnson, followed at 8:30 p.m. with Birch Pereira and The Gin Joints.

Saturday, the festival continues from 12 p.m. through the evening with a special Thelonius Monk Tribute directed by Kenny Mandell at 8:30 p.m. Sunday the music begins again at 1 p.m. through the evening. And on Monday, the festival runs from 1 p.m. until around 8 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for a single event, $15 for a day pass, or $30 for a pass for the entire four days.

You can find a complete list of musicians on its Facebook event page.

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Jazz Festival at Couth Buzzard Books this weekend

May 25th, 2016 by Doree

Couth Buzzard Books and Earshot Jazz are hosting a Memorial Day weekend Jazz Festival this Friday through Monday at the book store at 8310 Greenwood Ave. N.

Admission is by donation. Minimum donation for a single event is $5; $10 for an all-day pass; or $25 minimum for the entire four-day festival.




  • Open Jazz Jam, 2 p.m.– Free
  • 200Trio/Max Holmberg, 6 p.m.
  • Better Get It In You Soul/Mingus Tribute, 8 p.m.


  • Simon Henneman, Solo Guitar, 2 p.m.
  • Jonah Falk/Kenny Mandell/Simon Henneman, Jazz/Rap 2:45 p.m.
  • Geoff Harper/Dick Valentine Duo, 3:30 p.m.
  • Empty Boat/Don Berman, 5 p.m.
  • Kenny Mandell/Tonal Vision, 7 p.m.

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Library News: Money Smart Week, free online Seattle music collection, new Space Needle construction photo collection

April 21st, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library is hosting “Money Smart Week” with free workshops at various branches from April 22-30. Topics will include how to live within a monthly budget, manage debt, and maintain good credit.

Library staff have compiled a list with the Top Ten Ways To Be Money Smart With The Library. And beginning Monday, April 25, they will have a week-long series of Money Smart lunchtime lectures at the Central Library downtown.

Free Money Smart Week workshops in our neighborhood:

  • “Drive Away Happy: Car Buying Decisions – Get prepared for the choices involved in buying a car”; from 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • “Identity Theft – Learn about identity theft, including the techniques thieves use, tools for prevention and steps victims can take to recover”; from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

This summer the library is launching an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack, starting with 50 albums of local music available for free download and streaming. The library plans to add another 100 new albums each year to its catalog.

All Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle are invited to submit a music album. The album must contain four or more songs and have been produced within the last five years. If an album is accepted, the artist will receive an honorarium of $200. Selected albums in the PlayBack collection will be discoverable through the Library’s online catalog and highlighted through the Library’s social media channels. Artists will also have opportunities to perform live at the Library.

The Library seeks works that reflect the rich variety of genres represented in Seattle’s music scene. Broad and inclusive submission criteria is detailed on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page. This new music collection is intended to reflect the diversity and abundance of Seattle’s music scene.

The first submission period will be open Monday, May 9 through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23. A second submission period will open this fall. To submit music to The Seattle Public Library’s PlayBack platform, visit www.spl.org/playback. Submissions will only be accepted online. The preferred file types are FLAC, WV and AIFF. Other accepted file types are MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis.

The library also now has a new collection of historic Space Needle photos, to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the start of construction of Seattle’s most well-known icon. The George Gulacsik Space Needle Photograph Collection has more than 2,400 images, including many never-before-seen photos of construction, plus Gulacsik’s notebook detailing day-to-day construction.

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Northwest Chamber Chorus presents ‘A Musical Feast’ March 13 & 19

March 1st, 2016 by Doree

Northwest Chamber Chorus presents “A Musical Feast” on March 13 and 19 at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N. The March 13 concerts begins at 3 p.m.; the March 19 concert is at 7:30 p.m.

This program with a light-hearted theme of a feast with good food and beverages, includes songs by many different composers and from many different eras. Director Mark Kloepper says he conceived this fun program as “one that feeds the mind, the body, and the soul.”

Included are Bagels & Biscuits by Theodore Lucas, selections from Play With Your Food by Paul Carey, A Girl’s Garden by Randall Thompson (poem by Robert Frost), Mosquitoes by Stephen Chatman, The Drunken Sailor arranged by Robert Sund, Good Ale arranged by John Rutter,Toast pour le nouvel an (New Year’s Toast) by Gioachino Rossini, Three Jolly Coachmenarranged by Michael Levi, and Java Jive arranged by Kirby Shaw (as recorded by Manhattan Transfer).

Also on the program are If Music be the Food of Love by David Dickau, Two Macedonian Folk Songs arranged by Alojz Srebotnjak, Russian Picnic by Harvey Enders, O Sacrum Convivium by Oliver Messiaen, Sicut Cervus by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Drinkin’ of the Winespiritual arranged by Rosephanye Powell.

Tickets are $23 general, $18 seniors and singers of established groups. Students ages 6-18 are admitted free. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 206-523-1196.

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Free music nights at Stage Door Café in February

February 3rd, 2016 by Doree

The Stage Door Café, 208 N. 85th St., at Taproot Theatre offers free music on Monday nights in February. The café’s full dinner menu is available during the concerts, along with beer and wine.

