An Evening with Taj Mahal Quartet

One of the most prominent and influential musicians of blues and roots music brings heart and soul to the stage. Taj Mahal Quartet will perform at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

A self-taught singer and songwriter, Taj Mahal plays the guitar, banjo and harmonica, among other instruments. His decades of recording and touring have nearly singlehandedly reshaped the definition and scope of the blues. He has accomplished this with the infusion of exotic sounds from around the world. His global fusion approach weaves in reggae, Caribbean, Cajun, R&B, West African folk, jazz, calypso, traditional country blues and Hawaiian slack key.

At the 13th Annual Americana Honors and Awards, the two-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, film composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist was feted with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance.

“What inspires me most about my career,” says Mahal, “is that I’ve been able to make a living playing the music that I always loved and wanted to play since the early ’50s. I am extremely lucky to have fans who have listened to the music I choose to play and have stayed with me for 50 years. It’s very exciting, to say the least.”

As in ancient culture, he adds, the people are as much a part of the performance as the music. “Live communication through music—oh yeah, it’s right up there with oxygen!”

JESSICA CALDWELL

For Additional Information

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts

360.753.8586

washingtoncenter.org

Bart at TAM fun meets history

Tacoma Art Museum presents BART at Tacoma Art Museum:Animating America’s Favorite Family, an unauthorized and in-depth look at the process and teamwork needed to create America’s longest-running prime time animated television show now through-October 27, 2019. Set in the fictional town of Springfield. The Simpsons explored the life of a working-class family through parodies of American culture and society, television and the human condition.

The exhibition features over 100 hand generated animation cells, scripts, and drawings related to the first 13 seasons of the Simpsons. “Visitors will be able to learn about the process of animation and explore elements of the history and process,” says Bill Heeter the collection owner.   

Now in its 30th season, the loving, yet dysfunctional family has met with both praise and criticism. The Simpsons has won 31 Primetime Emmy awards, and a Peabody Award. It has also collided with and responded to cultural events and social change over its decade long television run.  by Leah Grout

Tuesday–Sunday  10 am–5 pm
Free Thursdays  5–8 pm
Closed Mondays

tacomaartmuseum.org

The Bite Cooks!

(Sy Bean / Seattle Refined)

Take a look inside a professional chef’s kitchen at The Bite Cooks! from Friday through Sunday, July 19th-21st, 2019, at Seattle Center, in Seattle Washington.

The Bite Cooks! will feature high-energy mystery ingredient cook-offs and culinary demonstrations by some of the Seattle area’s best and entertaining chefs. The Bite Cooks! lineup changes each day, with chefs eager to share their delicious handpicked recipes, and showcase their quick-thinking in the mystery ingredient cook-offs.

The Bite Cooks! features ‘more mystery cook-off’s this year. The competing chefs will be given 30 minutes to create a masterpiece from three mystery ingredients, a basic pantry, and a large selection of produce, kindly donated by Charlie’s Produce.

Three lucky audience members will be selected to critique each chef on their dish and performance. The criteria: creative use of ingredients, presentation, tastiness and overall entertainment. The winning chef will be announced live, and will receive a $100 donation in their name towards the charity of their choice. 2018 winners donated to charities including FareStart, Food Lifeline, and Mary’s Place.

Notable chefs participating on The Bite Cooks! stage include return crowd favorites, Wayne Johnson (FareStart), Saffron Hodgson “The Aussie’ (bushcooking.com), Brittany Bardeleben (Dahlia Bakery), and Warnessa Victorian (Lizzie Lou’s), and new to The Bite Cooks!, Aaron Willis (The Generous Chef), Emme Collins (Alcove Dining Room), Young Cho (Phorale) and, for the first time in The Bite Cooks! history, junior chef-in-the-making, 9-year old, Hana Kuma (Junior Sous) will perform a cooking demonstration with instructor Sara Adams.

The Bite Cooks! is also thrilled to welcome Thai Select featured chefs, who will bring the flavors and aromas of Thai cuisine into their cooking demonstration dish, and, also infuse them into mystery ingredient cook-off challenges. Thai Select chefs featured include Jutamas Kanjanamai (Bai Tong), Aratana Nualkhar and Jindanat Nualkhair (Araya’s Place), plus Kasem Saengsawang (Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine).

