New Years Eve in Ballard and beyond

Here’s the scoop for New Years Eve events around our neighborhood…

SPACE NEEDLE FIREWORKS – Expect all the usual crowds and parking issues in Fremont and Wallingford leading up to New Years at the Needle. Live broadcast begins at 11:35 on KING 5.

VOLTERRA’S LAST DINNER – Tonight is Volterra’s last night in its current Ballard location, and it’s going out in style: two seatings with its New Years Eve menu with chef Don Curtiss in the kitchen.

MARKET IS OPEN – The Ballard Farmers Market is open with its usual hours.

STAPLE & FANCY – This Ballard Ave. restaurant is offering three seatings for its NYE menu.

MARINE HARDWARE – Right next door, Marine Hardware will have a five-course meal.

BRIMMER & HEELTAP – The Market St. restaurant is offering “an incredible multi-course menu.”

SUNSET TAVERN – Sallie Ford, Lonely Mountain Lovers, La Fonda will play at 9 p.m. at the Sunset.

CONOR BYRNENew Year’s Eve Garbage Bash IV with Honcho Poncho and more, 8 p.m.

OLD PEQULIAR – Phatti LaBelle will DJ this free party beginning at 9 p.m.

LEIF ERICKSON HALLNew Year’s Eve Dance with Big Blues with Little Bill, doors at 8 p.m.

SWEDISH CLUBNordic New Year’s Fest with music and dancing beginning at 8 p.m.

HALE’s PALLADIUM – The Moisture Festival throws its annual New Year’s Eve Extravaganza.

SOLD OUT – Looks like NYE events at Tarsan i Jane and the Tractor Tarvern are sold out.

FREE METRO – King County Metro is offering free rides for both buses and the Seattle Streetcar from 4 a.m. today (Sunday) until 4 a.m. on New Years morning.

What are we missing? Add a comment below…

Seattle Public Library launches second round of local music collection

In 2016, The Seattle Public Library launched an online Seattle music collection called PlayBack that enabled Seattleites to download free local music.

Now, 50 more local artists have been added to, including NAVVI, Fysah, Golden Gardens, Raz Simone and more. Anyone can stream the albums for free, and Library cardholders can download and keep any music in the PlayBack collection.

PlayBack is open to all Seattle-area musicians who record or perform in the city of Seattle and have had an album produced within the last five years. PlayBack is intended to be an ever-expanding collection of Seattle’s musical culture, and a total of 100 new albums will be available each year through the Library’s catalog.

The jury for the second submission period included:

  • Tim Lennon, executive director of the Vera Project and music commissioner for the city of Seattle
  • Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP DJ, host and producer of Audioasis
  • Liz Riley Tollefson, co-founder of Three Imaginary Girls
  • Jonathan Zwickel, senior editor at City Arts
  • Kreg Hasegawa, adult services librarian at The Seattle Public Library
  • Kathleen Morley, selections services librarian at The Seattle Public Library
  • Cameron McCracken, library associate II at The Seattle Public Library
  • Abby Bass, adult services librarian at The Seattle Public Library

A third submission period will open during spring 2017. More information will be posted on PlayBack’s Information for Artists page.

Funding for PlayBack has been made possible with the generous support of The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

For more information, visit, call (206) 386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

NW Youth Harp Ensemble to perform at Ballard Library

Members of the Northwest Youth Harp Ensemble will perform holiday songs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, December 10 at Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW).

The Northwest Youth Harp Ensemble is led by Ballard harpist Susi Hussong. The ensemble includes a dozen children and will be accompanied by violin, cello, flute, bells, drums and voice.

The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Free parking is available in the branch garage.

For more information, call the branch at 206-684-4089 or Ask a Librarian.

Barnes and Noble to host Whitman Middle School Bands fundraiser

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Barnes and Noble Bookstore at Northgate (401 NE Northgate Way #1100) is  once again hosting The Whitman Middle School Bands and Orchestras and Choirs for a day of free performances and fundraising this Saturday, May 7.

The Whitman School bands will be performing throughout the day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

“Barnes and Noble has generously arranged for a week-plus long Book Fair to raise funds for Whitman’s music program,” says Rachel Hart Rios from Friends of Whitman Music.

Up to 20% of proceeds from purchases made in store May 6 – 12 and online May 6 – 15 will go to support the music program at Whitman.

Items that count towards sales include books, food and beverages from the Café, gift items, electronics and music.

The following coupon code must be used upon check out in store and online for Whitman to get credit: 11801255. Locals can make online purchases here.

Ballard composer set to create new work while hiking Pacific Crest Trail

5517852Ballard composer Nat Evans is about the set off on an adventure of a lifetime on the Pacific Crest Trail. He is set to walk 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada as a mobile residency, composing a new long-form musical work along the way.

The unique composing journey is set to start next month and Evans will be collaborating with eight other West Coast composers along the way. Evans will be making field recordings as he journeys along the trail which he will mail to the collaborators as the hike progresses.

“Each composer will then take the field recordings and layer a brief musical response over top of it and post these short pieces online so that people can hear how the landscape (and people living nearby) change as I inch ever northward,” says Evans.

