Midpak performs under the 1st Avenue Bridge (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Photos: 1st Avenue Bridge Show

2024.05.03 Hardly Raining Seattle bands Acid Tongue, Zookraught, Midpak, and Balcony Bridge played a DIY show under the 1st Avenue Bridge on May 3, 2024. The event benefitted Gaza relief. Gallery: 1st Avenue Bridge Show

Polyrhythmics at Nectar Lounge

Photos: Polyrhythmics at Nectar Lounge

2024-04-24 Hardly Raining Psychedelic funk group Polyrhythmics played a packed show at Nectar Lounge on April 24, 2024, sponsored by Elysian Brewing. The long-time Seattle band includes Ben Bloom (guitar), Jason Gray (bass), Nathan Spicer (keys), Grant Schroff (drums), Scott Morning (trumpet), Art Brown (saxophone, flute), and Elijah Clark (trombone). Polyrhythmics released Filter System in …

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somesurprises at Tractor Tavern

Photos: somesurprises Album Release

2024-04-20 Hardly Raining Seattle “dreamgaze” band somesurprises performed at the Tractor Tavern on April 20, 2024. The group included Natasha El-Sergany (vocals, guitar, keys), Josh Medina (guitar, synth), Laura Seniow (bass), Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy (drums), and special guest Lori Goldston (cello). The well-attended show celebrated the release of their LP, Perseids. In support of this album, …

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säje at Edmonds Center for the Arts

säje at Edmonds Center for the Arts

2024-04-14 Hardly Raining Vocal supergroup säje — Sara Gazarek, Amanda Taylor, Johnaye Kendrick, and Erin Bentlage — performed at the Edmonds Center for the Arts on April 14, 2024. The jazz-influenced group is notable for their tight harmonies, skillful arrangements, and catchy original compositions. The band included Dawn Clement (keys), Michael Glynn (bass), and Roberto …

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Matmos at Here-After

Photos: Matmos at Here-After

2024.04.15 Hardly Raining Baltimore experimental electronic duo Matmos performed at Here-After on April 15, 2024. Matmos includes partners Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel. The pair sampled unconventional musical instruments—a balloon, metal bowls, textured tile, pouring water, duck calls, a broken record—and constructed them into banging dance tunes. They used quadraphonic sound to provide each seat …

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Sun Atoms at Seagaze Festival 2024

Photos: Sun Atoms at Seagaze Festival

2024-04-06 Hardly Raining Portland rockers Sun Atoms headlined the fourth and final day of Seattle’s Seagaze Festival on April 6, 2024. Held at the Tractor Tavern across two weekends, Seagaze celebrated the Pacific Northwest shoegaze, post-punk, and psychedelic-rock genres. The festival began in 2016. Sun Atoms have performed in Seattle several times, most recently at …

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John Scofield Trio, Ft. Vicente Archer & Bill Stewart

Photos: John Scofield Trio at Kirkland Performance Center

2024-04-09 Hardly Raining Guitar master and composer John Scofield and his group played the Kirkland Performance Center on April 9, 2024. Joining Scofield were jazz talents Vicente Archer (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums). Their set included originals from their latest album, bebop standards, and a Bob Dylan cover. Scofield’s trio is playing three dates in …

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Fatoumata Diawara (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Photos: Fatoumata Diawara at Neptune Theatre

2024-04-05 Hardly Raining Malian singer–songwriter Fatoumata Diawara performed at the Neptune Theatre on April 5, 2024. The show was part of the 2024 Spring Concert Series, presented by PDX Jazz. Diawara’s tour continues at Portland’s Revolution Hall on April 6. Gallery: Fatoumata Diawara

Laurie Anderson with Sexmob

Photos: Laurie Anderson & Sexmob

2024-03-30 Hardly Raining Legendary avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson performed “Let X = X” at Benaroya Hall on March 30, 2024. Anderson incorporates electronics, spoken word, invented musical instruments, surreal video, and audience participation into a stunning multimedia experience. She played to an enthusiastic, nearly full house. The event was part of the 2024 Spring Concert …

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The Schizophonics

Photos: The Schizophonics at Substation

2024-03-29 Hardly Raining San Diego garage-rockers The Schizophonics played an action-packed set Seattle’s Substation on March 29, 2024. The trio recently performed at Boise’s Treefort Festival, and their west-coast tour continues in Portland tonight. Opening were Seattle bands Shark Legs and The Checks. Gallery: The Schizophonics

Owen Broder Quintet at the Royal Room

Photos: Owen Broder Quintet at Royal Room

2024-03-22 Hardly Raining Portland alto-saxophonist and composer Owen Broder performed at the Royal Room on March 22, 2024. His multi-city quintet included Noah Simpson (trumpet), Carmen Staaf (piano), Emiliano Lasansky (bass), and John Sturino (drums). (Broder also played the Royal Room during the 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival.) The group completes their three-stop west coast tour …