Chef Thierry Rautureau aka ‘The Chef in The Hat’ will return for his 12th year as emcee of The Bite Cooks!, and will bring his unique level of excitement, and extensive culinary experience to the stage.

The Bite of Seattle® is a free-to-attend community festival, and in an effort for attendees to experience the best of the Bite of Seattle®, we are excited to offer discounted food and drink packages including the Experience Bite Package which includes Craft Beer & Cider Tasting + The Alley, and, the Craft Beer & Cider Tasting Only Package.

Bite of Seattle®

Friday-Sunday, July 19-21, 2019

Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109

For more info: https://biteofseattle.com

“Night Out” – Kristina Kuzmic

Everyone needs an evening of laughter and inspiration once in a while, especially parents. On Friday, July 26, the comedian Kristina Kuzmic will share her experiences as a mother and overall cheerleader for her family. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.

Kuzmic has gained millions of followers on YouTube and Facebook through videos about raising children, being an immigrant and more. Her videos are hilarious and inspirational at the same time. They provide viewers with a sense that they’re not alone, while also letting them laugh.

Since her first video in 2011, Kuzmic has received critical acclaim for her videos on the Huffington Post, People magazine, Cosmopolitan, and the San Francisco Globe. Video topics include parents’ relationship with their children, breastfeeding in public and why she’s “totally cool” if her children are upset with her. In 2011 she was chosen from 15,000 applicants as the winner of “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Kuzmic went on to have a reality show, The Ambush Cook, on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Now she’s ready to share her parenting advice and comedy with a live audience. Her Hope and Humor Tour is taking her throughout the U.S. The comedian considers this a “night out” show. According to her website, Kuzmic “might wear actual pants or she might be in week-old dirty pajamas, depending on the intensity of motherhood that week.”

A self-described “sanitation engineer, chef, chauffeur, and conflict resolution guru” for her three children, Kuzmic says she struggles with parenting just as much as anyone. With wit and charm, she works hard to help parents and others know they’re not alone.

Tickets for the Pantages event range from $29 to $39. A VIP package for $75 includes a meet-and-greet with Kuzmic before the show.

JORDAN MARIE MCCAW

For Additional Information

tacomaartslive.org

Super Diamond– A Neil Diamond Tribute

Super Diamond – tribute to the much-loved international pop icon, Neil Diamond – performs the timeless classics including “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Cherry Cherry;” “Song Sung Blue,” “Forever in Blue Jeans” and many more on Friday, June 21st, 8p.m. at Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center. Super Diamond’s success in America is unprecedented for a tribute band. With a nod from Neil (the man himself), Super Diamond has been embraced by the long time Neil Diamond fan-base and also found huge popularity in the hip rock clubs of America.

Over the last ten years, Super Diamond has consistently sold out shows at most of America’s coolest rock venues, such as The Fillmore and Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, The House of Blues, located in multiple major cities across the US, Showbox Theatre in Seattle, Ogden Theatre in Denver, 930 Club in Washington DC, Irving Plaza in New York, to name only a few.. In addition to performing at many festivals, fairs, theaters and performing arts centers, Super Diamond has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, CNN, Fox News, and VH1, and have been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, Spin, and The New York Times.

Super Diamond delivers a glittering performance of Neil’s power ballads and up-tempo hits with unrestrained enthusiasm! Every Super Diamond show is pure entertainment – classic music combined with fun, energy, and passion – creating nostalgia for the good old days and excitement for today’s generation.

For more information visit https://superdiamond.com.

IN THE SPIRIT Art Exhibition

What is happening in the Indigenous art world in our region? Find out at the 14th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibition. The exhibition opens on Thursday, June 20, at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, and it will be on view through Sunday, August 11. If you are in need of a new work of art for your home or business, many of the original works on view will be available for purchase, so keep a look out for your favorite piece at this event!

