Art Beat: A ton of upcoming concerts, story time, ballet, and an award-winning book

The 23rd Annual Edmonds Jazz Connection

9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at three locations:

Edmonds Center for the Arts (big bands), 410 4th Avenue North, Edmonds

The Edmonds Theater (combos), 415 Main Street, Edmonds

Old Opera House (choral groups), 515 Dayton Street, Edmonds

The Edmonds Jazz Connection, presented by the Edmonds Rotary Daybreakers, is a local festival that spotlights some of the exceptional high school jazz programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. These programs feature talented student musicians, many of whom have performed at prestigious jazz competitions nationwide.

At the end of the academic and competitive year, Jazz Connection is an encore for these hard-working students to perform for families, friends and their community and showcase their improvisational talents while playing with professional musicians.

While the principal goal of the event is to connect the community with its many outstanding student jazz musicians, this event is pivotal for raising funds that directly support school music programs and students. The Edmonds Rotary Daybreakers work in partnership with the school district leadership and choral and band directors to identify the most pressing needs of school music programs; then, they provide the funding, volunteer hours, and other support to ensure the success of these initiatives. This year, there are four primary areas of focus:

• Scholarships for student musicians continuing their education at a college, university or trade school

• Promote and expand middle and high school female jazz bands

• Classroom grants that support music education

• Clinician sessions for each program in the district. Clinics allow each jazz ensemble to meet regularly with professional musicians to build improvisational musical skills.

The full schedule of performances and more details are available here.

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Evergreen Ensemble presents “Sacred Place”

7 p.m. Saturday, May 18, Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th Street Southwest, Lynnwood

The Evergreen Ensemble, a professional choral ensemble based in Edmonds, is presenting a concert program titled Sacred Place. The concert will be divided into three sets, each exploring what we consider sacred.

Led by Artistic Director and Edmonds native David Hendrix, the ensemble features an outstanding roster of professional singers and instrumentalists from the greater Seattle area and around the country. For tickets and more information, visit here. My Edmonds News readers can use the promo code EDMONDS30 for a 30% discount on tickets.

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The Humanity Funds and The Seattle Series present ‘A Child’s Dream’

8 p.m., Saturday, May 25, Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle

Do you believe in the power of music? So does Silke Johnstone, who lives in Edmonds and is the CEO of The Humanity Funds, an organization that empowers and uplifts local groups in conflict zones. Johnstone is currently working with Ohmatdit, Ukraine’s largest Children’s Hospital.

The Chamber Group of the Kyiv Classic Orchestra will take the audience through the richness and versatility of Ukrainian musical culture. Their music will fight the violent sounds of war with the whole kaleidoscope of Ukrainian musical traditions and diversity, reflecting the bright and colorful aspects of Ukrainian lives, identity, and culture.

The music will include folklore melodies, internationally recognized Ukrainian classical pieces, and recent modern and original compositions by young Ukrainian composers.

This unique concert is hosted by The Humanity Funds and The Seattle Series and is sponsored by Benaroya Hall. Tickets are $20-108, and all proceeds and support will benefit Ukraine’s largest Children’s Hospital, Ohmatdit. Get tickets here.

• VIP ticket purchase will include a pre-concert reception one hour before the concert.

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Edmonds Bookshop Story Time with Ellie Peterson

Ellie Peterson

9:30 a.m., Friday, May 31, Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Avenue South, Edmonds

Edmonds Bookshop will host children’s book author and illustrator Ellie Peterson for May Story Time. She will read her newest picture book, Sandcastles are Forever, about summer, sandcastles, and friendship that lasts. Come for the story and to stay for a fun activity afterward.

Peterson received the 2023 Washington State Picture Book Award for How to Hug a Pufferfish. For more information about her books, visit her website here.

To learn more Story Time events, follow Edmonds Bookshop on Instagram or Facebook and check the Events Calendar on their website.

