Music

  • Hear the banjo transport and immerse you like never before
    Kendl Winter has arrived at Banjo Mantras, an instrumental album that fully leans into what the banjo is capable of doing when completely disconnected from the baggage of bluegrass. To hear the spritely dance of banjo music you need only pick up the album at Winter’s release party on March 1st at New Traditions in Olympia.
  • Bring on the Funk with Olympia Funk Festival — “Funk OFF!”
    Homegrown Olympia music makers and nationally acclaimed headliners from Seattle and Portland and around the country will enliven downtown Olympia with a weekend of music and dance, February 2-4, when the inaugural Olympia Funk Festival known as “Funk OFF!” ignites the city with three days of non-stop dancing and exciting and innovative music.
  • The Capital City Chorus Returns With Annual “Christmas With the Chorus” Concert Series
    The Capital City Chorus is back with the fifth annual “Christmas with the Chorus” concert series taking place December 8 and 9 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and December 10 at the Capital High School Performing Arts Center. “Folks who … like to take in music and folks who like Christmas music, but also like to broaden their horizons a little bit,” said Daniel Colgan, about who might enjoy the upcoming concerts.
  • Artists Test-Driving Armory
    “We’re testing out the building — learning about how the acoustics work and how important sinks are for workshops,” said Angel Nava of the city’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Department. “People are so excited for the art interventions, to be engaged in creative projects as a community and to see this wonderful space being used and developed,” Jennifer Kuhns said.
  • Lacey in Tune with Heart By Heart
    Lacey Parks brings its popular Friday night “Lacey in Tune” concerts, kids programs, and movie nights downtown to Huntamer Park, kicking off on July 14 with Heart By Heart, the Seattle-based Heart-tribute rock band.
  • Thurston County Museum of Fine Arts at Olympia Armory Creative Campus
    Thurston County Museum of Fine Art’s mission “is to increase the number of free and accessible art shows/art spaces in the Thurston County area. By doing so we hope to enrich the lived experiences of individuals in our community through the appreciation of art, as well as to provide new spaces and opportunities for local artists to show their work.”
  • Winners of the 2023 Washington Center Arts Awards
    Comedian Gabriel Rutledge and Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia founders Greg and Krina Allison are winners of The Washington Center for the Arts’ annual arts awards, and will be honored on June 29.
  • Capital City Pride: Embracing Sustainability, Diversity and Community Growth
    Capital City Pride 2023 – Embracing Sustainability, Diversity and Community Growth – invites individuals from all walks of life to gather at the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus at 9 a.m. July 1 for a day of solidarity and positive protest.
  • The Marvel That is Lakewold Gardens
    There’s so much happening at Lakewold Gardens this summer it’s well worth the drive.
  • Review: The Bengson’s Hundred Days At The State Theater
    “Join us as we transform The State Theater into an intimate cabaret for an uncensored, exhilarating, and heartrending true story about embracing uncertainty, taking a leap, and loving as if you only had 100 days to live. With magnetic chemistry and anthemic folk-punk music, creators Abigail and Shaun Bengson explore a fundamental question: how do we make the most of the time that we have?” – Harlequin Productions
  • Entertainment Center
    “We’re going back to cabaret style. … There’s something about the community feel,” Center Salon organizer Bryan Willis explains. “You’re talking with other people at your table. … There’s just more rapport (between) the actors and the audience.”
  • The Art of Sound and Motion
    Dozens of performers promise to dazzle Olympians from stations all over the city’s downtown core during Arts Walk Spring 2023.
  • Composer-coach Shaw tackles ‘House of Mirth’
    Terry Shaw’s musical version of Edith Wharton’s “House of Mirth” opens March 4 at Timberline High School. The new musical has a cast of 20 and a 17-piece orchestra.
  • SOGO Winter Concert at the Washington Center
    The Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia’s Conservatory Orchestra, with Music Director Cameron May conducting his most advanced musicians, will give the first-ever performance of Olympia composer James DeHart’s “Children’s Concert Overture.” The orchestra will bring the festivities to a close, with clarinetist Alessandro Martinez, a senior at Olympia High School, performing.
  • Progress That’s a Walk in the Park
    Take a stroll with the Olympia Symphony! In partnership with the City of Olympia, Olympia Symphony musicians have selected OSO recordings, narrated by vocalist, actor, and former OSO guest artist Cheryse McLeod Lewis, to accompany twelve magnificent park walks.
  • Broadway Olympia Productions ‘Taking a Break’
    Broadway Olympia Productions is back — but not for long. The black box theater in Capital Mall will remain open. Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) will take over the lease for its own productions and as a space for other performing arts groups.
  • Revels and the Queen of the Americas
    Expect miracles, at least those of the theatrical kind, at The Midwinter Revels in Tacoma’s Rialto Theater this holiday season.
  • The Armory Creative Campus: An Inclusive Collaborative Space for the Olympia Arts Community
    Olympia begins planning of city arts space.
  • Olympia’s Indie Music Scene, 1980 to 2002
    A celebration of Olympia’s DIY indie music scene!
  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts Announces 2022 – 2023 Season
    By Molly Gilmore The Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ 2022-2023 season marks both a return to pre-pandemic norms — it’s the first full season with subscription plans since theaters closed in March 2020 — and a fresh start. When the season launches Nov. 4 with “Stunt Dog Experience,” the center will have a new …