“This year’s exhibition features 30 works of art by Native artists,” the History Museum’s Lead Program Manager Molly Wilmoth said.  “Some have exhibited in previous years, including RYAN! Feddersen and Linley B. Logan. We’re honored to feature artists who are new to the show as well, including Dan Friday’s works in glass, and Robin Lovelace’s stainless steel mask sculpture.”

Get free admission on June 20 from 3:00-8:00 PM, and meet some of the artists during the artist awards ceremony at 6:30 PM. Some awards to be presented include Best in Show, Honoring Innovation, Honoring the Northwest, and Honoring Tradition.

“This juried exhibition is a way for us to connect the Historical Society’s Native collections with today’s thriving Indigenous art scene,” said Mary Mikel Stump, WSHS Director of Audience Engagement. Each spring, artists submit work for consideration by a jury. In addition to Stump, the 2019 jury included artist Charles Bloomfield, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Saanich and Lummi, Todd Clark– director of IMNDN, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the advancement of contemporary Native art and artists– and WSHS Head of Collections Lynette Miller.

Art on view will include mixed media, paintings, beadwork, textiles, sculpture, carving, and basketry. Throughout the run of the exhibition, visitors can vote for their favorite presented work; the top two People’s Choice awards will be announced at the free IN THE SPIRIT Northwest Native Festival on August 10, held in collaboration with Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass.

IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts is generously supported by the Bamford Foundation and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. For more information, see InTheSpiritArts.org.

Robert Cray comes to Federal Way PAEC

Blues is the foundation of the music of Grammy Award winner Robert Cray. But it’s nearly impossible to limit his talent to one genre when his music is also influenced by traditional American rock, soul, jazz, gospel, funk and R&B.

“When I first started playing guitar, I wanted to be George Harrison. That is, until I heard Jimi Hendrix,” explains Cray. “After that, I wanted to be Albert Collins and Buddy Guy and B.B. King. And then there are singers like O.V. Wright and Bobby Blue Bland. It’s all mixed up in there. You just never know. I always attribute it to the music we grew up listening to and the radio back in the ’60s. It’s pretty wide open. It’s hard to put a tag on it.”

With five Grammys won, 15 nominations received, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold-out performances, Cray is considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation. In 2011 he was credited by Rolling Stone with reinventing the blues with the release of his Strong Persuader album in 1986. Cray’s “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” on that album, the magazine wrote, “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues.”

That same year, the rock blues icon was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, making him one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor. The Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made the blues timeless through performance, documentation, and recording.

Robert Cray will bring his trademark sound and distinct style to the stage at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. With state-of-the-art acoustics, this intimate venue, seating only 700, is the perfect place to showcase Cray’s smooth vocals and expressive guitar solos. by Julie Leydelmeyer

For ticket information:

253.835.7010

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center

31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S

Federal Way, WA 98003

Visit www.fwpaec.org

Tuner Cars Glow at America’s Car Museum

Seventeen cutting-edge passenger vehicles make up a new exhibit at America’s Car Museum, called “Tuners@ACM.” These modern cars are lightweight, personalized, and very technologically advanced. Tuner cars – just like the hot rods that preceded them in the 1940s and ’50s – have a history steeped in customization of engines, as well as chassis modification, suspension and structure, interiors, paint, and body. Changes range from mild to wild depending on the owner of the tuner car. Each owner is able to use the vehicle to express their own creativity and uniqueness.

“History has a way of repeating itself,” says the ACM Curator of Exhibitory, Scott Keller. “Just like early hot-rodders, the tuner subculture is primarily driven by young enthusiasts who look to convey their individuality through their automobiles.”

The tuner subculture Keller mentions, which traces its roots back to the 1970s, has since become a multibillion dollar industry and a beloved pastime for countless auto buffs. Tuners@ACM features some of the hottest examples of tuners– like APR’s RLMS, a 2018 VW Golf R homage to Touring Car Racing recently nominated as a Toyo Tires Top Build at SEMA.

“The automobile has ingrained itself as part of our society’s culture for more than 100 years,” Keller says. “Regardless of the canvas, the one thing that transcends time is that a car can truly be a work of art, limited only by the owner’s creativity. We are thrilled to be able to put such a display together for our visitors.”