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Freakout Weekender 2024 Sunday

Photos: 2024 Freakout Weekender

2024-03-03 Hardly Raining The two-day Freakout Weekender returned to Belltown on March 2-3, 2024. The Weekender is a short-and-sweet version of Freakout‘s four-day fall festival, which includes a diverse selection of legacy artists, emerging and established Seattle groups, and bands from Latin America. It offers an ideal opportunity to explore new music. Held across four …

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Theo Croker // Kassa Overall double-bill at Nectar Lounge (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn)

Photos: Theo Croker & Kassa Overall

2024-02-28 Hardly Raining Innovative Grammy-nominated jazz artists Theo Croker (trumpet, electronics) and Kassa Overall (drums, vocals) played a double-bill at Nectar Lounge on February 28, 2024. Croker’s band included Mike King (keys), Giulio Cetto (bass), and Miguel Russell (drums). Joining Seattle native Overall were Tomoki Sanders (saxophone), Bendji Allance (percussion), and Matt Wong (keys). Both …

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somesurprises

Photos: somesurprises, Shitty Person, Patrick Toney

2024-02-08 Hardly Raining Contemplative experimental artists somesurprises played Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge on February 8, 2024. The band included Seattleites Natasha El-Sergany (vocals, guitar, synth), Josh Medina (guitar, synth), Laura Seniow (bass), and Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy (drums). somesurprises by somesurprises Gothic avant-pop group Shitty Person played the second set, celebrating the release of their new EP, …

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David Ambrosio's Civil Disobedience

Photos: David Ambrosio’s Civil Disobedience at SJF

2024.02.01 Hardly Raining NYC jazz group Civil Disobedience graced the new Seattle Jazz Fellowship space on February 1, 2024. Bandleader David Ambrosio (bass) was joined by Donny McCaslin (saxophones), Brandon Lee (trumpet), David Kikoski (piano), and the esteemed Victor Lewis (drums). Performing to an appreciative crowd, Civil Disobedience played two sets of late-1960s releases from …

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Seattle Jazz Fellowship opening night

Photos: Seattle Jazz Fellowship Opening Weekend

2024-01-26 Hardly Raining The Seattle Jazz Fellowship (SJF) reopened its doors in a new Pioneer Square location on January 26, 2024. Founded in 2021, the nonprofit organization has operated “Fellowship Wednesday” concerts at Vermillion, the “Julian Speaks” community talk series at Langston (with legendary trombonist Julian Priester), a youth-focused jam session at the Seattle Drum …

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Freakout Weekender 2024

Preview of the Freakout Weekender 2024

2024-01-26 Hardly Raining The Freakout Weekender returns to Belltown on March 2-3, 2024. The two-day psychedelic mini-festival will feature 20 bands across four stages at The Crocodile building. Headliners include Ty Segall’s San Francisco hard-rock project Fuzz, Chicago indie-rock trio Dehd, Jamaican British vocalist Derv Gordon (of The Equals), Brazilian psych-pop group Boogerins, Los Angeles …

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Lizzy & The Triggermen at The Triple Door

Photos: Lizzy & The Triggermen at The Triple Door

2023-11-16 Hardly Raining Los Angeles jazz act Lizzy & The Triggermen played a sold-out show at The Triple Door on November 16, 2023. Led by vocalist Lizzy Shapiro, the group included a ten-piece swing band and members of the vintage dance troupe The Atomic Cherry Bombs. Gallery: Lizzy & The Triggermen

Brad Mehldau Trio at Neptune Theatre

Brad Mehldau Trio at The Neptune

2023-11-09 Hardly Raining Acclaimed pianist and composer Brad Mehldau played the Neptune Theatre on November 9, 2023. His trio included Larry Grenadier (bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums). It was Mehldau’s first time back in Seattle since the pandemic. Fingers flying, Mehldau showcased his trademark chromaticism, contrapuntal improvisation, and odd-meter mastery. Ballard added clever, minimalistic drum …

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Freakout XI

Preview: Freakout Festival 2023 Tomorrow

2023-11-01 Hardly Raining Seattle’s beloved Freakout Festival XI returns to Ballard November 2-5, 2023. The four-day event emphasizes live psychedelic music and DJ sets. Mad Alchemy Analog Liquid Light Show will again provide trippy live projections. This year’s headliners include Allah Las, The Gories, The Spits, Son Rompe Pera, Sextile, and Jonathan Bree. Many Seattle …

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Slowdive

Photos: Slowdive at Showbox SoDo

2023-10-10 Hardly Raining British shoegaze pioneers Slowdive played Showbox SoDo on October 10, 2023. More than three decades after their debut, the group continues to enchant with layers of jangly guitar, plodding drums, dreamy vocals, and devastating emotional swells. Personnel include Neil Halstead (vocals, guitar), Rachel Goswell (vocals, keys), Christian Savill (guitar), Simon Scott (drums, …