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  • The Return of the Celebratory Center Salon
    “I’ve been doing salons for about 20 years through the Northwest Playwrights Alliance,” playwright Bryan Willis explains. “I really love the format.” Happily for Willis, executive director Jill Barnes was eager to host a salon in The Washington Center’s black box theater, a utilitarian space adjacent to its main auditorium. It returns this May after a three-year hiatus.
  • Ain’t No Party Like a South Sound Block Party
    With COVID cases on the decline, it’s time for something new. That’s where Christen Greene saw an opportunity. She’s the programmer of a new summer music festival in Olympia, the South Sound Block Party on Port Plaza this August.
  • The British Are Coming, the British Are Coming
    Coming soon to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is a touring tribute show, The British Invasion — Live on Stage, which includes Shannon McEldowney on keyboards and vocals alongside six other onstage performers.
  • The World Returns to Lacey’s Cultural Celebration
    Lacey’s Cultural Celebration returns to Saint Martin’s University this month after two years found solely online.
  • Community Through Harmony: Great Bend Center for Music
    Community is the cornerstone of Matthew Melendez’s approach to music and teaching, whether in person or online. He believes music slips past ideology, identity politics and other distancing factors, thereby helping people meet on common ground.
  • Ensemble Mik Nawooj: A Contemporary Renaissance
    As rap music continues to evolve and diversify, it only makes sense that talented artists raised on hip hop and armed with music degrees seek to sample from the greatest discoveries of every musical era. That’s absolutely the case with Ensemble Mik Nawooj, the hip-hop orchestra coming soon to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
  • The Land of Sweets Is Back at The Washington Center
    This year marks The Nutcracker’s jubilant return to The Washington Center, with Josie and Ken Johnson at the helm. Guest artist Lucas Horns will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier alongside a cast of over 150.
  • A Full-Length Premiere at the Washington Center
    Composer Andy Akiho’s full-length percussion program, Seven Pillars, debuts this weekend at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, presented by Emerald City Music.
  • Fridays at the First: Advent Concerts Celebrate the Season
    By Molly Gilmore Jazz musicians are playing and swinging and getting merry like Christmas this month at Olympia’s First Christian Church. Fridays at the First, the church’s annual series of free noontime Advent concerts, continues through Dec. 17, offering a mix of tunes including a few seasonal ones. “Liturgically, Advent is a time of waiting,” …

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  • Matthew Melendez: the Great Director at Great Bend Creating Unity Through Song
    By Molly Gilmore Matthew Melendez, executive director of the Great Bend Center for Music in Union, is best known as a celebrated choral conductor. The center’s Great Bend Chorale, which is open to everyone with no audition required, has performed at Carnegie Hall and taken second place in a prestigious national competition. But what Melendez …

