Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan. Photo by Bob Andrews/UTOW

Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan. Photo by Bob Andrews/UTOW

The Second Coming of Pedro the Lion, Celebrating Richard Hugo, and Holiday Music Done by Duke

The week’s best events.


Pedro the Lion When David Bazan decided to break up his band 10 years ago, it was less because of creative differences than internal conflict. Bazan was, after all, the sole founder and only constant in a band that over the course of four full-length albums and a couple EPs had amassed a devoted fanbase of young Christians and secular college rockers. Exceptionally earnest and gifted with an ear for melody and an aching delivery, he presented a complicated faith narrative that entertained doubt, ruminated on sin, and eventually left it all behind. Now he returns to that material with promise of more new songs to come. These shows are all sold out, but it might be worth following the band on Twitter for last-minute ticket release announcements. With Advance Base. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599. 8 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21; 9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 22. $20.

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music The Duke composed music for three church performances—liturgies, essentially, combining jazz, blues, and gospel music—in 1965, ’68, and ’73 for San Francisco, New York, and London. Though not intended specifically for Christmas performance, music from these concerts has become a year-end tradition for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. They’ll be joined by the Northwest Chamber Chorus, vocal soloists Nichol Veneé Eskridge and Stephen Newby, and tap dancer Alex Dugdale. Presented by Earshot Jazz. At University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave. N.E., 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 30, and St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 N.E. 12th St., Medina, 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 31. $14–$40.


Messiah Sing- and Play-Along Handel’s 1741 setting of the story of the life of Christ, it’s said, is the oldest work that’s never been out of the active classical repertory. It’s also, probably not coincidentally, a blast to sing. Karen P. Thomas conducts the entire oratorio, and the choir will also sing the solos. If you’re singing, vocal scores will be available, or bring your own. If you’re playing, bring a music stand, but they’ll have parts for you. University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Ave. N.E., $13–$18. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 26.

Byron Schenkman & Friends Though he died at 31, Schubert’s works number in the low four digits; he may hold the record for the ratio of hours of music produced to hours of life lived. But among all this, for some reason, are practically no pieces for solo instrument and either orchestra or piano—no full-fledged concertos at all and few sonatas, which are not among his most popular or often-heard chamber pieces. Jun Cho (a last-second fill-in for Schenkman, who suffered a minor accident) and Rachell Wong, though, will make a case for his Violin Sonata in A major on this all-Viennese program. Cellist Nathan Whittaker will join them for piano trios by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., $10–$42. 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 28.


Homage to Richard Hugo An evening of readings about the White Center-born, UW-trained, University of Montana-employed poet at one of the pubs he used to haunt. It’ll be followed by an open mic (“hopefully on Hugo­-esque themes”) and the unveiling of a photo portrait. “I’m hoping this might become an annual event that preserves Hugo’s White Center legacy in some way,” says writer/event organizer Jeff Smoot. Sponsored by The Writer’s Workshop. Mac’s Triangle Pub, 9454 Delridge Way S.W., Free. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 21.

More in Arts & Culture

Lauryn Youden’s ‘A place to retreat when I am sick (of you)’ as part of ‘Group Therapy.’ Photo Mark Woods.
Searching for Relief in the Frye’s ‘Group Therapy’

The new group exhibit finds artists tapping into themes of natural wellness and psychological self-care.

Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, and Jack Black get their kiddie horror on in The House 
With a Clock in Its Walls. Photo courtesy Storyteller Distribution Co.
Tick, Tick… Boo!

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett can’t prevent the spooky kids’ movie The House with a Clock in Its Walls from feeling a bit insincere.

The Kinesthetic Truth of Jerome Robbins

Pacific Northwest Ballet opens its season with a centennial celebration of legendary choreographer.

Illustration by Taylor Dow
Get Brave

Saturn and an Aries full Moon squeeze us into action.

Musicians Rally for a Free #SaveTheShowbox Concert at City Hall

The event corresponds with the City’s public land use hearing regarding expanding the Pike Place Market Historic District.

Welcome to the new Hugo House. Photo by Seth Sommerfeld
A New Chapter For Hugo House

After two nomadic years, the nonprofit Seattle writing center is ready to open its new, expanded home.

The finale of ‘Volta’ brings the X Games to Cirque du Soleil. Photo by Patrice Lamoureux
Cirque du Xtreme

While thematically uncentered, Cirque du Soleil’s BMX-adorned Volta still entertains.

Walking Seattle Art Museum’s halls is just one of the options available on Museum Day. Photo by Natali Wiseman
Snag a Free Museum Day Ticket

Smithsonian Magazine ‘s September 22 celebration opens the doors to some of the region’s best cultural institutions.

Most Read