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Fellowship 'Ceptet feat. Johnaye Kendrick

Earshot Jazz Festival 2023 Begins Friday

2023-10-04 Hardly Raining The 35th annual Earshot Jazz Festival begins on Friday, October 6, 2023. The nearly month-long festival will offer live performances across the jazz spectrum. Concerts will take place in venues throughout Seattle, and some will also be live-streamed. Headliners include Hiromi’s Sonicwonder, The Bad Plus & Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, säje, Sona Jobarteh, …

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Justice for Jaahnavi march

Photos: Justice for Jaahnavi Rally

2023.09.23 Hardly Raining Protesters rallied in the Chinatown–International District on September 23, 2023 to demand justice for Jaahnavi Kandula. Kandula, a 23-year-old graduate student, was killed by a police vehicle in January 2023. Body-camera footage released this month revealed that a Seattle Police Department officer had made callous remarks about Kandula’s death, prompting local and …

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THING poster standard for web

THING Festival Returns This Week

2023-08-25–27 Hardly Raining The third THING Festival takes place in Port Townsend on August 25-27, 2023. Based at Fort Worden, the three-day event features “music & arts & other things.” (For an overview, read last year’s festival review.) Headliners include indie-folk Seattle natives Fleet Foxes, Atlanta hip-hop artist Lil Yachty, electropop duo Sylvan Esso, R&B …

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Betty Who at Queer/Pride Festival on June 26, 2023 (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Queer/Pride Festival Returns to Capitol Hill

2023-06-25 Hardly Raining Queer/Pride Festival returned to Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood last weekend. The three-day outdoor event featured LGBTQIA+ centric music and drag performances along a closed-off street outside festival sponsor Queer/Bar. The Sunday headliner was Australian-American dance-pop artist Betty Who. Flanked by two sometimes-shirtless background dancers, the out bisexual artist performed to an enthusiastic …

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Thomas Marriott and Ray Vega East–West Trumpet Summit

Photos: East–West Trumpet Summit at the Royal Room

2023.06.22 Hardly Raining The East–West Trumpet Summit performed at The Royal Room on June 22, 2023. Personnel included Thomas Marriott (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ray Vega (trumpet, flugelhorn), Roy McCurdy (drums), Michael Glynn (bass), and Tim Kennedy (piano). Seattle multi-instrumentalist Jay Thomas sat in for the final number. The event celebrated the release of their album, Coast …

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Hermeto Pascoal at Neptune Theatre

Hermeto Pascoal at the Neptune Theatre

2023-05-30 Hardly Raining Hermeto Pascoal Brazilian avant-garde jazz legend Hermeto Pascoal performed at the Neptune Theatre on May 30, 2023. The 86-year-old composer and multi-instrumentalist sang, and played keys and melodica. His band included André Marques (piano), Ajurinã Zwarg (drums, percussion), Fabio Pascoal (percussion), Itiberê Zwarg (bass), and Jota P. (saxophones, flute). The group played …

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Lakecia Benjamin at Raisbeck Auditorium

Photos: Lakecia Benjamin at Raisbeck

2023-06-01 Hardly Raining NYC alto-saxophonist and composer Lakecia Benjamin performed at Cornish College’s Raisbeck Auditorium on June 1, 2023. Joining Benjamin were Zaccai Curtis (piano), E. J. Strickland (drums), and Ivan Taylor (bass). Benjamin released her fourth studio album, Phoenix, earlier this year. The quartet tours the U.S. west coast this week, including two nights at Portland’s 1905. They …

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Carmen Staaf and Allison Miller

Photos: Carmen Staaf and Allison Miller

2023-04-28 Hardly Raining New York-based jazz duo Allison Miller (drums) and Carmen Staaf (piano) performed at The Royal Room on April 28, 2023. Staaf and Miller released Nearness in 2022. Their second album together, it features their original compositions plus two covers. This show was the final stop on their west coast CD-release tour. Gallery

Alice Boman at Fremont Abbey

Photos: Alice Boman at Fremont Abbey

2023-3-29 Hardly Raining Swedish singer–songwriter Alice Boman performed an intimate set at Fremont Abbey on March 29, 2023. Boman captivated the Seattle crowd with her atmospheric instrumentation, angelic vocals, and tender despair. In 2022 she released The Space Between, which includes a duet with Perfume Genius on “Feels Like a Dream.” Seattleites were fortunate to …

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Cruel Diagonals at Chapel Performance Space