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  • The Washington Center Announces 2021-2022 In-Person Season
    By Molly Gilmore There’s big news for Olympia’s arts lovers: Though COVID-19 continues to require theaters to be prepared for all possibilities, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts has unveiled a 2021-2022 season. The season, kicking off Sept 16, offers music, comedy, theater and even performing dogs. “I’m just so excited to have people …

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  • Native American Performers, Musicians, Storytellers Celebrated in Upcoming Ensemble
    By Molly Gilmore “Welcome to Indian Country,” which premieres Thursday, May 27, at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, is a song- and story-packed celebration of Native American life — and of the accomplishments of Native American performers. The show will tour across the country, but its genesis is right here: It’s produced and …

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  • College Music Department Reflects on Events of 2020 Through ‘Musical Encounters’
    By Molly Walsh Throughout this past year, many Americans have faced an uncertain future, continuing to wrestle with feelings of isolation, a need for social justice and a longing for connection. And for many musicians, this isolation has been compounded by empty theater seats and rehearsals restricted to a computer screen. Drawing from the experience …

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  • Olympia Gets Ready for the Holidays
    By Molly Gilmore Though plans for in-person film screenings have been postponed, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is still getting into the spirit of the season. It’s what Jill Barnes, the center’s indefatigable executive director, calls “Operation Holiday Cheer.” The center had planned to reopen Thanksgiving weekend as a movie theater, showing Christmastime …

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  • An Oasis of Sound: Partnership Between Olympia Symphony Orchestra and Emerald City Music Aims to Bring Peace to Local Homes
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Music fans in the area are familiar with two of the bigger names in the music scene: Olympia Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and Emerald City Music (ECM). Both groups have a long history of bringing music to the community and supporting each other’s missions to do so. This year, the two organizations …

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  • City of Olympia Announces Arts Month Innovation Awardees
    By Molly Gilmore Literary walks, a livestreamed concert and a show of work by Black artists are among the winners of Olympia’s Arts Month Innovation awards. The city began giving the awards last year to honor projects that stood out in their efforts to encourage community connection and involvement with the arts.  “We wanted to …

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  • Olympia Downtown Alliance Cancels Annual Music in the Park Series
    By Jonah Barrett The 41st season of Olympia’s Music in the Park series has been cancelled this year due to public health concerns concerning COVID-19. The series has been an Olympia tradition, occurring at both Sylvester Park and the Port of Olympia every year through July and August. With the deluge of postponed or cancelled …

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  • Olympia Symphony Orchestra Provides Creative, Digital Offerings in Response to COVID-19
    By Molly Walsh As Washingtonians enter another week of a “new normal” under Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, social distancing measures have gradually woven into a routine way of life for many households across the state. As schools, workplaces and even wedding ceremonies have transitioned to a virtual setting, music and performing …

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  • Isolating Without Isolation: Vince Brown Offers Music Lessons From Home
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Now is a time of community. Of outreach and support. Thousands in Thurston County have lost hours, jobs, gigs and money due to COVID-19. In our bones is the feeling of wanting to connect with our larger community, to offer support — or receive some. We are all doing our past …

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  • Grammy-Nominated Aizuri Quartet: Bringing Us “Home”
    By Lucy Volker Kicking off its fifth year as Seattle’s up-and-coming classical music company, Emerald City Music often graces the pages of OLY ARTS with showcases featuring world-renowned artists who specialize in reimagining the boundaries of classical music. This year is no exception; come February 15, the Grammy-nominated Aizuri Quartet will perform its collection “Songs …

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  • Oly Old Time Festival: Evie Ladin and Keith Terry
    By Molly Walsh Crossing old-time folk with percussive dance, Oakland, California-based duo Evie Ladin and Keith Terry bring a fresh take to the longstanding old-time-music tradition. Echoing the rich sounds of Appalachia, Ladin and Terry marry notes from a clawhammer banjo, bass and guitar with dance and storytelling. A daughter of a folk-dance teacher, Ladin …