Hanschen & Ilse are Seattle actor-musicians Justin Huertas and Kirsten deLohr Helland. Hanschen and Ilse are also characters out of Frank Wedekind’s play Spring Awakening, characters who sought fulfillment beyond the confines of their present society. Justin and Kirsten appeared on stage together for the first time since college in Balagan Theatre’s Seattle premiere of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s adaptation of Spring Awakening as Hanschen and Ilse. Justin and Kirsten met at Pacific Lutheran University where they each earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. Since graduating, they’ve appeared together on Seattle stages in Spring Awakening, Avenue Q (Balagan Theatre), Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre), and Grease (The 5th Avenue Theatre).

Stage Door Café invites you to live music with one of Seattle’s “boldest unheard of voices” (Northwest Music Scene). Combining hammered dulcimer, guitar, and piano with layered vocals and synth beats, Ninjanun delivers a folktronica twist to a quirky pop style. Her songs are just as likely to speak of the cosmos and comic books as they are to romanticize relationships.

Stage Door Café invites you a free music event with the musical combination of the skilled and eclectic Ivan Lee with the talented and effervescent Elaine Skeffington. With a growing fan base throughout the area, this Seattle area-based duo is a potent match of vocal and guitar talent resulting in not just the expected harmonies and repertoire, but also a consistently unique and engaging knack for re-arranging familiar tunes into IvyLane-itized versions!

Add to this the reputation for their wry and spirited stage presence, these two are a rare and special musical match. With a blend likened to Lady Antebellum and Pink Martini, they tackle everything from Yes to The Civil Wars and Jason Mraz to Squeeze & everything in between (even Nirvana!) with impressive musicianship & wit.

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Ladies Musical Club performs free ‘Shakespeare at the Opera’ at Music Center of the NW Feb. 28

January 20th, 2016 by Doree

Ladies Musical Club of Seattle is celebrating its 125th season with eight free classical music concerts in February around the city, including one in Greenwood. The programs free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages; no advance tickets are required.

February is a Shakespeare month for LMC. In addition to a variety of wonderful traditional vocal and instrumental recitals, LMC Opera will present a selection of scenes and arias from operas based on Shakespeare’s works to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death. Welsh mezzo-soprano, Nerys Jones will present song settings of his poetry at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10 at Seattle Central Public Library. Also, some unusual instrument pairings will be offered this month, including duets for two oboes and ensembles for an oboe and percussion.

Commenting on their program this month, LMC member-performers Malya Muth and Virginia Mastenbrook shared, “Our ‘Romantic Art Songs: A Musical Journey ‘ is based on songs with romantic themes that we personally loved. We want to take the audience on a musical and geographical journey exploring how love is expressed and experienced in France, Russia, Germany and America.”

The club will perform “Shakespeare at the Opera” from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Music Center of the Northwest, 901 N. 96th St. The program includes “Welche wunder Erwarten” from Das Liebesverbot by Wagner; “This is my father’s choice” from Sir John in Love by Vaughan Williams; Act II, Part II from Falstaff and “Vieni, t’affretta” from MacBeth by Verdi; Ophelia’s Mad Scene from Hamlet by Thomas; “Nuits paisible” (Nocturne) from Beatrice et Benedict by Berlioz; “Give me music” from Antony and Cleopatra by Barber; and “I feel pretty” from West Side Story by Bernstein.

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Taproot Theatre’s Stage Door Café hosts free music nights

January 5th, 2016 by Doree

Taproot Theatre’s Stage Door Café, 208 N. 85th St., is hosting a series of free music nights this month with local musicians David Johnson, Alek White, Ginny Holladay, Ethan Jessee, Alanna Gordon, Melanie Hampton and award-winning musician Jessie Siren. The café offers beer from Naked City Brewery, plus wine, espresso, and a full dinner and lunch menu.

Monday, Jan. 11, 5-7 p.m.: Family-friendly music with David Johnson. “Combining melodic arrangements on guitar & piano with grippingly honest lyrics, David’s music is unique and thoughtful. His style has been likened to Nick Drake, Joan Baez and Elliot Smith.”

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 5-7 p.m.: Taproot Showcase with Alek White, Ginny Holladay, Ethan Jessee, Alanna Gordon and Melanie Hampton.

Monday, Jan. 25, 5-7 p.m.: Jessie Siren. “Jessie has been composing since she was 9 years old. Her music tells stories of heartbreak and love, life and loss. Jessie was voted Best Local Musician in 2015 on KING5’s Best of Western Washington.”

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Empty Sea Studios launches The Roots Channel

November 11th, 2014 by Doree

Empty Sea Studios, at 6300 Phinney Ave. N., is expanding its reach of independent, acoustic music with its new business, The Roots Channel, which offers streaming and on-demand video covering roots music, arts, culture and sustainability topics like do-it-yourself projects. The channel is musician-owned and operated, with 70 percent of its net revenue going to the artists and content providers featured on the site.


The Roots Channel will have ad-free, full-length concert movies and documentaries, music lessons, workshops, artist interviews and live and on-demand concerts. The channel costs $8.99 per month. The Roots Channel is available on smartphones and tablets, as well as computers, and will soon be available on Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku.

Empty Sea Studios, which opened in Phinney Ridge about 5-1/2 years ago, produces acoustic concerts and provides album recording services. Owner Michael Connolly is an accomplished musician and producer who plays fiddle, mandolin, accordion, upright and electric bass, Hammond organ, piano, guitar and uilleann pipes, and has toured with the The Indigo Girls and other big names.

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