Photos: Cruel Diagonals at the Chapel

2023-04-07 Hardly Raining Cruel Diagonals (Megan Mitchell) performed at the Chapel Performance Space on April 7, 2023. The Los Angeles-based experimental electronic artist is touring in support of her March release, Fractured Whole. Opening were Seattle-based performers Raica and Kole Galbraith. Gallery Fractured Whole by Cruel Diagonals

Immanuel Wilkins and Rick Rosato

Photos: Immanuel Wilkins Quartet

2023-04-01 Hardly Raining The Immanuel Wilkins Quartet returned to Seattle on April 1, 2023. Joining the 25-year-old alto saxophonist were Micah Thomas (piano), Kweku Sumbry (drums), and Rick Rosato (bass). Part of the Earshot Jazz Spring Concert Series, this show took place at the new Raisbeck Auditorium. Wilkins had performed in Seattle previously as part of the 2021 Earshot …

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Julian Priester holds his first jazz album, Keep Swingin' (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Photos: Trombonist Julian Priester Speaks

2023-01-28 Hardly Raining Legendary jazz trombonist Julian Priester is presenting six community events this year, through a partnership with the Seattle Jazz Fellowship and Langston. Priester will play his albums, share stories about his time with other jazz greats, and sustain the jazz community in Seattle. The next Julian Speaks session takes place tomorrow, Saturday …

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Mt Fog

Photos: Mt Fog at Tractor Tavern

2023-03-09 Hardly Raining Seattle songwriter, musician, and vocalist Mt Fog (Carolyn B.) performed at the Tractor Tavern on March 9, 2023. The Forest Cats—Andy Sells (drums) and Casey Rosebridge (synth)—accompanied her. They played a set of moody synth-pop that emphasized Mt Fog’s 2022 album, Spells of Silence. Seattle bands Fotoform and Reverse Death opened. Mt …

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Freakout Weekender 2022

Freakout Weekender Returns to Belltown

2023-03-04 Hardly Raining The Freakout Weekender mini-festival returns to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood on March 4-5, 2023. This year’s event takes place at three stages within the recently relocated Crocodile complex. The largely punk-focused lineup features several Seattle artists on the Freakout Records label, along with bands from around the world. The 28 acts include Stockholm …

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Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Organ Trio

Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Organ Trio

2023-01-22 Hardly Raining The NYC-based Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Organ Trio played two sets at the Royal Room on January 22, 2023. Larry Goldings (organ, comedic banter), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Bill Stewart (drums) have performed together for over 30 years. The group plans San Francisco and New York dates this autumn. Gallery

Sexmob

Photos: Sexmob at the Royal Room

2023-02-16 Hardly Raining NYC avant-garde jazz group Sexmob played two sets at the Royal Room on February 16, 2023. Personnel included Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet), Briggan Krauss (saxophone), Tony Scherr (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums)—along with special guest (and Bernstein’s long-time friend) Tom Varner (French horn). The event was part of the Earshot Jazz winter concert series. After Seattle, Sexmob …

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Tord Gustavsen Trio

Photos: Tord Gustavsen Trio at Town Hall

2023-02-18 Hardly Raining Tord Gustavsen Trio performed in Seattle on February 18, 2023. The Norwegian jazz ensemble included Tord Gustavsen (piano, electronics), Steinar Raknes (bass), and Jarle Vespestad (drums). Part of the Earshot Jazz lineup of winter concerts, the event took place in the Town Hall Forum. Gallery

somesurprises

Photos: somesurprises at The Sunset

2023-01-22 Hardly Raining Introspective rockers somesurprises played The Sunset on January 22, 2023. The Seattle-based group includes Natasha El-Sergany (guitar, vocals), Josh Medina (synth, guitar), Nico Sophiea (drums), and Laura Seniow (bass). (Read a review of somesurprises and a recent interview with El-Sergany.) On March 2, somesurprises will return to The Sunset with Coral Grief. …

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Modest Mouse performs at The Showbox in Seattle on November 23, 2022 (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Modest Mouse (w/ Sun Atoms) at the Showbox

2022-11-23 Hardly Raining Portland indie-rockers Modest Mouse played three sold-out nights at The Showbox on November 21-23, 2022. Formed in Issaquah in 1993, the group has been integral to the Pacific Northwest alternative music scene. Their The Lonesome Crowded West tour commemorates the 25th anniversary of their 1997 album by that title. Most recently, Modest …

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Alex Dugdale What We Have On Tap

Photos from the 2022 Earshot Jazz Festival

2022.11.07 Hardly Raining The 34th annual Earshot Jazz Festival returned to Seattle from October 8–November 6, 2022. This autumn’s festival featured 37 jazz shows across a dozen Seattle venues. Headliners included Grammy-winning artist Dianne Schuur (vocals, piano), and NEA Jazz Master Charles Lloyd (saxophone) with his Ocean Trio. Resident artist Alex Dugdale (saxophone, tap dance) …

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Gary Smulyan and Paul Rauch, outside Tula's jazz club in Seattle (photo: Jim Levitt).

