Vashon Events and the Vashon Park District have announced the lineup for the annual Summer Concerts in the Park. The extremely popular and free outdoor concert series will begin on Thursday, August 1st and run through Thursday, August 29th. All concerts start at 7:00pm and are held in Ober Park on Vashon Island. Enjoy live music performances from today’s top talent in Rock, Roots Reggae, Big Band, High Energy Folk and Cajun Slamgrass performing against one of Vashon’s most beautiful outdoor backdrops.
Bring the family! There’s plenty of grass and natural berms to spread out those picnic blankets and enjoy some wonderful music on a warm summer night. Families can come relax, let the kids play on the playground and enjoy the entertainment at these summer events.
The Concerts in the Park series is presented by the Vashon Park District.
Supporting sponsors this year are Susan Lofland at John L. Scott Vashon, Sarah & Michael Schosboek at Windermere Vashon, Heidi Grimsley at John L. Scott Vashon, Stacie Trigg at Trigg Insurance, Renee Leboeuf at Green Frog Productions, Mike England at Fairway Insurance, Teri Byrd at Vashon 4 Paws, Julie & Mark Romero at Niece Pumping, Connie Sorensen at Windermere Real Estate/Wall Street Inc, Tom Schwaegler and May Chaleoy at May’s Kitchen & Bar and Jena Thornton at The Lodges on Vashon.
The concert series is curated by Vashon Events. We’d also like to thank Open Space for Arts & Community, our in-kind sponsor for Concerts in the Park as our backup venue in case of bad weather! A big thank you to David Godsey and Janet McAlpin for this insurance plan! If you’ve never experienced the warmth of community at the cool nights of summer concerts in the park, you’re in for a special treat.
Please remember that there are no dogs allowed at Ober Park. Alcohol and smoking are also not permitted.
Thursday, August 8th, 7-9pm
Clinton Fearon is a composer, songwriter, singer and player of instruments since his early teens, and a professional since the age of 19.
Much like quite a few other reggae musicians who came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Clinton Fearon was a country boy who migrated to Kingston as a teenager to seek his musical fortune amongst the proliferating studios and sound systems of the big city. It was around 1970, when he joined Albert Griffiths and Errol Grandison to form the Gladiators, that he hit his stride as a musician, and began what would be the most significant and commercially successful association of his career.
After leaving Jamaica 1987, Clinton Fearon start a new career from Seattle. With other musicians of the Gladiators, he decided to stay in the US and to form The Defenders. The band built a nice following in the Northwest. After five years the band split and Clinton Fearon formed the Boogie Brown Band with local musicians in 1993.
When asked about his music, Clinton states that “…our sound is roots, its roots, lover’s rock, rock steady. It’s not too far from the root. I’m not trying to branch off into anything I’m not totally relaxed with,” he continued. “A lot of (other bands) try to follow the market. I try to follow my reativity more so than follow the market. It’s what’s in your heart; you have to follow your heart.”
Each song of Clinton Fearon is a strong message coming from the heart of a man who dedicates his life to help a better world to come. With chiseled music and poetic lyrics, he opens reggae to a wider audience who simply loves his beautiful songs.
Thursday, August 15th, 7-9pm
The Portage Fill Band
For well over 40 years, the Portage Fill Big Band has been an integral part of the musical life of Vashon Island. A perennial Strawberry Festival favorite, the Portage Fill Big Band continues to entertain with exciting and danceable music from the Big Band era and beyond.
The Portage Fill Big Band is Vashon’s oldest “garage band” with their unique brand of dance music. With over 300 tunes to choose from, the Portage Fill promises an entertaining show for listeners and dancers alike.
Made up of almost two dozen current or former island residents, Portage Fill is a classic “Big Band” with full horn and sax sections, backed up by a complete rhythm section, and features 2 vocalists for the crowd’s listening and dancing pleasure. Portage Fill is well known for their selection of Big Band swing tunes from the 30’s and 40’s, but is versatile enough to work in some blues, Latin, or even rock and roll numbers to put on a show for all ages and musical tastes. Whether you’re there to dance or listen, the Portage Fill is a band you don’t want to miss!
Thursday, August 22nd, 7-9pm
(High Energy Folk)
Formed in Bellingham, Washington in March 2010, Polecat has quickly established itself throughout the West, with three records and over 300 shows in three years. Their unique instrumentation is comprised of Karl Olson (drums), Jeremy Elliott (electric guitar and vocals), Aaron Guest (vocals and 12-string guitar), Cayley Schmid (fiddle), and Richard Reeves (upright bass). This enables them to seamlessly blend genres including bluegrass, country, Celtic, rock, and world music into their sound. “The core audience of Polecat is, well, everybody. There is a sense of mass appeal attached to Polecat for its unique take on bluegrass, as well as an acknowledged respect for their honest approach to their genre” (H. Nightbert, What’s Up! Magazine, June 2010).
The sense of unity in the band clearly works in their favor as they seem like they’ve been together since birth. Polecat creates music that makes you want to get up and dance.
Aside from their self-titled E.P. and full-length albums ‘Fire on the Hill’ and ‘Fathoms’, one of the best aspects of Polecat is their live show. Their music celebrates life, love, and good times, and it reflects on the faces of the players and their audience. Polecat has shared the stage with several nationally acclaimed acts, including The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, The Hackensaw Boys, The Moondoogies, Fruition and Trampled by Turtles.
“Known for producing stomp-worthy dance tracks, Polecat’s live show is an experience. It’s sweaty and loud in all the right ways – and it’s sure to get you on your feet. Having recently played sets at the Subdued Stringband Jamboree and Summer Meltdown festivals to rave reviews, the group’s debut slot at Bumbershoot is sure to be another stomping good time. “We would like for people to leave the show saying, ‘They belong at Bumbershoot. They belong at a festival with crowds this big – “and that’s what they should be doing,” Elliott said. — Keegan Prosser, The News Tribune
Thursday, August 29th, 7-9pm
For a quarter century, The Paperboys have been touring the world and lighting up stages with their freewheeling blend of influences from Celtic and bluegrass, to Mexican son jarocho, brass bands, and Canadian roots. They have been called everything from Cajun slamgrass to worldbeat, they’ve received a Juno award (Canadian Grammy), plus two Juno nominations, two West Coast Music Awards, released nine albums, and regularly play two-night bills in the Pacific Northwest.
Although the Paperboys have made critically acclaimed records, they are through and through a live act. They shine most on stage. They have spent the last 25 years on the road playing all over North America and Europe, where they have developed a large following without the aid of a record labels or radio play.
The Paperboys make music that is best described by founder Tom Landa as high energy music that is like a “Guinness with a tequila chaser while listening to an Americana Jukebox.”
This band made a big splash last year when we brought them to Vashon and had to move them indoors because of the weather. Every seat in the house was full and what a concert it was! See them in Ober Park this year, don’t miss this!