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  • Oly Old Time Festival: Yodelady
    By Molly Walsh A hometown act, Yodelady, has been kindling the traditional music scene in Olympia and surrounding areas since forming in 2010. The members of this triple threat trio have deep roots in the Pacific Northwest old-time music community, and their sets boast three-part harmonies that send audience members to their feet for a …

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  • Oly Old Time Festival: An Interview With the Sassafras Sisters
    By Aigner Loren Wilson This February, the Arbutus Folk School will host their volunteer-run Oly Old Time Festival that aims to bring together fans, players and appreciators of old-time fiddle music. Events at the festival celebrating old-time music in Olympia last for several days and feature musical performances, workshops and dances all around the theme …

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  • Music and Light Herald the Winter Solstice with The Olympia Peace Choir
    By Karen Lunde When the calendar flips to December, it’s nigh impossible to walk into a store or turn on the TV without hearing endless refrains of Jingle Bell Rock and Frosty the Snowman. Love them or loathe them, holiday songs are ubiquitous this time of year. But The Olympia Peace Choir’s concert at Huntamer …

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  • Student Musicians Spark a Season of Joy and Hope
    By Karen Lunde The Washington Center and Minnaert Center stages will ring with the sounds of orchestras and choirs this weekend as Olympia’s student musicians take the stage. One will deliver a beloved holiday tradition, and the other a program centered around the universal theme of hope. On Friday, December 6, the Student Orchestras of …

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  • Capital City Chorus Sings Christmas Cheer
    by Ned Hayes Carols often become the background mutter of the holidays – old tunes covered by bored pop stars. Yet the joy of hearing a professional group of singers deliver Christmas standards in the original intended choir format is a surprisingly fresh and enlivening experience. In the skyscape of sound, the sopranos hit the …

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  • Tammie Brown Is Ready to Razzle Dazzle ’Em
    By Jonah Barrett “On December fifth, you’re going to be razzle dazzled,” exclaimed activist and drag performer Tammie Brown. It’s true: Brown and a number of drag performers will grace the Octapas Café stage. Soon making her Olympia debut, Brown gained prominent notoriety in 2009 when she appeared on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag …

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  • The Washington Center for the Performing Arts Kicks Off 2019-20 Season
    By Molly Gilmore This season, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts has the blues — and the world music, and the dance, and the touring musicals, and the comedy, and so on. “We’re continuing to provide something for everyone,” said Jill Barnes, the center’s executive director. “I say that every year, and I feel …

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  • Emerald City Music: Pushing the Boundaries of Classical
    By MOLLY WALSH Emerald City Music, established in 2016, features over two dozen rising and established talents each season. In its upcoming fourth season, performances will explore the nature of the chamber music genre, centering around one question: What is classical music? Utilizing visual elements and collaborations with outside organizations, this season features a diverse …

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  • Farewell to the Wizard
    By CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL There’s probably some parallel universe in which one might feel comfortable reviewing a Tacoma Dome performance by the man born Reginald Dwight in London, England. He’s 72 now, so it’s perfectly understandable the guy’s singing his swan song after half a century of touring and worldwide notoriety. There is, however, not a …

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  • Music in the Park: Ethan Tucker Band
    By Molly Walsh Hailing from Olympia, Ethan Tucker’s acoustic-guitar-driven songs range from midtempo party anthem “Crazy Tonight” to the melancholy strums of ballad “Josephine.” Expanding beyond his Pacific Northwest origins, Tucker has toured the country with such acts as Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy and The Wailers. With a slightly raspy, soulful voice and sweet, acoustic …

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  • Music in the Park: Flor De Luna
    By Molly Walsh Inspired by Los Lobos, Santana and WAR, Flor De Luna is classic Latin rock with hints of blues, jazz and Afro Cuban influences over a wide range of classic-rock hits. Band members range from their 20s to their 60s. Thus, the band’s classic playlist dons a modern edge. A Flor De Luna …

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  • The Beetle Box Project
    By Jonah Barrett When one hears about electronic music, pianos don’t necessarily come to mind. This August, one-man musical project Beetle Box will perform in Olympia for two consecutive days. He’s brought his piano. Beetle Box is the brainchild of John Pennington of Little Rock, Arkansas. A series of piano lessons having ick-started his love …