Grateful Dead Meetup at the Movies: Confessions of a Modern Jazz Journalist

2022.11.01 Paul Rauch, special to Hardly Raining The Grateful Dead have always defied convention, when it comes to the more commonly accepted protocols of American entertainment. Their refusal to be pop stars despite immense popularity is part of the allure, just a group of six guys playing music without any sort of show business glitz. …

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Anders Trentemøller performs at The Showbox.

Trentemøller at The Showbox

2022-09-16 Hardly Raining Danish electronic artist Anders Trentemøller kicked off his North American tour at The Showbox on September 16, 2022. Based in Copenhagen, Trentemøller is a composer, musician, and producer. Joining him were Icelandic artist DíSA (vocals, guitar), Silas Tinglef (drums), Brian Batz (guitar), and Jacob Haubjerg (bass). Trentemøller creates techno that draws on diverse musical influences. …

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Earshot Jazz Festival digital banner 2022

2022 Earshot Jazz Festival Begins Tomorrow

2022-10-07 Hardly Raining The 2022 Earshot Jazz Festival kicks off tomorrow. The 34th annual event runs October 8–November 6 at venues throughout Seattle. Like last year, the festival will offer both in-person and virtual attendance options. Headlining is saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s Ocean Trio, which includes Anthony Wilson (guitar) and Harish Raghavan (bass). This year’s artist …

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Greg Gonzalez of Cigarettes After Sex.

Cigarettes After Sex at Showbox SoDo

09/12/2022 Hardly Raining Cigarettes After Sex returned to Seattle for the fifth time on September 12, 2022. The El Paso-then-Brooklyn-based dream-pop trio includes Greg Gonzalez (vocals, guitar), Jacob Tomsky (drums), and Randall Miller (bass). Like most of the band’s shows, this one was sold out. An hour-long entry line wrapped around the block outside the …

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Wet Leg

THING Festival Returns to Port Townsend

2022-08-26 Hardly Raining Three years after the inaugural event in 2019, the second THING Festival returned to Port Townsend on August 26-28, 2022. THING is sponsored by the nonprofit Seattle Theatre Group. This year’s THING featured a curated lineup of musical artists from around the world, with a focus upon western Washington. Headlining were Connecticut …

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Alessandra Rose

Women in Song at Volunteer Park

2022-08-18 Hardly Raining The Volunteer Park Summer Series at the Amphitheater closed out its season with Women in Song, featuring Star Anna, Eugenie Jones, and Alessandra Rose. Ellensburg-based Americana artist Star Anna (vocals, guitar) kicked off the evening. Her band The Oracles included Mark Pickerel (drums), Omar Schambacher (guitar), and Tyrah Dunning (bass). Although the …

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Raul Midón plays guitar and sings

Latin Jazz at Volunteer Park

2022-08-04 Hardly Raining The six-week Volunteer Park Summer Series at the Amphitheater continued with an evening of Latin jazz. This second jazz event of the series featured two Grammy®-nominated artists. New Mexican singer–songwriter Raul Midón (guitar, “mouth trumpet,” percussion) performed a solo set in English and Spanish. Midón experiences blindness, which he sang about in …

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Buster Williams plays upright bass at the Triple Door

Buster Williams at The Triple Door

2022-07-15 Hardly Raining Legendary jazz bassist Buster Williams and his Something More Quartet played two sets at The Triple Door on July 15, 2022. Personnel included Lenny White (drums), Bruce Williams (sax), and George Colligan (piano). After a show in Portland tonight, they continue to Half Moon Bay.

The Darts at Substation

The Darts at Substation Seattle

2022-07-03 Hardly Raining Arizona garage-punk band The Darts played the Substation on July 3, 2022. The band includes Nicole Laurenne (vocals/organ), Meliza Jackson (guitar), Christina Nunez (bass/vocals), and Mary Rose Gonzales (drums). While in Seattle, the group also did an in-store show at Easy Street Records and a session at KEXP. Seattle bands Biblioteka and …

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Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes at the Moore Theatre

2022-06-23 Hardly Raining “We’re playing a show!” exclaimed Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold. In their first time onstage in several years, the Seattle natives sold out the Moore Theatre. The June 23, 2022 performance kicked off their summer tour. Along with Pecknold (guitar, lead vocals), the indie-folk group includes Skyler Skjelset (guitar, mandolin, backing vocals), Casey …

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Charlie Porter plays trumpet at the Royal Room on June 27 (photo: Lisa Hagen Glynn).

