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Notes from The Seasons: Checking 'all of the above' on music-preference card

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The Seasons Performance Hall has a proud reputation for live concerts — nearly every week of the year, in an endless array of musical genres. Here’s what we have discovered as a universal law of music-making: It is very hard work to make music sound easy. Serious musicians in every genre know that what the audience hears as an effortless flow of musical ideas, surprises, pleasure and pain is in fact created by hard work, thoughtful editing, hours of rehearsal and flashes of inspiration.

We also have discovered that musicians usually don’t share their audience’s frequent inclinations to isolate themselves in musical silos. The best are eager consumers of virtually every kind of music, hoping to find the next level of inspiration and understanding.

The Seasons’ free livestreaming this summer gives music audiences a chance to be like those musicians. You can sample and find inspiration in just about every type of music under the sun, whether in our live audience or — if more cautious — through our quality livestreaming. If you’re not getting into a livestream concert, just turn it off. If it’s inconvenient to go live, you can stream the concert later. (Please note: Viewing The Seasons’ high-quality livestreams through an HD monitor, good headphones or good speakers helps you get every nuance.)

The Seasons Summer Festival of Light (at the End of the Tunnel) can open up new worlds for you, as we re-emerge into the world we once thought we knew. Our June and July concerts provide examples of that variety, including our earlier June concerts like Killdeer String Band (bluegrass/newgrass), comedian Kermet Apio, Brazil’s Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto, and Bart Budwig’s country-influenced, world-inflected songwriting.

The opening of The Seasons Gallery and Bistro has made each live concert doubly entertaining as audiences discover our unique appetizer plates before the concert and meet the artist, buy merchandise and talk about the concert afterward over a glass of wine or dessert.

And it all continues this weekend:

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: A rousing flamenco concert with leading Northwest flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes. Diego Amador on guitar and percussion.

Sunday, 6 p.m.: Genre-bending jazz with Logan Strosahl and Nick Sanders, continuing our Hot Summer/Cool Jazz series. See below.

July 8, 7:30 p.m.: Earshot Hall of Fame jazz vocalist Greta Matassa, with exquisite interpretations and expert scatting.

July 15, 7:30 p.m.: Three for Silver, with Lucas Warford. (Caution: The Seasons premiere of Warford’s eclectic klezmer-influenced sound world and offbeat humor could blow your mind.)

July 25, 6 p.m.: “All Roads Lead to Vienna,” a classical concert featuring violin-piano music from Vienna, introducing Yerin Kim and husband, Brendan Shea, (Shea-Kim Duo) to Yakima audiences.

July 30, 7 p.m.: Blues is back at The Seasons Performance Hall. Stacy Jones Blues Band with Washington Blues Society hall-of-famer Rick Bowen.

Nowhere is the variety of influences more present, however, than in this Sunday’s performance by Logan Strosahl and Nick Sanders. (Disclosure: Strosahl is my son.)

By the end of 2021, Sanders and Strosahl will have released a total of eight albums on noted jazz label Sunnyside Records. All have garnered enthusiastic reviews worldwide. One of those albums (“Janus”) was as a duo, and its tracks show influences that range from the medieval (Machaut) to 20th-century classical (Messaien) to French baroque (Couperin) to jazz standards to their own distinctive compositional voices.

When Strosahl and Sanders “jam” these traditions together, as they will in this concert, it produces exciting new sounds — like hearing an ancient dance, invented yesterday. By incorporating these different musical traditions into jazz, possibilities emerge for “new” kinds of music, and older traditions are refreshed, so we can all hear them again with fresh ears.

May you find that their performance — and all of our festival — imparts some of that universal energy to you! In fact, we’d like to strongly encourage everyone, one more time, to mark “all of the above” on their preference card for “musical genre.” Dance every dance!