The vehicles presented in Tuners@ACM are:

  • 1971 Datsun 240z
  • 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-X
  • 1972 Datsun 510
  • 1978 Toyota Cressida
  • 1982 Nissan 180sx
  • 1983 Mitsubishi Starion
  • 1992 Honda Civic Si
  • 1992 Mazda MX-5
  • 1999 Honda Civic Type-R
  • 2000 Audi S4
  • 2000 BMW M3 Wagon
  • 2003 Mitsubishi EVO
  • 2006 VW GTI
  • 2008 Nissan 350z
  • 2011 Subaru WRX STI
  • 2015 Nissan GTR
  • 2018 VW Golf R

For more information about other exhibits at America’s Car Museum, visit americascarmuseum.org.

Pantages Theater Returns to Historic Glory

Tacoma not only creates it also celebrates its artistic history.

Slated for the wrecking ball in the 1980s, the historic Pantages Theater located in downtown Tacoma had seen better days. Built in 1918 for vaudeville king Alexander Pantages as part of his theater empire, the beloved theater was in deep decline and neglect. Demonstrating true Tacoma grit, citizens rallied together and saved the performance space that became part of the City of Tacoma and later the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Although the loss of this historic treasure had been adverted, recent patrons, staff and performers have all known that there was much more that needed to be done. Peeling paint, sound from the street and uncomfortable seats were indicators that changes needed to be made.

Completed this November, the most recent renovation returns the inside of the Pantages much closer to its original state and also consists of updates for the safety and comfort of today’s audiences and performers.

From the new color scheme, based on the forensic research of the 22 layers of paint, to the addition of rich decoration to the private boxes that feature rosettes and shells, the Pantages has returned to it’s former glory. Details that had previously been difficult to see have been revealed and the architectural elements have been enhanced.

Modern attendees will appreciate features such as wider seats, cup holders, a new center aisle, fewer stairways, new handrails and lighting. What patrons won’t see are the new seismic and safety updates that will preserve the theater’s structure and integrity should an earthquake hit. Additionally, the acoustics of the space have been greatly improved with the elimination of the carpeting that previously absorbed sound and newly built floors.

With the busy holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to see for yourself the glorious Pantages while attending a live performance.  Come down to the Theater District and celebrate! Hilary Ryan

Image By: Justin John Ryan

 

Centennial Celebration for TLT

Back in October 1918 a group of Tacoma residents gathered to form the local chapter of the Drama League of America. Its purpose was to study and promote theater and build community in the burgeoning city. The same year, the Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Kiwanis and the Tacoma News Tribune were established. So the civic-focused theater group was clearly part of something special that was transforming the town.

As the oldest community theater west of the Mississippi, Tacoma Little Theatre has been part of the lives of many local families over several generations. Throughout its history, the theater has been the starting ground for many local performers, including the magician Ray Gamble and the rock band Alice in Chains.

Recently the theater has received national and regional acclaim. In 2016 its production of Second Samuel by Pamela Parker was recognized by the American Association of Community Theatre as one of two outstanding productions in Washington state. And this year, TLT has been awarded the AMOCAT award for achievements by an arts organization.

Looking forward, TLT’s managing director Chris Serface notes some big changes are coming. “We are currently one-third of the way through our theater improvement plan, which includes new seats, new carpet and updated lighting and sound equipment. Most recently, we purchased an adjacent building, which has given the theater much-needed rehearsal and storage space as well as room to build sets.”

In addition, the theater’s lobby, which was state-of-the-art in the 1950s, will be the focus of an upcoming capital campaign to expand and update the space as well as renovate the restrooms.

“Tacoma Little Theatre exists because of our community,” says Serface. “We want everyone to feel welcome here. With continual support we hope to be sharing theater and creating community connections for decades to come.”

Join the celebration of this beloved, locally focused theater by seeing a show or two this season. Make plans to attend the 100th anniversary celebration in February 2019. The evening event will feature dinner along with songs and performances from the 1920s and ’30s. Tacoma’s oldest theater is a treasured gem. It reminds us of the power of arts to transform and unite us all.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information
Tacoma Little Theatre
tacomalittletheatre.com