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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jazz, Scandinavians, Art, and Aliens - the Northwest Has it All

Anyone who dares to whine, "I'm b-o-r-e-d," doesn't belong around here, where we like to have FUN. So "get a life" and get out and about. This post on Good Life Northwest offers a few ideas of things to do this week and weekend.

First of all is the jazz. For those who read this on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, get on down to Seattle's Pike Place Market area TONIGHT and take in a great jazz trio at the Pink Door restaurant. Wednesdays always mean a fine time there with the best Italian food and Casey MacGill's Blue 4 Trio. This week though, band members Mike and Matt aren't available so Casey has invited two other great local musicians: Ray Skjelbred on piano and Dave Brown on bass, performing with him from 8-11 p.m. If you read this too late, too bad. But you might still be able to catch the First Thursday Band (guess when) on this first Thursday, Nov. 5, at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Hear Ray Skjelbred and Dave Brown again, playing in this swinging quartet while you dine on flavorful New Orleans and Creole food in one of the city's oldest buildings. Check out all the portraits of jazz greats that cover the walls.

Even if you miss these two performances there's still the Lance Buller Trio at Maxwell's, 454 St. Helens Ave. in Tacoma on Sat. Nov. 7, 8-11 p.m. He plays a hot horn, sings, and makes you laugh. A proud citizen of Tacoma, Lance is known far and wide.

Treat yourself to an exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum called "A Concise History of Northwest Art," featuring works from the museum's collection covering the decades from about 1880 to the present. It just opened and runs through May 23, 2010. I plan to go, so watch for my review here soon.

Don't forget the exhibit called "In Search of Amelia Earhart," at Seattle's Museum of Flight. Whether or not you saw or enjoyed the movie "Amelia," you'll love the exhibit. I wrote about it here last week, and it is as exciting as promised. You don't want to miss this opportunity to see over 100 artifacts including an actual part of the missing plane. Click on the link, if you don't believe me. And there's more going on...

This Saturday at 2 p.m. the Museum of Flight offers a lecture that's "out of this world." Dr. Woody Sullivan, a University of Washington astronomer will speak in the William M. Allen Theater on several topics related to the possibility of life on other planets, including the search for Earth-like planets, the likelihood of life on other planets within our solar system, and SETI, an institute focused on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. He's been involved with SETI for three decades and is the man behind the SETI@home project. Although the interest in extraterrestrial life is nothing new, now scientists can carry out experiments and research. Check the Museum of Flight website for details. The lecture is free with admission and part of the museum's celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Need some fresh Pacific Ocean air? Head out west to Ocean Shores for the "Jazz at the Beach" Dixieland Jazz Festival, with nine bands featuring the music of America's great "Jazz Age." While you're in Ocean Shores, enjoy the coast. No matter what the weather, it's always good for the body and soul to be there, hear waves and seagulls, and breathe all that oxygen.

Speaking of waves and seagulls, that makes me think of our proud local Scandinavians whose ancestors helped shape Pacific Northwest culture. My own Danish great-grandfather was a pioneer on Vashon Island. All the Scandinavian countries will be represented at fun events this weekend and next. Experience the Northwest's Nordic heritage at the Scandinavian Festival in Bellingham. Presented by the Nellie Gerdrum Lodge #41, of the Daughters of Norway, this festival draws an eager crowd every year for Scandinavian vendors, live music, a cafe with traditional foods, a bakery full of delicious pastries, and hourly door prizes. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Fox Hall at the Hampton Inn hotel, 3895 Bennett Drive. Admission in ONE DOLLAR.

Next week you can attend another fabulous festival, the Nordic Fest in Langley, on Whidbey Island. Find Scandinavian sweaters, jewelry, traditional foods, live entertainment and more. This event is presented by the Ester Moe Lodge # 39, D.O.N. Time: 9:30am – 3:30pm, at the South Whidbey High School Commons, 5675 Maxwelton Road.

See why I call it GOOD LIFE NORTHWEST? Now go enjoy yourself.

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