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  • Music in the Park: Tacoma Concert Band
    By Molly Walsh The mission of Tacoma Concert Band is to deliver professional, symphonic sound to audiences in Puget Sound and beyond. It’s well-traveled, with stops in Budapest, the French Riviera, Prague and Vienna. It played the 39th-annual South of Ireland Band Competition last summer and took best band, best brass section and best performance …

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  • Second-Annual Hoodstock Celebrates Music, Natural Surroundings
    By Melinda Minton Celebrating its second year, Hoodstock comes with a diverse blend of musical genres with an authenticity and love of artistry for which the event is known — a tapestry of sounds in the surroundings of Hood Canal celebrating local musicians and other artists. Among the local musical talents taking the stage this …

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  • Music in the Park: Randy Linder Band
    By Molly Walsh Traveling throughout the United States, tribute group Randy Linder Band’s set spans Creedence Clearwater Revival’s iconic 1960s-to-1970s playlist. Beginning in 2000, the tribute band has performed multiple shows in Las Vegas and a Creedence Clearwater Revival festival in Mexico. With vintage mop-top haircuts and flannel shirts to accompany John Fogerty’s distinctive, rasping …

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  • Music in the Park: The Roostertails
    By Molly Walsh With a tagline of “full throttle rockabilly,” the Roostertails reimagine classic-rock hits with a 1950s, country-rock twang. Upright bass adds just the right amount of old-school-Americana flair to Presley-style, low-octave vocals. Heavily influenced by Johnny Cash, the Roostertails can help any concert-goer find a rhythm.  WHAT The Roostertails WHERE Sylvester Park, 615 …

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  • Music in the Park: Platinum Soul
    By Molly Walsh Between hidden gems and retro hits, Platinum Soul transports listeners to a 1970s funk and rhythm-and-blues dream. It plays throughout the Pacific Northwest, blending Earth, Wind & Fire; Hall and Oates and Rick James into its set. Band leader LaRoi Carter Jr. grew up in Lacey and has always wanted to return …

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  • Music in the Park: WineHouse Band
    By Molly Walsh Hometown Olympia act WineHouse Band is a young, seven-piece, alternative-rock lineup that crosses funk with hints of rock and jazz. It recently released an extended-play album, Le Voyeur. Half the band’s members are teenagers, but don’t let that distract from their especially tight, enthusiastic performances, as on the tune “Midnight.” Dreamy vocals …

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  • The Show Must Go On: Queen, Others Headline at Tacoma Dome This Summer
    For music fans who started collecting albums before the arrival of Spotify, Tacoma Dome has scheduled an epic run of bucket-list concert acts.
  • Lacey In Tune: Recess Monkey
    By Billy Thomas Recess Monkey is a Grammy-Nominated family music band from Seattle. These teachers-turned-rockers know how to get kids and families excited. Known for prolific, eclectic musical output and their contagiously exciting live shows, Recess Monkey strives to strike a balance between kid-centric ideas and musical authenticity. Lyrically, they weave jokes and puns together …

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  • Lacey in Tune: Reptileman and ‘Smallfoot’
    By Billy Thomas Zoologist and educator Scott Petersen will present live reptiles in a 40-minute show that teaches the importance of all animals in nature and allows kids to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.  Following his show, join the Lacey Museum staff to search for Sasquatch. At dusk will be a …

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  • Music in the Park: EveryLeaf Band
    By Molly Walsh A group of five, the EveryLeaf Band covers the quintessential elements of American music, combining classic rock, country rock and a few risqué blues tunes into its set. Based in Issaquah, Washington, EveryLeaf Band travels throughout the Pacific Northwest with their favorite songs along for the ride. The band prides itself on …

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  • Lacey in Tune Celebrates 25 Years
    By Jonah Barrett “There are many things that I like about Lacey in Tune. I love the stage,” proclaims musician Darren Motamedy. “It’s really rare to play on a stage that is designed for musicians.” Lacey in Tune begins again this July, organized by Lacey Parks and Recreation supervisor Jeannette Sieler. Planning a summer-long entertainment series …

