Wonderful Honkfest West 2017 happenings…

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The weekend in Seattle held plenty for those with little in time, especially moments with great band music.

For me, I spent a little time for the second day of HonkFest West, a three-day grassroots, non-profit musical festival run and produced by volunteers. Much of the big sounds are from street bands coming from a variety of locations and backgrounds, to perform along three days in local areas. All performance are free and open to the public. However, donations in monetary supp ort are highly encouraged.

I had a little time on Saturday, passing through Pioneer Square’s Occidental Square, where nearby folk can hear the music and cheers from around the block. Coming closer brought a special awe to ears, with large group performances involving all the best instruments of the big band sound. I mainly stuck around for two main featured bands.

One group being The M9 (the M is Minor), a local band using high-energy in its brass combinations to bring about “global fusion sounds of the rich Balkan Romani brass tradition form the core of a repertoire which excites, invigorates, and inspires curiosity about one of Europe’s most misunderstood minorities.” Here’s a sample:

The other being Love-Bomb Go-Go, a PNW band from Portland, Oregon, a retro-future intergalactic band group dressed in funky attire, using an awesome blend of brass and dance. They are on “a mission to mend, with music, the divisions of civilization; seeking universal equality and striving, even, to re-establish purposefulness for each and every life.” Here’s a sample:

After both bands, I was treated to another gathered performance of the M9 and some added performers for another amazing jam session.

I share some choice pics I took of the excitement, below. For more on Honkfest West, check out  www.honkfestwest.org.

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– Orion T

Picture of the Weekend, early December 2016..


Just a moment among many, where the holiday spirit was shared among the locals. Here, being Friday as some streets in the downtown area were shared for some happening at the nearby Westlake Center. Not quite feeling like a crowd, I enjoyed this jolly group of youngsters jamming with their brass, in a little march of their own. No names, cause, or message. Just a brief spirited jam playing some familiar Xmas tunes in the middle of the holiday lights and shopping madness. That’s enough for me.

– Orion T 

Fantastic Times at the 2016 NW Folklife Festival

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I was at the annual Northwest Folklife Music Festival, again..

This, being my fourth time of attending this huge annual extravaganza of folk music and dancing, from all over the world. Since 1971, it’s brought a large array of arts, crafts, dancing, and sounds from multiple ethnic varieties to the Pacific Northwest, backed by donation and volunteer support. Held once again at the Seattle Center by the great Space Needle I attended Saturday and Sunday, with no energy left for the sunny Monday finale. Overall, some great times were had…

Here are some pics…

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The Freelance Reveleers, a ragtime blues group doin some sweet street performing..
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Tom Day Wait James with Dave Acker and the Growing Boys for some serious country folk jamming..

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This Balkan dance group (missed their names) showed some fantastic choreography, and among my favorites for this year

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More Eastern European dancing, from Saturday night.

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A mighty drum circle underneath the Rhythm Tent..

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A street performer (name was lost to me), with his awesome didgeridoo..

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Inside one of the many booths present selling eccentric home-crafted delights. The food selection was great too.

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Another shot of the good times, of which made up an overall great time for many..

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That’s all for now!

– Orion T

 

Honk! Fest West 2015 weekend fun at Gas Works Park..

   

After the Solstice Parade last Saturday (see last entry), I enjoyed some evening jams at Gasworks Park.

I give huge thanks to the 2015 Honk!Fest musical happening, featuring a variety of big band ensembles. All free, yet donor and volunteer backed.

Above pics are of the (EDIT: I learned the above band is actually  The Extraordinary Rendition Band from Providence, Rhode Island…oops.)

Below, are pics on the Junkadelic Brass Band from Perth Australia.. 

 

 

– Orion T

Weekend Pic Fun at the NW Folklife Festival 2015

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Good times!!

The 2015 Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival brought much joy to the many festive folk attending in Seattle, this Memorial Day weekend. Much of this was in thanks to the monetary support from the visitors, business donors and merchants. Further support was also in part to volunteers, who also made this wonderful event possible. For me, it was just relaxing and sampling of new and exotic musical and dance talents (while tipping many in appreciation). There was something for everyone here, I felt. And for that, I had to see what everyone had.

