News in and around Madison Valley

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Music in the Park Thursdays


Madison Park’s annual Music in the Park series will be held on the the first three Thursdays in August. The kid-friendly free concerts are sponsored by the Madison Park Business Association and run from 6:30 to 8 pm.


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Gin Creek


The bands playing this year are The Side Project (original music and covers, Aug 2), Gin Creek (rock and jazz, Aug 9), and Two Scoops Combo (boogie woogie blues, Aug 16).

In an unusual move, the bands will not be using electric guitars out of consideration for the neighborhood’s noise levels.


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JazzED In Our Valley


By last minute invitation, a couple of weeks ago, I attended a musical fundraiser and was surprised to find that the program is based right here in our neighborhood! JazzED (pronounced jazz ed) is taught out of the FAME at MLK Community Center.

My host and table captain at the event was JazzED’s new board member Harold Brandford. Harold was recruited by his neighbors to become involved and make a contribution to the community. Harold was born and raised in Barbados. He moved to the USA in his late teens for his advanced education. With a bit of hard work and encouraged by the kindness and generosity of wonderful mentors along the way, he has achieved a good measure of success, working as a physician in the Seattle area for the past 38 years. He sees his involvement in JazzED as an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of kids who might otherwise be denied a chance for music education.


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Harold Brandford


JazzED is a fantastic and successful extracurricular music program. It was founded in 2010 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers that wanted to provide music education to anyone in any school regardless of finances. The beloved Clarence Acox of Garfield Jazz fame was the founding music director and continues to be involved. 

The music instruction bridges the gap between school-based classes and private lessons. Local experienced professional musicians lead the bi weekly group lessons and many instruments are donated from a variety of sources including most recently, Amazon.

The students range from grades 4–12 and are drawn from 70 different schools in the Puget Sound area. JazzED is currently serving 600 students a year. Commitment to diversity is a primary goal. 50% of the students are girls, 42% students of color, and 40% are receiving scholarship assistance.


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Students may choose from Choir, Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds. Additionally, audition-based ensembles for Big Band, Orchestra, and Vocals are on offer. A jazzy field trip to New York City is planned for this coming June. WOW!

Thinking that live music may catapult your next party into a fabulous experience? Look no further! All Star Combos are available for bookings.

Truthfully, there are just too many JazzED opportunities and events to describe here. Your best bet is to peruse the beautiful JazzED website:

What fun!


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Madison Valley Music Lessons: Spring 2017 at the Music Factory


Spring is here, which means it’s a great time for MUSIC LESSONS! From kids feeling optimistic about extra-curricular activities to adults getting ready for some Summer camp fire sessions, there are lots of great reasons to get your musical skills sharpened. We offer lessons in guitar, piano, bass, voice and most wind and string instruments. Call us at 206-420-3896 or fill out the Sign Up Form on our website, we will make sure to get you the best times we can. Spring is the time to make beautiful music!


The Music Factory


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Madison Valley Music Lessons: Sign Up for Fall 2016


Fall 2016 is almost here, and the annual “fall rush” of new students at The Music Factory is right around the corner. We want to make sure that our current and past students get the time slots which are most convenient for their schedules — we love our students like family, and family comes first!

Call 206-420-3896 or fill out the sign-up form on our website, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that you (or your child) are provided with the widest variety of scheduling options possible. All openings are subject to availability, and supply is limited!




The Music Factory
2832 E. Arthur Place
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 420-3896


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Montlake Music Festival & Family Night


Montlake Playfield will be filled with music and laughter at the Montlake Music Festival & Family Night.

Pack a blanket, chairs and a picnic or purchase food by Kay Catering and enjoy the summer evening.

The event includes music by Eli Rosenblatt, Mercy Mercy and Pompeii, Bounce Houses, Balloon Artist, Carnival Treats, Food by Kay Catering.