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  • Music in the Park: MarchFourth
    By Molly Walsh Portland band MarchFourth boasts a visually powerful set, with 20 onstage performers that do it all from guitar to vaudevillean dancing, acrobatics to trombone. A supernova of color and carnival chic, MarchFourth gets people of all ages clapping hands and stomping feet. Breaking the barriers between musical and visual performance, the troupe …

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  • Music on the Estuary Brings a Party to Hood Canal
    By Molly Walsh Belfair – home to a population of about 4,000 – boasts quite an art scene, with the Salmon Center being no exception. As the headquarters for non-profit organization Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, the 38-acre Salmon Center is a certified organic farm and hub of environmental education and art for North Mason …

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  • Sharon Stearnes and the Wonderful Wurlitzer
    By KAREN LUNDE Back in the mid-1920s, the Liberty Theatre, a vaudeville house, contained a Wurlitzer 2/9 theater pipe organ. After a renovation in 1948, the Liberty became the Olympic Theater. In the 1980s, it was completely rebuilt and evolved into The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Throughout the building’s evolution, the mighty Wurlitzer …

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  • Los Lobos: Yes, They Can!
    Celebrated band Los Lobos (Spanish for “The Wolves”) is coming to Olympia for a concert that’s sure to sell out.
  • Jammin’ at the Jamboree
    By JONAH BARRETT Steamboat Island isn’t known for its boisterous antics, but that changes every spring as it bursts with a variety of melodies. The fifth-annual Steamboat Stringband Jamboree, occurring the last day of May and first day of June, is hosted by Olympia bands The Oly Mountain Boys and The Pine Hearts. The jamboree’s a celebration of …

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  • Tiny Holes
    By ­Adam McKinney Tiny Holes seemed destined for underground music fame, if they hadn’t disbanded so quickly. The Olympia band only had a few months over the course of 1980 and ’81, in which to spread their delightfully inscrutable New Wave and art-rock stylings, before going their separate ways, with no full-length album ever released. …

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  • A Year of Growth for Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia
    By LUCY VOLKER Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) provides musical education, technical training and performance opportunities for aspiring, young musicians. The group offers a variety of intensive classes and training programs for elementary, middle and high-school-aged youth. SOGO aims to prepare students for careers in classical music. Its programs focus on artistic development, ear …

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  • Ben Moore’s Space Set to Transform into ‘Percival Place’
    By Billy Thomas South Puget Sound Community College announced that it has partnered with the City of Olympia to transform the former Ben Moore’s restaurant into Percival Place at Ben Moore’s. The special event location will provide the college the opportunity to return to downtown Olympia, bringing with it its mission of education and workforce …

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  • A Glittering Night of Art at The Center Salon
    By Alec Clayton Washington State’s Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna offered up a fitting end to a glittering night of art at the Washington Center‘s “Center Salon” on Friday, April 12. Castro Luna called her suite of poems “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” as inspired by the Tina Turner song of the same …

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  • Rise Up’s Moving Call to Action
    By Todd B. Gruel Rise Up is a tribute band with a purpose. The Seattle-based ensemble performs music from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed Hamilton, a Broadway musical which has scored 11 Tony’s, a Grammy and even a Pulitzer. Not bad for hip-hop theater performance about one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. …

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  • Music Profile: Old Time Relijun
    By ADAM McKINNEY Though its four members now reside in Portland, Oregon, Old Time Relijun began life in Olympia. Indeed, few bands feel quite as much like Olympia: ambitiously odd, disarmingly immediate and unafraid of experimentation. The fiery noise-rock group got its start in the ’90s, eventually releasing eight knockout albums through 2007 before going …

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  • Rock Party at Capitol Theater
    By TODD B. GRUEL Julia Shapiro, guitarist and singer for Chastity Belt, considers what feminism means in the 21st century for an all-female band. “To me,” she decides, “it just means being a person with multiple identities, one of them being female, and not having to really think about the fact that I’m a woman …