Charlie Porter Quintet at the Royal Room

2022-06-27 Hardly Raining The Charlie Porter Quintet played the Royal Room on June 27, 2022. Porter is a GRAMMY-winning trumpeter and composer. Joining him were Nick Biello (sax), George Colligan (piano), Garrett Baxter (bass), and Alan Jones (drums). After completing a Pacific Northwest tour this week, the group will record Porter’s original album Cipher—so named …

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Protesters at the abortion-rights rally at the Federal Building in Seattle.

Seattle Protests Abortion-Rights Reversal

2022-06-24 Hardly Raining Thousands gathered outside Seattle’s Federal Building to protest yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned abortion rights. As part of a national response to the expected ruling, local organizers had planned rallies across western Washington. Event speakers included local abortion-rights leaders and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Protesters then marched through downtown, …

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Electronettes Histeppers Drill Team.

Juneteenth Celebration at Jimi Hendrix Park

2022-06-19 Hardly Raining The Juneteenth Celebration took place June 18-19, 2022 at Jimi Hendrix Park. Although Sunday’s Juneteenth Parade was unexpectedly cancelled, the festival continued with speakers, music, food, and vendors. (Hardly Raining covered last year’s parade and celebration.) Saturday’s events included a Black business panel. Today’s event continues until 8 p.m., featuring local artist …

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Daniel Rossen sings and plays guitar.

An Evening with Daniel Rossen at Neumos

2022-06-18 Hardly Raining Singer-songwriter Daniel Rossen (Grizzy Bear, Department of Eagles) performed a solo set at Neumos on June 18, 2022. Rossen sang, and alternated between three guitars and electric piano. His style is notable for dense guitar harmonies and moody vocals. (Check out his Reddit AMA!) Rossen eschewed a set list, instead taking—and declining—requests …

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Christian McBride on bass.

Christian McBride at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley

2022-06-14 Hardly Raining Bassist Christian McBride kicked off a two-night run at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on June 14, 2022. An eight-time Grammy®-winning musician, McBride is also a composer, broadcaster, educator, and festival artistic director. Although McBride just turned 50, his band showcased young jazz talent—most of the band was well under 30. Personnel included Nicole …

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Carrie Akre uses a pink "menopause fan" onstage.

Carrie Akre (with Danny Newcomb) at Tractor Tavern

2022-06-11 Hardly Raining Vocalist Carrie Akre and her band performed at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard. Originally planned for August 2021, the show had been postponed due to a COVID exposure. Akre has fronted Seattle musical groups (Hammerbox, Goodness, The Rockfords) since the early grunge era. Her band at this show included Tim DiJulio (guitar, …

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Orrin Evans on piano.

Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band

2022.06.08 Hardly Raining Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band played the Royal Room for two nights, closing out the spring series of the recently formed Seattle Jazz Fellowship (SJF). Band members included Orrin Evans (piano), Mark Whitfield, Jr. (drums), Luques Curtis (bass), Caleb Wheeler Curtis (alto), Troy Roberts (tenor), David Gibson (trombone), Reggie …

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Steel House onstage at Seattle Art Museum

Steel House: Brian Blade, Scott Colley, & Cuong Vu

2022-06-07 Hardly Raining Steel House performed at the Seattle Art Museum’s Plestcheeff Auditorium, in an event organized by Earshot Jazz. Personnel included Brian Blade (drums), Scott Colley (bass), and Cuong Vu (trumpet and electronics). Edward Simon (piano) was originally scheduled to play with the group but became ill, so Vu stepped in last-minute. The group’s …

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Protesters shout and hold signs

“Bans Off Our Bodies” Abortion-Rights Rally

2022-5-14 Hardly Raining Thousands gathered in Cal Anderson Park in support of abortion rights. Part of a Day of Action, the Seattle rally was one of 450 “Bans Off Our Bodies” events held nationally on May 14. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other reproductive-rights groups organized the events in response to a leaked U.S. …

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Children learn to drum

Northwest Folklife Festival Returns to Seattle Center

2022-05-28 Hardly Raining After two years of a virtual-only festival format, the Northwest Folklife Festival returned in person at Seattle Center this Memorial Day Weekend. The theme of the 51st annual event is “Metamorphosis: in with the old, in with the new.” Across 16 stages, the in-person festival features music, dancing, film, visual art, buskers, …

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President Joe Biden speaks at Green River College

President Joe Biden Visits Greater Seattle

2022-04-22 Hardly Raining U.S. President Joe Biden visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time during his presidency. After a stop in Portland yesterday, Biden continued on to Seattle to attend private fundraisers and sign an Earth Day executive order for the protection of old-growth forests. In the student union building of Green River College in Auburn, …

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Darelle Holden and Dave Holden, Sr. pose after the gig at Calluna Restaurant.