Friday, August 12th
5:30 – 8:30 pm
1618 E Calhoun St


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Music in the Park


Each concert begins at 6:30 PM and ends at roughly 8:00 PM. The concerts are free, and take place on the grass in the Park.




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Free Concerts in Madison Park Thursdays 6:30 - 8 pm


Madison Park Business Association continues the annual tradition of bringing you free concerts (great for all ages) in Madison Park on Thursday evenings in August 6:30-8pm, (schedule of bands below).

Bring a blanket or chair, sit back, relax and enjoy some of Seattle’s most talented musical artists as they perform both original songs and covers. From boogie-woogie blues to New Orleans R&B, soul, swing, folk & pop — your toes will be tapping and you might even get up and dance! 

With so many great restaurants in Madison Valley & Madison Park, grab some to go and enjoy a picnic dinner at the park. 


All concerts are on Thursday evenings 6:30-8pm: 

8/6—Two Scoops Combo
Back by popular demand, this high-energy combo features Eric “Two Scoops” Moore, Washington Blues Society’s 2013 Best Songwriter, on piano and vocals. This Big Buffet of boogie-woogie, blues and swing will have the whole family dancing in the park! Two Scoops of Fun! 

8/13—Shaggy Sweet
With a focus on blending different musical styles, Shaggy Sweet delivers a unique, harmonious and FUN experience. Playing originals as well as cover songs, expect to hear everything from Jimi Hendrix to John Mayer to Maroon 5. Come and enjoy your night! 

8/20—Gin Creek
Gin Creek is one of Seattle’s busiest bands, playing regularly at leading music venues across Western Washington. Their music is rooted in the blues but draws on soul, swing, and New Orleans R&B, and their ability to play in a wide variety of rhythms makes them a favorite of dancers. They are happy to return to The Madison Park Summer Concert series.

8/27—The Side Project
Relax. Tap your toes. Dance. Fall in love! With enchanting originals and covers blending pop, folk, and contemporary tunes inspired by artists like Sarah McLachlan and Jason Mraz, The Side Project feeds the soul with uplifting harmonies throughout. 

Special thanks to this year’s generous sponsors: Park Shore Retirement Living and Aegis. 


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Auditions for the Metropolitan Singers


The Seattle Metropolitan Singers (formerly the Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club), a choir for women of various abilities, is about to begin our 2015-2016 season and we are looking for new members in all sections. Membership is through low key auditions which are being held September 15 – 29th. If you are interested in joining or would like to find out more, please contact our director, John Gulhaugen at the Met, or visit our web page and click on "The Seattle Metropolitan Singers." Looking forward to hearing from you.



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Group Piano Class for Adults in Madison Valley


Local piano teacher Katie O’Rourke will begin offering group piano classes for beginning adult students starting March 19.

The Benefits of Music

Research has shown that playing an instrument helps build self-confidence, concentration, and memory. More recently, research has also shown that music impacts our overall health. A 2005 study* in the Medical Science Monitor found that group-based music lessons — when not focused on performance or — were found to improve mood states, reduce burnout and reverse the effects of stress at the genomic level. People who don’t currently play music can begin learning at any age through recreational group classes or private lessons designed specifically to fit their learning style.


About the Class

Each class of 4–6 beginning students will be introduced to the fundamentals of piano at a relaxing and fun pace. It’s okay if participants don’t have access to a piano, especially for the first few classes, since practice will not be required. There will be performance opportunities for those eager to share their music, but performing will always be optional. After a brief introduction each group will get to choose class activities that suit their unique interests. All styles of music are open for exploration, including classical, jazz and popular music.

For more information vist Registration is available online or by phone at 405 696-SOLO. The Piano Studio of Katie O’Rourke also offers group classes for children and private lessons for all ages and levels.

* Barry Bitman et al. “Recreational music-making modulates the human stress response: a preliminary individualized gene expression strategy.” Medical Science Montior 11, no 3 (2005), 31-4


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A New Piano Teacher in Madison Valley


The piano studio of Katie O’Rourke recently relocated from Bellingham to Madison Valley near 24th and Aloha Street. 