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Step into summer with Olympic Ballet Theatre’s “Summer Performance”

Ria Adachi in Paquita Grand Pas Classique. (Photo by Into Dust Photography)

7 p.m., Saturday, June 1, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Avenue North, Edmonds

After wrapping up three vibrant shows of Don Quixote last weekend, OBT dancers didn’t skip a beat and returned to the studio to rehearse for the upcoming production of Summer Performance.

Left: Shayne Solomon and right: Ria Adachi in rehearsals for Donald Byrd’s “A Gentle Prelude.” (Photos by Into Dust Photography)

This last production of the season is a vibrant celebration of diverse ballet styles, featuring a classical piece from the past and a contemporary work from today. A Gentle Prelude is choreographed by Spectrum Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Donald Byrd. Set to music by Duke Ellington, the 20-minute piece features seven dancers in a series of trios, duets and group work.

Spotlighting ballet’s classical history, Summer Performance will also present excerpts from Raymonda by a renowned 19th-century choreographer, Marius Petipa, with music by Alexander Glazunov.

Tickets run from $25 to $45; get yours here.

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State Parks announce Folk and Traditional Arts concerts, festivals for summer and fall

The Washington State Parks (Parks) Folk and Traditional Arts Program (FTAP) has announced its summer lineup of concerts and festivals, including a new concert series in Central Washington and a new cultural festival at Lake Sammamish.

In addition to the three popular outdoor summer concert series at Deception Pass, Cape Disappointment and Lake Wenatchee state parks, the program will launch a new four-concert series at Lincoln Rock State Park in July.

The concerts feature local artists performing a wide variety of music, including Bluegrass, Folk, Americana, Klezmer, Mariachi, Latino fusion, Brazilian, and French-Canadian traditions.

With the beach or the mountains in sight, these family-friendly evenings may include storytelling and dance.

A host of summer and fall festivals will honor Coast Salish, Black American, Southeast Asian, Latino and European traditions. This year, FTAP also welcomes the first Ubuntu Nerudo Cultural Festival, celebrating the traditions of Southern Africa, to Lake Sammamish in September.

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Cascade Symphony Orchestra announces 2024-25 concert schedule for its 63rd season

CSO Music Director Michael Miropolsky

The Cascade Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has announced its 63rd concert season, which opens Monday, Oct. 28. Each of these six concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

The symphony will offer two additional concerts. Its annual Children’s Concert — Prokofiev’s classic, Peter and the Wolf, will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the ECA. The orchestra will also perform its annual Chamber Ensemble Concert in early April, with details to be announced at a later date. These two shows are separate from the season ticket series.

Current season ticket holders can renew their tickets in person, by mail at the ECA (410 4th Avenue North, Edmonds), or by telephone (425-275-9595). New season ticket orders may be purchased beginning July 1, and online ordering will be available then. Individual concert tickets will go on sale starting Aug. 1.

Additional information about the Cascade Symphony Orchestra, including the full schedule, individual 24-25 season concert programs and featured soloists, is available online.

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Congratulations to William McClain as his book “Alice’s War” wins the Hemingway Award

William McClain

Alice’s War, written by local (Lynnwood) author and Lake Forest Park native William McClain, received the Hemingway Award for 20th-century wartime fiction. Alice’s War follows the lives of ordinary people swept up in the extraordinary events of World War II. The story takes place in Weymouth, set against the dramatic backdrop of England’s Jurassic Coast.

McClain’s first novel, The Risk in Crossing Borders, highlights the Syrian conflict and connects a refugee family from Aleppo with a family in Seattle. Both books are available at Third Place Books.

McClain is the editor of the Pollinator Pathway NW Newsletter and writes on environmental topics, including articles for the Seattle Times and the Everett Herald on making our personal outdoor spaces wildlife-friendly.

— By Elizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray is a freelance writer thankful to call Edmonds home. When she’s not busy wrangling her two kids (and husband), you can find her playing ukulele. She can be reached at

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