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  • May’s Olympia Design Month: We Build This City
    By CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Janae Huber and other citizens launched the group Olympians for People-Oriented Places in 2015. Their goal was to support a compact, diverse Olympia designed around attractive public spaces. Abbreviated O-POP, the organization recognizes the challenges of housing an estimated thousand new residents each year without sacrificing environmental protections or civic beauty. Toward …

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  • Season Finale for the “Characters” of Olympia Symphony Orchestra
    By MELINDA MINTON Olympia Symphony Orchestra’s grand finale for its 66th season provides the experience of visiting characters its audience will immediately recognize. The group’s upcoming concert, Cast of Characters, subtitled “an overture in four parts,” could also refer to the players themselves, whom conductor Huw Edwards calls “a cast of characters and a microcosm of society.” The show …

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  • Lyrics and Emotions Flow at The Bridge Flowcase
    By Billy Thomas The Bridge Music Project (The Bridge), a Thurston County based non-profit is scheduled to host The Bridge Performance Flowcase at the historic Capitol Theater on March 22. This concert is the final project for youth who participated in The Bridge’s eight-week songwriting workshop. The show features all original music created by youth …

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  • 2018 State of the Arts
    By Billy Thomas and Lydia Boss, special contributor Artist Trust is a nonprofit dedicated to helping Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive. Its mission is to support and encourage artists working in all disciplines to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Founded in 1986, it was formed by a group of artists and arts lovers who …

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  • The Tallboys
    By Adam McKinney You may be forgiven for, after hearing that a band calls themselves the Tallboys, envisioning a field of littered cheap beer empties after an ill-advised rager. In actuality, the Tallboys aren’t quite that rowdy. Oh, sure, the Tallboys want you to have a good time, and I’d hazard a guess that they’ve …

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  • The Horsenecks
    By Adam McKinney Roots music has never really been far away from the contemporary, American-music landscape, but the past couple decades have seen it enjoy a resurgence in popularity and visibility. Some of this has to do with the indie folk-rock boom we experienced about 10 years ago, which undoubtedly served to shed a light …

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  • Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms
    By Adam McKinney In music, there are few pleasures so simple and satisfying as hearing two simpatico voices becoming sweetly intertwined in duet. For the singers, thought and care surely go into planning harmonies and other intricacies, but the effect comes across as effortless – the audience is free to be swept away by those …

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  • Cranking Out a Good Time
    By MELINDA MINTON This year’s Oly Old Time Festival brings food, music, workshops and new musical talents. Among its featured performers are Allison de Groot and Nic Gareiss. Making use of the South Bay Grange’s beautiful dance floor, they’ll hold a workshop called “Play a Tune/Dance a Tune.” It’s intended to, as Gareiss described it, “reveal …

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  • Well-Traveled Musical Highways…and Snowplows
    By LUCY VOLKER and BILLY THOMAS February’s performance by the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Lovers Lane, has a fun and romantic tone. “As this concert is just before Valentine’s Day,” says conductor and musical director Huw Edwards, “Lovers Lane was a catchy title that fits the concert and our overall theme, with roads and journeys.” For its 66th …

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  • Not Just Entertainment: Live Installation at Le Voyeur
    By JONAH BARRETT Visual-art shows needn’t just be entertaining, they can also engage audiences and create change in their communities. That’s what local artist Carter Wilson hopes to achieve with Live Installation at Le Voyeur. It’s a collaboration between Wilson, the homeless-youth nonprofit Stand Up For Kids and five local hip-hop artists: Blk Sknn, BrySone!, …

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  • Music for 18 Musicians
    By KAMEKO LASHLEE The orchestra is a centuries-old pastime, and it’s as good an excuse as any to get dressed up, go out on the town and listen to euphonious music. In recent years, however, classical music has been associated with boredom and stuffiness. In a world that evolves ceaselessly to satiate our need for …

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  • Grab a Slice of the Good Life
    By CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL The Yiddish-American word klatch, which can rhyme with either batch or botch, means an informal gathering, usually one that facilitates conversation. Pizza Klatch is an Olympia-based organization that empowers LGBTQ+ youth in Thurston County by providing safe, supportive spaces — and yes, free pizza — in 15 area schools. It’s the result …

