Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians on the Westside Hwy near Colvos can’t miss the white building with blue trim and the prominent Star of David just under the gable. However, what they may be missing is the building’s growing recognition in the music community as a perfect venue for acoustic music.
The historic light-filled sanctuary has a spare elegant appeal, which is totally consistent for a building that started out as a Lutheran church, providing a perfect setting for acoustic music of many kinds.
The structure dates back to 1926 when members of the Golgotha Norwegian Lutheran Church erected the building. Decades passed, the building changed hands, and in 2001 the Vashon Havurah purchased the property for the island Jewish community. In May 2015, the Havurah Board of Directors unanimously approved a space-sharing agreement with The Puget Sound Zen Center, who also embraced the clean lines, ample light and Nordic esthetic.
In late 2014 Rowena Hammill and Doug Davis of Vashon Chamber Music approached the Havurah about using the venue for a concert to commemorate International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 26, 2015. Vashon Chamber Music, Tri Parlodate and the Girsky Quartet became regular performers in the next two years.
Meanwhile the building’s reputation continued to attract singer-songwriters and traditional Irish musicians. Islander Kat Eggleston continues to be instrumental in partnering with the Havurah to bring performers to the venue.
Since 2015 an eclectic mix of Vashon’s own musicians — and performers from around the country —have brought world music, traditional Irish tunes, and folk and roots music to the Island.
Friday March 15 brings Tacoma native Stephanie Anne Johnson to the Havurah stage. Stephanie will be accompanied by Dan Tyack on pedal steel guitar. Inspired by her life in the Pacific Northwest and the strong women who raised her, Stephanie writes and sings the way she lives: strong, boisterous and full of emotion. From national television to intimate house concerts, she can rock your night, make you fall in love, bring you to tears, or inspire you to do good in the world. Classically trained, Stephanie’s repertoire extends from Americana and R&B to arias and rock and roll. She brings vibrant life to every performance and takes the audience on an unforgettable ride.
Past performers include Stephen Inglis, Hawaiian slack key guitar; Teresa Tudury, actress, singer songwriter and comedian; John Whelan and Haley Richardson, Irish button accordion, fiddle; Open the Door for Three, Liz Knowles (fiddle), Kieran O’Hare (uilleann pipes), Pat Broaders (vocals, guitar and bouzouki); JD Hobson, singer songwriter; Fire & Grace, Edwin Huizinga (fiddle) & Bill Coulter (guitar); House of Waters, Max ZT (hammered dulcimer), Moto Fukushima (electric bass) Ignacio Rivas Bixio (drums); Deobrat Mishra, Sitar; singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston; and Flamenco virtuoso, Savannah Fuentes.
Ticket information: https://havurahmusicscene.com/