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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Dmitri Matheny on flugelhorn

Dmitri Matheny _CASCADIA_ CD Release

2022-07-23 Hardly Raining The Dmitri Matheny group celebrated its CD release at the Royal Room on July 23, 2022. Matheny is a Centralia-based jazz flugelhornist and composer. The band included Jay Thomas (sax, trumpet, flugelhorn), Phil Sparks (bass), Bill Anschell (piano), and Mark Ivester (drums). CASCADIA is available on Origin Records. Matheny will be touring …

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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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People hold a large blue and yellow banner that reads, "We support Ukraine."

Seattleites March in Support of Ukraine

2022.03.05 Hardly Raining Hundreds of Seattleites marched and rallied yesterday in support of Ukraine. Sponsored by the Ukrainian Association of Washington State, the event included rallies at Seattle City Hall and Seattle Center, and a march through downtown along Fourth Avenue. At City Hall, organizers held a flash mob and called for air support in …

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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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Jazzmeia Horn through bokeh of holiday lights

Jazzmeia Horn at Jazz Alley

2021-12-07 Hardly Raining New York City-based jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn and her trio played two nights at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley. Personnel included Keith Brown (piano), Kristopher Funn (bass), and Russell Carter (drums). (Read a review of the show in All About Jazz.) While in town, Horn also recorded a session at Seattle’s KEXP. The set …

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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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