At the conclusion of his journey the entirety of the recordings will be collected, recorded, mixed and released as a double album in early 2015 on Quakebasket Records. The album is set to be titled The Tortoise and his Raincoat: Music for a Very Long Walk.

The eight collaborating composers have recently launched a fundraising campaign to assist with their work, the walk itself and other recording costs.

“Undertaking a residency pushes artists in new directions and ways of creating that are outside their normal boundaries. Being in the wilderness specifically for long periods of time can change how we simply listen and compose,” says Evans.

Evans is an experienced composer who writes concert music for various mixed chamber ensembles, distinctive electro-acoustic music, and site-specific music events. His music has been regularly presented across the United States and has also been performed in Europe, South America, Australia and China.

Click here to learn more about this unique and exciting project.

Photo courtesy of Nat Evans.

Ballard Jazz Festival set for April 16 – 19

130420_1949The 12th annual Ballard Jazz Festival wish set to entertain the masses from April 16 through 19 this year.

The festival embraces the feeling of “old” Ballard and will feature a wide variety of modern American music at clubs, bars, shops, and at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

Over the years, the four day festival has grown into a significant part of the Northwest’s jazz and live music scene. The festival is strongly supported by local businesses, media outlets and the community itself. Each year the festival brings on average 2000 attendees from all over Washington and beyond and about 70-85% of festival revenue is pumped back into Ballard’s economy.

In terms of performers, Ballard Jazz Festival attracts highly talented musicians from all over the world. This year the festival is set to feature world class acts including Sonny Fortune, Chano Dominguez, Marina Alberto, Dana Hall and Ted Poor just to name a few.

“Our program for this season promises to continue on that path with more music than ever,” writes organizers on the Ballard Jazz Festival website.

Of course the usual event favorites are on the ticket including Brotherhood of the Drum on April 16, the “Guitar Summit” on April 17, the Jazz Walk on April and to finish things off, the traditional Swedish Pancake Jazz Brunch at the Nordic Heritage Museum on April 19.

Tickets to both individual events and festival passes are now available online. Ticket costs vary for each individual show and festival passes are available for $100.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Jazz Festival.

The Bitter Roots release new video in time for Valentine’s Day

Ballard band The Bitter Roots has released their latest music video From the Beginning just in time for Valentine’s Day. The song performed in the clip is from their new album Chiaroscuro.

The Bitter Roots comprises of duo Jeff Stetson and Ben Koostra  Don Allen, the third member of the band, left the group a few months ago.The Bitter Roots formed back in 2008 when long time friends Koostra and Stetson reconnected in Seattle, after being long time friends in their hometown of Missoula MT. “I had a new batch of songs I wanted to do something with and when he (Koostra) got to town I played them for him and we got it all going from there,” said Stetson.

The band has strong ties to our neighborhood and the trio refer to it as their “home base”. The connection to Ballard started when Stetson and his wife Amy moved to our area in the late 90s. “It was the most affordable neighborhood at the time that reminded us the most of home. We love it here,” said Stetson.

From the Beginning was filmed here in Ballard by Ricky Pharoe of the rap group Art Vandelay. Pharoe took the footage and then mixed in some unique effects.

Check out the video below:

When asked to describe the latest video, Stetson says “this one’s for all the lovers.”

Reminder: Loyal Heights summer concert tonight

Grab your lawn chairs and blankets, tonight is the second summer concert at the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St).

Photo from previous concert courtesy Loyal Heights Community Center.

The neighborhood family band, Mud Junket, will perform a free concert tonight starting at 6 p.m. Concessions will be sold and proceeds will benefit youth and teen activities at the center.

Next week The Silverbacks play and on July 29th, the performance will by by Emerald City Jazz Ensemble. Both concerts are free and start at 6 p.m.

Soundgarden spotted in Ballard photo shoot

The iconic Seattle band Soundgarden was spotted posing for photos in front of a grungy-looking building on 22nd Ave. in Old Ballard Friday evening. Our tipster, who sent us these photos, says it was a photo shoot for Spin Magazine.

We also saw a couple Tweets about the photo shoot. “(I’m) still calming rob down after our Ballard Chris Cornell/Soundgarden sighting,” writes @fawsome on Twitter. “You’d think it was ’94 again.”

One the defining bands of the Seattle grunge movement, Soundgarden recently reunited, playing at a semi-secret appearance at the Showbox in April that sold out in minutes — their first show together since 1997 (photos).

Their first big reunion concert is scheduled in August at Lollapalooza, and the rumor is the band has been practicing here in Seattle.

BHS principal honored for commitment to music

Phil Brockman, the principal at Ballard High School was recently honored for his commitment to music. Last month, Brockman (shown holding plaque) received the first-ever Washington Music Educators Association Administrator of the Year Award “for advocating music as a core quality of education,” the release from the Seattle Public Schools states. He was honored during the association’s All-State Gala in Yakima. Brockman will be playing trumpet at the alumni concert, 7 p.m., April 10 at Ballard High. Brockman helped create the alumni concert in 2006. According to the release from the school district, the event has raised $40,000 for the school’s music department. Photo courtesy Seattle Public Schools.