Continuing a Seattle Jazz Legacy: Dave and Darelle Holden Perform at Calluna

2022-04-14 Hardly Raining The Holden family carries a three-generation legacy in Seattle’s jazz scene. Although “Patriarch of Seattle Jazz” Oscar Holden has passed, the musical tradition continues through his descendants. Those include Oscar’s son, Dave Holden Sr., and Dave’s daughter, Darelle Holden. Both toured for decades, but they had never performed together—something Darelle regretted. That …

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Negativland and SUE-C at Clock-Out Lounge

Negativland + SUE-C (with Blevin Blectum) at Clock-Out Lounge

2021-09-23 Hardly Raining Negativland and SUE-C finally made it to the Clock-Out Lounge on September 23, 2021, a year and a half later than originally scheduled due to COVID-19. Negativland is an experimental Bay Area collective that includes founding members Mark Hosler and David Wills (AKA The Weatherman), as well as Jon Leidecker (AKA Wobbly). …

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Terror/Cactus at Tractor Tavern

Freakout Festival Returns to Ballard

2021-11-11 Hardly Raining The Freakout Festival returned to Seattle in November 2021, after a COVID cancellation in 2020. Held in-person at venues throughout the Ballard neighborhood, the four-day festival featured a diverse lineup of U.S. and international musicians. Seattle label Freakout Records sponsored the event, which included their own artists plus 50-ish others with complementary …

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Marina Albero at Town Hall Forum

Photographs from the 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival

2021-10-13 to 11-05 Hardly Raining After nearly a month of live jazz, the 33rd annual Earshot Jazz Festival has drawn to a close. Venues throughout Seattle hosted an array of international and resident jazz artists, from the straight-ahead to the avant garde. Photographs from 24 festival performances are featured chronologically. Click any photo to open …

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Puget Sound Mycological Society poster for their annual Wild Mushroom Show, held 23-24 October 2021

Puget Sound Mycological Society Wild Mushroom Show

2021-10-23 Hardly Raining The Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS) 2021 Wild Mushroom Show is taking place this weekend. Now in its 58th year, the annual event features mushroom specimens, identification, tasting, lectures, and cultivation kits. Last year’s show was held virtually because of COVID-19. Visit PSMS’s web site for further details, tickets, and the lecture …

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Earshot Jazz Festival 2021 announcement, featuring Marina Albero

The 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival Begins Tonight

2021-10-13 Hardly Raining Today marks the beginning of Seattle’s 2021 Earshot Jazz Festival. The 33rd annual event will take place at venues across the city through November 7. Due to the pandemic, the festival occurred only virtually in 2020. This year, both virtual and in-person viewing options are available. In-person attendance will require proof of …

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Thomas Marriott and Vay Vega pose for a portrait before the show

Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott: East–West Trumpet Summit Featuring Roy McCurdy

2021-10-09 Hardly Raining Long-time friends Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott teamed up cross-country to present the East–West Trumpet Summit. Marriott hails from Seattle, and Vega currently lives in Vermont. Joining them were Orrin Evans (piano) from Philadelphia/New York City, Michael Glynn (bass) from Seattle, and the legendary Roy McCurdy (drums) from Los Angeles. The set …

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Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio poses outside Jazz Alley.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio at Jazz Alley

2021-08-24 Hardly Raining Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio returned to Seattle for two sold-out nights at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on August 24-25, 2021. They had played a ZooTunes show recently at Woodland Park. The trio included Delvon Lamarr (organ, vocals), Jimmy James (guitar), and Dan Weiss (drums). Special guests Ben Bloom (guitar) and Khari Simmons (bass) …

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Kelly Lee Owens closes her eyes while singing

Kelly Lee Owens (with Kid Hops and MYXA) at Neumos

2021-09-18 Hardly Raining/Lisa Hagen Glynn Kelly Lee Owens played the show that everybody needed, after so many months pent up because of COVID. The Welsh dream-pop and techno artist took the stage at Neumos for an intense hour-long set. “We’re here to fucking dance, so let’s do this,” she directed. An adept producer and singer, …

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Smokey Brights, and Sera Cahoone (with Jeff Fielder) at Occidental Park

2021-09-16 Hardly Raining Smokey Brights and Sera Cahoone (with Jeff Fielder) performed Thursday at the Pioneer Square neighborhood’s Occidental Park. Predicted thunderstorms threatened this final concert of the Downtown Summer Sounds series, so the outdoor show was moved up by two days. Despite the short notice, the free event drew a good crowd. The venue …

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Kiki Valera y su Son Cubano at Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheatre

2021-09-05 Hardly Raining Seattleites danced the afternoon away to the sounds of Kiki Valera y su Son Cubano. Valera is a multi-instrumentalist, best known for his mastery of the eight-stringed Cuban cuatro guitar. In Cuba, the Valera Miranda family continues a legacy of Son Cubano and other traditional music. Kiki Valera joined the Seattle music …

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Pie Chute Delivers Free Pie In Southeast Seattle