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  • Six Appeal
    By Adam McKinney The practice of getting together to sing songs a capella may be as old as music itself. After all, instruments aren’t always available, and when they are, they aren’t always cheap. What we’re granted, though, is our voices, which can be used to create wonderful sounds. In the modern age, with the …

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  • Celebrate New Years Eve With Pigs on the Wing
    By Adam McKinney Few bands are as groundbreaking, iconic, indelible and interchangeably melodramatic and unknowable as Pink Floyd. They’re a band defined by contradictions: How can a group that went through so many changes and phases still be instantly recognizable? How did an album as enormously strange and ambitious as The Dark Side of the …

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  • Masterworks’ Yultide Celebration
    By Kameko Lashlee Gaul Those looking for family-oriented, holiday fun that’s equal parts comic and touching should stop by The Washington Center to experience the Masterworks Choral Ensemble’s Yuletide Celebration: A Holiday Concert. December brings the ensemble’s 38th-annual performance, historically presented on the first Saturday in December. Although the celebration is a family Christmas concert …

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  • Olympia Chamber Orchestra Begins Season
    By Molly Gilmore In its 2018-2019 season — its first full season under the direction of conductor Nicholas Carlson — the Olympia Chamber Orchestra will go beyond the expected classical repertoire. Small by orchestra standards, the group of 40-odd musicians in their 20s through 80s aims to have a big impact on Olympia’s classical-music scene. …

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  • Coffee With Friends
    By Molly Gilmore On Saturday, Oct. 27, Emerald City Music invites you to the musical version of a Parisian café — warm and intimate. Café Music spotlights a group of 20th-century French composers known as “Les Six,” who hung out with other avant-garde artists at Paris’s celebrated Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit. It also showcases …

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  • Broadway Olympia’s “Rocky Horror”
    By Molly Gilmore Broadway Olympia’s production of The Rocky Horror Show — opening, oh so fittingly, on Halloween — was more than two decades in the making. That’s quite a feat considering the musical-theater company launched its first season just two months ago. It all began in 1995, when managing director Kyle Murphy first saw …

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  • SOGO: Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia
    By Karen Lunde At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season, after 18 years with Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, conductor John Welsh retired. With Welsh’s blessing, Portland native Cameron May has taken up the baton as SOGO’s new conductor and music director. He comes to Olympia by way of Champaign, Illinois, where he’s finishing a …

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  • Jenn Champion Brings Unique Synth Pop to Capitol Theater
    By Adam McKinney For over two decades, Jenn Champion has been making open-hearted music in the Pacific Northwest. Champion made her name in indie rock favorites Carisa’s Wierd, then found success with her solo project, S, which favored a more stripped down bedroom pop. It’s refreshing to see Champion’s recent pivot to electro-pop, presented in …

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  • Masterworks Choral Ensemble Gets Back to Nature
    By Molly Gilmore Masterworks Choral Ensemble begins its 38th season by celebrating nature’s glories. The singing group will wade in the water — and explore the elements of earth, air and fire, too — in Sacred Elements at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. “I really resonate with the environment,” said Masterworks artistic director …

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  • Keb’ Mo’
    By Adam McKinney Legend has it – and legends have everything – that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroad at midnight. In exchange for his soul, the devil granted him the ability of a master guitarist. Regardless of whether this event actually took place, what we know from the …

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  • The Olympia Peace Choir’s Fall Fundraiser
    By Karen Lunde Ever bought a musician at auction? On October 20, The Olympia Peace Choir will auction off some of its finest musical talent at its gala benefit, Tune in to Fall. Guests will be able to bid on six different acts, and musicians will then perform for the winner and everyone at the …

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  • Always Something Worthwhile at Rhythm & Rye
    By Adam McKinney Olympia has never been short on entertainment options; the city’s embrace of the arts and wide varieties of creative expression ensures there’s something interesting to do and see just about every night. The sheer volume of options borders on overwhelming. It’s helpful, then, to know of one place, in particular, that always …

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