Katie’s mission is to guide students in a joyful exploration of music through personalized and innovative piano instruction. The curriculum, which places a strong emphasis on physical comfort, note reading and performance, is designed to take students to an advanced level of playing appropriate for college auditions and work as a professional musician. Challenging repertoire also creates an exciting learning environment for adults or children who prefer to play for recreation. Students are encouraged to perform in the Washington State Music Teachers Association Adjudications as well as studio recitals. Group classes provide a fun and inspiring environment for students to practice performing and encourage each other through community.  

Katie has recently attended two workshops in Dalcroze Eurythmics, a system of teaching music that includes movement, singing and improvisation. Through her recent exposure to Dalcroze, and past training in the Taubman technique, Katie has developed a unique set of tools to help students with rhythmic and physical difficulties at the piano. These tools, which include improvisation in the classical style as well as free improvisation, provide an opportunity for students to release tension and to naturally internalize rhythm in their bodies. Katie aims to create a comfortable learning environment where new challenges always feel approachable and achievable. 

Katie is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and has a B.A. in Piano Performance from Western Washington University, where she studied piano with Milica Jovanovic and Jeffrey Gilliam. She also has an additional 5 years of private study with Jeffrey Gilliam with an emphasis in playing mechanics and technique. Katie served as pianist for the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and collaborated with groups such as Skagit Opera, Whatcom Wind Ensemble and Bellingham Chamber Orchestra. 

Katie can be reached by email or phone: 253-905-9090.


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Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club Annual Holiday Concert


This Tuesday, December 16th, The Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club performs its annual holiday concert, entitled “Journey into Winter”. The concert will be held at Epiphany Church, 1805 38th Avenue in Madrona, and begins at 7:00 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $10.00.

A women’s choral group with members from Madison Valley and all over the greater Seattle area, the Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club is part of a non-profit organization based in West Seattle. The goal of the members is to have fun singing wonderful and diverse pieces of music while increasing their understanding of music and having fun at the same time. The Seattle Glee Clubs is a 501( c ) 3 non-profit and consists of two different singing groups - the all-women’s group (known as the Met) and the Offbeats, a vocal jazz group.


Every year, the Metropolitan Glee Club performs concerts in December and June, with additional performances at retirement homes around the city. This fall, the group sang at Aegis Living on Madison and Bridge Park in High Point. Consistent participants, the women also sang in the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest downtown, to benefit the Pike Place Senior Center and Food Bank.

Giving back to the community which supports the organization is important. At the concert on December 16th, the Glee Club will be collecting donations of hats, scarves, socks and mittens for Mary’s Place, a charity which supports homeless women and children. 

After the first of the year, the Met will be holding auditions for those interested in singing with a wonderful group of women. For more information on the Seattle Glee Clubs and auditioning, please visit their website:


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Dance Classes

APRIL 7, 2014 | EDITOR

Well-known instructor and trainer Chris Daigre is offering his signature dance class to Madison Valley residents. danceDaigre is an energetic discovery of modern hip-hop, jazz and Latin-inspired choreography. Students learn dance combinations piece by piece, building up to a full routine by the end of class. Chris says the workout strengthens your body, engages your mind, and ignites your soul.

Denali Fitness–Madison Park
3130 E Madison St. #104, Seattle WA 98112
(206) 325-3300
Thursdays, 6:30–8:00 p.m., drop-ins welcome.


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Don Your Beret and Striped Shirt!


Madison Valley is excited to host the 2nd Annual Bastille Bash on Saturday, July 13 from 3–8 p.m. Last year we were thrilled to see how many people came out to enjoy the festivities and this year we promise to have plenty of food, wine and entertainment for everyone! Festivities will take place up and down East Madison Street from 27th to 30th Avenues. Madison will remain open to traffic during the event.

