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Posted on: June 11, 2019

Enjoy traditional music all summer long at Deception Pass State Park

Weekly concerts with an unbeatable view at North Beach Amphitheater

OLYMPIA – June 11, 2019 – The Washington State Parks Folk and Traditional Arts Program invites the public to the 14th Annual American Roots Music Series at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island.

Thanks to the generous support of the Deception Pass Foundation and Island County, this year’s series has expanded from four to eight one-hour concerts on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m., July 6 through Aug. 24, at the park’s North Beach Amphitheater (west of SR 20), 41020 WA-20, Oak Harbor. (Driving directions.)

Visitors enjoy an evening of entertainment at Deception Pass State Parks’ North Beach amphitheate


The concerts feature “roots” musical traditions from across America as well as occasional world music. “Roots music” includes a variety of genres that developed in America, mixing indigenous and foreign musical traditions from Europe, Africa and beyond. From blues, Appalachian folk, gospel and bluegrass to Native American music, Tejano and Zydeco, all these genres shaped American music as we know it today.

Admission to the performances is free. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the park.

The summer lineup includes:

July 6: Meshugga Daddies — Klezmer music
Spokane-based ensemble Meshugga Daddies plays lively Klezmer music, which refers to the ever-evolving genre of Jewish celebration music. Based in Balkan and Central and Eastern European musical traditions, the high-energy musical form has taken on a new life in America as musicians improvise beyond boundaries. The Meshugga Daddies comprise Liz Dreisbach on clarinet, Larry Weiser on saxophone, Steve Reich on accordion, Eugene Jablonsky on bass and Rick Singer on drums.  

July 13: Bonaca with Ruže Dalmatinke — Folk music from Croatia and the Balkans
Bonaca and Ruže Dalmatinke Muscial Ensemble of Seattle present traditional Croatian music. Founded by sisters Binki Franulovic Spahi and Alma Franulovic Plancich who immigrated to the U.S. with their family after World War II, the group originally sprang from their desire to preserve the songs of their native Dalmatia. Their repertoire has since expanded to include songs from all parts of Croatia.and the Balkans. Forming a cross-cultural link between the Puget Sound region and Croatia, the company strives to preserve Croatian folkways and culture for generations to come.

July 20: Unexpected Brass Band — New Orleans street music
Inspired by the joyous and free-wheeling energy of New Orleans street bands, the Unexpected Brass Band plays good-time, funky music. Their repertoire includes traditional songs, jazz and music from around the world. Audiences are invited to celebrate and dance with the band.

July 27: Squirrel Butter — Old time music and clogging
Squirrel Butter performs traditional and original music influenced by Appalachian, early country, jug band and blues artists from the late 1800s through 1950s. Husband and wife duo Charlie Beck and Charmaine Slaven share a deep love of traditional music. Multi-instrumentalists, they play banjo, guitar, fiddle and steel guitar, in addition to step-dancing and singing in harmony. Theduo is an anchor in the communities of old-time music, honky-tonk, and square dance, in the Pacific Northwest.

Aug. 3: Bays Family Irish Band — Irish reels, jigs and airs
Randal Bays is well known in the worldwide Irish music community as a fiddler and guitarist. He has performed with many of the great Irish musicians of our time, touring North America and Europe. Joining Bays are wife Susan Waters on fiddle and vocals and sons Willie and Owen Bays on Irish flute and concertina. The younger Bays are following in the long tradition of family music-making in rural Ireland.

Aug.10: WHOZYAMAMA — Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music
WHOZYAMAMA is led by Claudette Boudreaux from Dulac, Louisiana. Members Claudette, Tami Allen and Claudia Anastasio played in the all-women Cajun dance band "Les Femmes d'Enfer” for over a decade. They joined Doug Warren, Todd Fischer and Rick Rice, members of Bayou Boogie, Cayenne and Delta Reys to form WHOZYAMAMA.

Aug.17: The Juan Manuel Barco Conjunto — Tejano and conjunto music
Juan Manuel Barco is a legend of conjunto and Tejano music in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Barco was born in Coal Mine, Texas to a family of migrant farm workers who followed the crop harvests within Texas and to several states in the mid and southwest. Barco taught himself to play the guitar at age six and later taught himself to play the bajo sexto and bass guitar. His music incorporates the many styles he heard as his farmworker family traveled from place to place. He now composes his own songs about the migrant experience.

Aug. 24: Lisa Ornstein and Dan Compton — Quebecois and Acadian music
Virtuoso fiddler Lisa Ornstein and ace guitarist Dan Compton relish in musical conversation. A concert with the duo takes audiences on a journey deep into the musical heartlands of Quebec and Appalachia, with side trips to Ireland. The depth and diversity of Ornstein’s musical experiences and her powerful playing find a match in Compton’s imaginative, innovative approach to guitar.

About the Folk and Traditional Arts Program
The American Roots Music Series is part of a broader series of events celebrating Washington’s diverse cultures presented by the Folk and Traditional Arts Program, with funding provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as support from the Washington State Parks Foundation.

For more information about the Folks and Traditional Arts program, including upcoming events, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/folkarts, or contact Makaela Kroin, Program Coordinator, at Makaela.Kroin@parks.wa.gov or (360) 902-8635.

News media contacts:
Makaela Kroin, Folk and Traditional Arts Program Coordinator, (360) 902-8635
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (360) 902-8604

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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-041

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