If a light wallet and an empty gas tank left you in Seattle over Memorial Day weekend instead of at Sasquatch, then the Northwest Folklife

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Saturday Folklife Picks: Tree Nine, Seattle Kokon Taiko and Storme Webber

If a light wallet and an empty gas tank left you in Seattle over Memorial Day weekend instead of at Sasquatch, then the Northwest Folklife Festival has got your back. An abundance of music, food and culture is right around the corner, and it's all being offered for the low, low price of free.

Below, the top three picks for Saturday:

Tree Nine

Seattle duo Tree Nine has its roots in more than just indie folk-pop, though after listening to the group's cover of "For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti" by folk-god Sufjan Stevens, everything else seems trivial. The group, composed of guitarist Peter Rothbart and pianist Aura Barr, trades off singing chilling, harmonic vocals across the the pair's various singles, including "When I Rise," "First Sun" and "Blue Ridge Mountains" by Fleet Foxes. Barr, whose classically trained piano background and love of world music adds an elegant spice to Tree Nine, spends the majority of her time playing with her other band, indie four-piece The Horde and the Harem (who will be performing at the Folklife Festival on Monday). A tad more under the radar in terms of his musical whereabouts outside of Tree Nine, Rothbart toured the U.S. and U.K. in 2008 with his brother, Davy, creator of the New York based Found Magazine. The brothers' show was given rave reviews from the likes of The New York Times and (go figure) Drew Barrymore.


Tree Nine will be performing at The VERA Project from 11-11:30 a.m.

The Horde and the Harem will be performing at Center Square on Monday, May 30 from 5:45-6:20 p.m.

Seattle Kokon Taiko

Combining synchronized, rhythmic drumming with Japanese folk art and belief, the Seattle Kokon Taiko group perform thrilling shows that feature a combination of American expression and Japanese origin. Taiko, which translates to "drum" in Japanese, features an ensemble of musicians pounding large drums in a layered, sporadically synchronized fashion and emphasizes bodily movement and self-expression. Though the performances vary in length, many build-up to large, climactic finishes. Drummers practice and build their skills by learning to memorize the different sounds their drums make, "singing" back patterns. Each hit has a particular sound, according to the Seattle Kokon Taiko website. The construction of the drums is also cherished and appreciated, as taiko players believe that the drums represent the spirits of all who helped create it: the skin of the animal, the wood from the tree, and the labor of the builder.

Seattle Kokon Taiko will be performing at the Mural Amphitheatre from 2:05-2:35 p.m.

Storme Webber

Poet, visual artist and Seattle native Storme Webber has spread her message of creative expression and human equality across the world, performing repeatedly in the U.S., England, Netherlands and Germany for the past 25 years. Webber is the founder/artistic director of Voices Rising: LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture, and has had her work broadcasted on the radio (BBC), television (ITV), and theater (For Colored Girls, Gross National Product, The Kitchen.) Performing spoken-word poetry at the Folklife Festival, Webber's strong voice and passion combines effortlessly to create moving, thought-provoking stories. Below, Webber performs an original poem about the fatal shooting of Seattle native John T. Williams.

Storme Webber will be performing at The VERA Project from 3:30-4:45 p.m.

 
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