2021-09-05 Hardly Raining When Burning Man was cancelled due to COVID in 2020, partners Leeds and Julie brought the event’s tradition of gifting to the Seattle community instead. They built a 12-foot metal chute with a mouth-shaped opening, sought donations of fruit from neighbors’ trees, gathered like-minded volunteers, and baked hundreds of hand pies to …

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Wiener dogs race at Emerald Downs

Wiener Dog (and Wiener Wannabe) Races at Emerald Downs

2021-08-22 Hardly Raining The annual Wiener Dog and Wiener Wannabe Races returned to Emerald Downs after a COVID hiatus in 2020. (For the uninitiated, see this overview of the 2018 event.) Defending champion “Slinky,” a red dachshund with a grey muzzle and paws, retained the title in the Wiener Dog category. Slinky is trained by …

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The Boss Martians perform at Slim's Last Chance

The Boss Martians (and Zack Static Sect Record Release) at Slim’s Last Chance

2021-8-20 Hardly Raining Surf–garage group The Boss Martians played Slim’s Last Chance Saloon on August 20, 2021. Now based in Seattle, the band formed in Tacoma in 1995. Members include Evan Foster (guitar, vocals), Erik Foster (bass, vocals), and Nick Schultz (drums). Zack Hoppenrath of the Zack Static Sect made a guest appearance. For the …

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The Sinister Six (with The Shaking Fists) at Slim’s Last Chance

2021-07-23 Hardly Raining The Sinister Six played atop an outdoor stage at Slim’s Last Chance Saloon on July 23, 2021. The show marked their return after a year-and-a-half COVID break. Originating in 1992, the band has remained a staple of the Seattle garage-rock scene and also toured internationally. Current members include Doug White (vocals), James …

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Warren Dunes at Neptune Theatre (with Shaina Shepherd, Black Ends)

2021-07-31 Hardly Raining “Beach music” group Warren Dunes headlined the Neptune Theatre on July 31, 2021. The family band includes Julia Massey (lead vocals, dual keys), Jared Cortese (guitar), and Dominic Cortese (drums). Joining them were special guests Chris Blount, Eva Walker, and Alaia D’Alessandro. Adding activism to music, the band donates half the profits …

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Kassa Overall at Neptune Theatre (with Breaks and Swells, & Payge Turner)

2021-07-24 Hardly Raining Seattle native Kassa Overall returned from Brooklyn to headline at the Neptune Theatre on July 24, 2021. The “backpack-jazz producer” fuses jazz drumming with elements of hip-hop. Overall has achieved significant recognition for his innovative style. During the pandemic, Overall released two COVID-inspired albums: Shades of Flu: Healthy Remixes For an Ill …

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Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (with Marshall Law Band) at ZooTunes

2021-07-25 Hardly Raining Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (DLO3) performed at Woodland Park ZooTunes on July 25, 2021. DLO3 includes Delvon Lamarr (organ), Jimmy James (guitar), and Dan Weiss (drums). The acclaimed soul-jazz trio plays two nights at Seattle’s Jazz Alley in August, and tours this autumn in support of their 2021 release, I Told You …

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Erin Bentlage, Sara Gazarek, Amanda Taylor, & Johnaye Kendrick perform as säje at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley on July 6, 2021.

An Interview with Vocal Supergroup säje

2021-07-06 Hardly Raining GRAMMY-nominated vocal ensemble säje (“rhymes with beige”) made their Seattle debut at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley on July 6 & 7, 2021. It was their first live performance together since COVID-19. Vocalists Sara Gazarek, Amanda Taylor, Johnaye Kendrick, and Erin Bentlage were joined by Ben Williams (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), Dawn Clement (piano), …

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Reopening at Boxley’s Jazz Club: An Interview with Founder Danny Kolke

2021-07-02 Hardly Raining Boxley’s Jazz Club is located about 30 miles east of Seattle in North Bend, WA. The town of 7,000 is a portal to the Cascade foothills that hosts a number of downtown restaurants and shops. It was also made famous by the 1990 TV series, Twin Peaks. In 2009, Boxley’s began as …

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Columbia City’s First Pride Block Party

2021-06-27 Hardly Raining Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood celebrated its first-ever LGBTQIA+ Pride celebration on Sunday, June 27. Although it was organized just a few weeks ahead of time by Columbia City neighbors, the grassroots event included a disco DJ, drag entertainers, an emcee, a local-business raffle, temporary tattoos, and miniature ponies. Neighbors donated, and excess …

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Juneteenth Freedom March and Celebration

2021-06-19 Hardly Raining Juneteenth became a U.S. Federal holiday just last week, but Seattle has been holding an annual celebration since 1980. Seattle’s event was founded by the late activist and boutique owner Decharlene Williams, whose legacy this year’s march and celebration honored. The march began at Williams’ business at 22nd Ave & E Madison …

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