Music in the Sculpture Garden - History House to feature more than 20 local performers at free music series

More than 20 local musicians will be featured in History House of Greater Seattle's Music in the Sculpture Garden, a free music series designed for families, starting Sunday, May 1, and running through Sept. 25.

The series will take place in History House's covered, outdoor Sculpture Garden on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. (No concert is scheduled for July 3).

Musicians will perform an eclectic repertoire of genres ranging from original to traditional folk to new age to maritime chanteys to Celtic and Irish to blues. Many of the musicians are scheduled to play at this year's Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center.

"This is a terrific group of musicians who have donated their time and talent to help build this program into what we hope will be an annual event," said event organizer John Nordstrand.

Nordstrand and musician Michael Guthrie will take turns emceeing the event. Guthrie booked the musicians for the series, and he also will perform in a few concerts.

On Saturday, May 1, and June 18, Guthrie will perform some folk music, jazz and blues with Christie Aitken, who writes her own songs, sings and plays acoustic guitar and ukulele.

"We do a variety of stuff," Guthrie said, adding that Aitken will sing an old Irish folk tune called "Wild Mountain Time."

He also will perform a solo concert, on Sept. 25, showcasing a variety of instruments, including acoustic guitar, lap-steel, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, button accordion and electric bass.

"I think it's a cool opportunity," said acoustic guitarist Deb Seymour, who will sing and play some of her own folk tunes on July 10. The songs range from "beer-hating, tango-dancing Martians to having your heart broken in a tropical windstorm," she explained.

Local guitarist Ron Dalton also will perform some of his own tunes on May 22 and Sept. 18.

"They're story songs influenced by jazz, rock and folk," he said.

Dalton will perform the title song of his recent debut album, "Half," about splitting up.

He noted that the inspiration for his songs comes from people he meets and talks to, as well as his own experiences.

Dalton also plans to perform "Outside," a song about a little girl's view inside an orphanage, and "Empathy Walks," about the plight of refugees around the world.

Other scheduled musicians include PK Dwyer; Mary Grider; Mariide Widmann; Blue-ize; Linda Khandro; Stanislove; Wes Weddell; Teeth, Hair & Eyeballs; Bob Antone; Jim Nason; Jerry Middaugh; John Weiss; Dan Roberts; Reggie Miles; Morgan & Graves; and Pat Gill.

"I think it serves a really good purpose, to help further the art of music," Guthrie said. "I think it's a high level quality of musicians."

Surrounding the stage for the music series is the Sculpture Garden's unique collection of miscellaneous items, including a 6-by-12-foot piece of the Berlin Wall, a fire truck destined for Georgia in the former satellite state of the Soviet Union, the safe discovered beneath the Dubliner Tavern and a 15-foot model of an orca whale.

"I thought this would be a great place, especially in the spring and summer, for music performances," Nordstrand said.

The Music in the Sculpture Garden music series is sponsored in part by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

History House is located in Fremont at 790 N. 34th St. For a schedule of upcoming concerts, call 675-8875 or visit

Contributing writer Jessica Davis writes about arts and entertainment in North Seattle. She can be reached via e-mail at

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