Don your beret and striped shirt and visit your favorite Madison Valley shops and restaurants for Bastille Day celebrations. Indulge in French-inspired food, sip wine, beer and spirits with your Wine Passport, grab a table and be entertained by our lineup of live music and dance performers on the main stage. Also enjoy mimes, jugglers accordion players, live chef and gardening demos, kids activities, dog treats and exciting giveaways! 

We encourage you to purchase food and wine tickets early to avoid waiting in ticket lines at the event and ensure you get your share, as tickets will be limited. Visit to purchase today! Food is priced at $2.50, $5.00, $7.50 per bite and tickets can be purchased in $10 increments. The Wine Passport includes tastings of wine, beer and spirits for $20 per person. 

Proceeds from Bastille Bash support the Children’s Response Center, a local nonprofit that provides unduplicated, essential legal and counseling services to children under 18 in east and north King County, who have experienced severe abuse, trauma and child crimes.

Like us on Facebook for updates, specials and event information and share with friends and neighbors to help spread the word about Seattle’s European village! 

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Spectrum Dance Theater Executive Director Retires

JUNE 17, 2013 | EDITOR

Spectrum Dance Theater Executive Director Susie Purves announced her resignation today in order to pursue independent projects. She will remain at Spectrum through July 2013 to support the organization through this transition. 

“Spectrum Dance Theater is a phenomenal organization that combines the intensity and depth of Donald Byrd’s choreography and artistic leadership, the artistry and dedication of a top contemporary dance company and a dance school with high expectations from its teachers and students. There is no other organization like it in the entire state and I’m happy to have been associated with everyone here for the past three years.” 

Purves joined Spectrum as Executive Director in 2010. During her tenure the organization made the leap into non-traditional performance space, increased the size of the professional company that toured nationally and abroad (as part of DanceMotion USA, a U.S. State Department program), expanded the school staff and made critical administrative improvements that enable Spectrum to approach its financial potential.

“Susie has been a great asset to Spectrum Dance Theater and has worked very hard on behalf of the organization,” says Spectrum Board President Wayne Thurman. “She is very personable and has been very good to work with. We will miss her. I speak for the whole board when I thank her for her service and wish her success in her next venture.”

Spectrum Dance Theater has finished its last two fiscal years in strong shape and looks forward to a solid financial future.

The Spectrum Board of Directors is initiating an executive search immediately.



Spectrum Dance Theater was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1982. Its mission is to produce and present contemporary dance of global caliber that challenges expectations and calls forth strong emotions and thoughtful responses; to provide expert dance instruction in diverse dance forms to all; and to educate the community about dance as an art form and as a social/civic instrument.

Please visit the Spectrum Dance Theater website for:

Detailed bio of Donald Byrd

Video clips 

Press and reviews

 For more information, please contact Rebecca Pirwitz, Marketing and Communications Manager.

Spectrum Dance Theater
800 Lake Washington Blvd
Seattle, WA 98122  
(206) 325-4161

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Puerto Rico Saturday Night

MARCH 22, 2013 | EDITOR

Musical group Hijos de Agueybaná performs its new album Saturday night at the MLK Community Center. The Puerto Rican musicians and dancers perform in a style called “Bomba,” one of the island’s main genres that includes cultural influences from West Africa, Spain, and other Caribbean islands. Bomba is described as a dialogue between dancer and drummer and is a dance of elegance and deliberate steps.

7:30 pm, March 23. Martin Luther King Community Center, 3201 East Republican, Seattle, WA 98112

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Suzuki Violin Instruction

MARCH 16, 2013 | EDITOR

Suzuki violin teacher, Jen Kovarovic, is currently accepting new and committed students into her studio, Suzuki by the Sound. Jen offers an intensive program of weekly individual lessons and group classes for beginners. Her studio is committed to the ideals and principles of the Suzuki approach. For more information, please visit her website:

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