I took some pictures with notes, featured below..

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Near the International Fountain, there was a drum (mostly) circle. Beats combined created a nice fusion, mostly of a constant tribal pattern calling many to the center to shake and dance wildly.

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Many got their motions on, some with fantastic visual attire and style.

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There were some big stages, where some larger acts took place. I was drawn to the jazzy stuff. This is M9, a Romani-style brass band, from the local area. I enjoyed their music.

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One of my favorite things about the Folklife Festival are the surprise sidewalk performances. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time to discover and enjoy something new and exciting. For this year, it was a mix of some Celtic (not sure) and country ho-down fun. I meant to ask more info on this group. I hope to see them again someday.

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I noticed many sidewalk performers had their dogs with them, which I think added a lot of charm to the overall atmosphere.

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Another favorite sidewalk performance. I was hoping to get a name, but couldn’t hold out until the full act was over to ask. The steel drum (I think) produced a cool Caribbean beat when tapped, combined with the stepping of the speaker he sat on it. The effect was a hypnotic awesome rhythm.

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Some fantastic locking and popping happened here. Loved this, as these sick moves brought me back to my early years on the streets of San Francisco.

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Not sure what dancing this is. There was some fiddle music from the stage at this time, and the line moved all around.

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Not all was music. Some fun came from people finding their own ways to share the delight.

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Anthony Briscoe and his band Down North brought some serious fire to the Saturday Night, fuming with a combo of rock, R&B, and soul.

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I didn’t catch the name of the guest guitarist who Anthony brought on stage for one jam, but daaamn, he was good.

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More drums!

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More dancin!

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Festivals are not complete without some crazy food choices.

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Not that it ever really gets hot here in Seattle, but the trees make for great shade and atmosphere.

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Overall, a lot of cheer from many. I was happy to be a part of all this. Thanks again to the PNW Folklife Festival and all involved, for making this happen.

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 5/22/15, Living the Folklife..

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The Northwest Folklife Festival kicks off this Memorial Day weekend with groovy vibes and solid rhythms.

This Friday evening, I dropped by the ol Seattle Center park for this annual tradition. The festival is free to all and run as a non-profit event, since 1972. It’s made possible by donations big and small by many supporters. Here, you can listen to many folk beats from many musicians on stage, or just hanging out by a tree. Many ethnic variations involving different styles of dance, vocals, and instruments are proudly presented. Listeners are encouraged to groove, and perhaps dance with the soulful sounds.

I highly recommend attending for anyone looking to chill and enjoy some cool jams with other like-minded spirits. Though, I also encourage visitors to bring whatever loose change and dollars they happen to have. Though you will find company backed stage performances, there are also many more small acts in between, and throughout the park area. You may enjoy them, and smile; perhaps even dance and cheer to these wonderful performers mere footsteps away. If so, show some appreciation and drop them some of that cash down. Becoming part of that action is what keeps the NW Folklife Festival fun.

You may also visit the many food and merch stands scattered about. For more info on the Festival, visit nwfolklife.org.

I will be back tomorrow, and likely on some grass for much of the day, enjoying this Folklife. If you see me, come and say hello. I promise to return the favor. I might even buy you some roasted corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, here are a few other pics of today’s Folklife opening day…

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-Orion T

Picture of Today 3/29/15, Geekin Out

Wow, loved the colour and fun of this past weekend.

I geeked out at the annual Emerald City Comic Con, just happening in the downtown convention center. I had a blast, with heavy interaction among the creative minds, alternative pop culture enthusiests, nostalgia collectors, and dedicated gamers. But now, I am tired out as excitement on these higher levels can push limits. I have some good pics coming, covering multiple aspects of this event. I will post them in the near future, so look forward! 

The pic above, was of a final impromptu event outside the event in the back park area, among fellow attendees. The D20 Brass Band performed, playing some tunes familiar to the classic video game fans (including myself). Moments including this by fans and for fans, add much reason to why I love to attend these gatherings. 

Good times!