Arts in Nature Festival - Artists
MUSIC: REV. PAT WRIGHT
AND THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE GOSPEL CHOIR
The award winning and world renown Total Experience Gospel Choir bursts with love, joy and enthusiasm - humanity! It is hailed as one of the Pacific Northwest's finest soulful ensembles. Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright started the group as a gospel music class at Seattle's Franklin High School in 1973. Since then the choir has grown to become a nationally and internationally known gospel singing group.
POETRY: NIKKITA OLIVER
Nikkita Oliver is a Seattle-based creative, teaching artist, attorney, and anti-racist organizer. Her writing has appeared in the South Seattle Emerald, Crosscut, and the Stranger. She holds a J.D. and Masters of Education from the University of Washington. She has been a writer-in-residence with the Writers in the Schools program at Washington Middle School, leading writing workshops with Arts Corp at Garfield High School, and a mentor artist and case manager with Creative Justice, with the program since it’s launch. Nikkita is the 2015 recipient of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights Artist Human Rights Leader Award, the 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam (SPS) Grand Slam Champion, the 2013, 2014, and 2016 SPS Womxn of the World Poetry Slam representative, a three-time SPS national team member, and two-time coach of the SPS national slam team. She has opened for Cornel West and Chuck D of Public Enemy and performed on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert. In 2017 many hoped she would be come Seattle’s mayor.
ALL PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Festival Project Description
Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press), and her poetry, prose and fiction have been published widely.
Rooted & Writing
The sky, the wind, the trees and the body! In this outdoor creative workshop we will combine multi-genre writing, body movement and lively eco-justice discussion to create memorable and foundational pieces of creative writing.
Festival Project Narrative
Impacting children’s lives through the visual arts, Paperwings offers programs on Vashon Island, WA for children between the ages of 7 and 18. The mission is to create space for kids to experiment and explore the creative process while simultaneously learning the fundamentals and skills of art.
Caroline Rockey, founder of Paperwings, is committed to cultivating and inspiring visual creativity and making a difference to affect future generations. Caroline believes that all humans have a great capacity to create, but have varied avenues to get there.
For the past ten years, Caroline has taught art in the classroom at the Hamlin Robinson School and Seattle Public Schools. Her approach to teaching allows students to form new ideas that reflect their true essence and personality in their artwork. Hoping to build and nurture in them a creative outlet that assists in connecting them to self and personal identity.
Celeste Cooning: Best known for large-scale cut paper installations across the Pacific Northwest.
Jackie Buttice: Seattle based Digital Media Artist and Professor
Shawn Rider: Creates experiences at the intersection of technology and culture Featured at Albright-Knox, Hallwalls and the DC International Film Festival, http://shawnrider.com
Cut Paper Meets Digital Media This project is a collaboration built on curiosity, trust and exploration. The Portal, constructed of hand cut paper, digital projections, and programming to evolve and adapt to the viewer's presence.
Degenerate Art Ensemble
Degenerate Art Ensemble has shown their work throughout the US and Europe known for their large scale dance and theater projects, concerts, site-transforming spectacles and ongoing public experimentation. Recent highlights of the group's work include a major exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in 2011, was commissioned by director Robert Wilson to interpret his work Einstein on the Beach in 2012 and collaborated with the Kronos Quartet in 2013. Also in 2012 Degenerate Art Ensemble was commissioned by the city of Seattle to create a massive site specific work Underbelly in collaboration with Olson Kundig Architects to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. The group’s most recent work Predator Songstress premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco in 2015 followed by Seattle and will show in New York in November of 2017. In December of 2016 DAE teamed up with Czech rock legends Uz Jsme Doma for an epic orchestral work inspired by the group's music and the music of Degenerate Art Ensemble for a concert at the Archa Theatre in Prague with the Philharmonic Orchestra of South Bohemia. The group's newest work Skeleton Flower was shown at the Spotlight USA Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in March of 2018 and will have its full premiere in the 2018-19 season.
DogPound Crew | The Vicious Puppies
Our program begins with a high‐energy performance to captivate the audience followed by a brief history lesson of the dance and introduction of each member. After introductions, we invite all members of the audience to participate in an interactive workshop where we teach how to construct a routine from beginning to end. Finally, the program concludes with a second performance and a short Q/A.
"Gamelan is a spirit, not an object," says noted Indonesian musician Sapto Raharjo, "the instruments are just the medium. A gamelan is often described as a gong-chime percussion orchestra. These beautiful instruments have their origins in the islands of Java and Bali. Unlike the western orchestra, which features predominantly winds and strings, the gamelan is dominated by percussion instruments, although plucked and bowed stings, flutes, and singing are also important. The instruments of a gamelan are usually built as a set. Each set has a characteristic tuning which may be unique or may be copied from another gamelan. The bronze instruments are produced by a complex process of casting and forging.
When the full gamelan is playing, the many instruments and voices blend to create a complex texture. The ethnomusicologist Mantle Hood described this texture as stratified polyphony, characterizing it in terms of layers of sound moving semi-independently at different speeds. Others have used the term heterophony, implying that the individual parts are simultaneous variants of the same melody.
The effect of gamelan on modern western music has been important, influencing composers ranging from Debussy to Steve Reich. The first gamelan to arrive in the U.S. came to Chicago as part of the the Columbia Exposition of 1893. This gamelan is still housed at the Field Museum in Chicago. Eventually, through an expanding interest in ethnomusicology, gamelan instruments appeared on University campuses. Through the efforts of composer/instrument builders such as the great American composer Lou Harrison, gamelan began to play a significant role in the contemporary music scene with its increasing emphasis on world music influences. Today gamelan instruments are found throughout the world, with many, many active ensembles in the U.S.
Gamelan music often includes the following four elements:
- A cyclical structure. Marked by gongs of various sizes, pitches and timbres, this "colotomic" structure forms a framework for the balungan (literally "skeleton") which is a basic melody played in several octaves on metallophones that have seven or more keys apiece.
- Instruments with greater ranges and vocals provide elaboration that is related more or less directly to this balungan, converging with it at regular intervals, and is typified by a high degree of patterning.
- Each of the elaborating parts has a distinct idiom including a stock of patterns (cengkok) and ways of varying these patterns (wiled).
- Finally, the ensemble is guided by drumming that regulates tempo, treatment, and transitions.
Keeth from Harmonica Pocket
"Keeth Monta Apgar uses vocal harmonies, jazzy chord progressions and emotive colors in such unexpected and delightful ways that each quirky song becomes discovered treasure." – Parents' Choice Foundation
In his twenty-nine prolific years of songwriting, The Harmonica Pocket's Keeth Monta Apgar has created an enormous catalog of music. With over 500 songs under his belt, Keeth weaves ukulele, acoustic wah-wah guitar, lush jazz chords and image-evoking lyrics into intelligent, refreshing pop. His soulful songs effortlessly span the genres, navigating Folk, Blues, Reggae, and Kindie.
Keeth holds a degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Mary Washington, spent half a year studying the didgeridoo in Australia and plays the mbira – a "thumb piano" from Zimbabwe. He composes music for dance companies and wrote a rock opera called The "Jigsaw Dog."
Keeth also writes and records music for kids. He teaches and performs at schools, festivals, and libraries up and down both American coasts. Featuring imaginative renditions of American folk classics plus an array of silly, sweet originals from their award-winning albums, Harmonica Pocket family performances mix music, dance and hula hoop into giggle-inducing shows that gets audiences singing and moving in their seats.
ASCAP has honored Keeth with multiple songwriting awards, and has booked him to perform at invitational songwriter workshops and showcase events in New York, Nashville, and Hollywood. His recordings have appeared on best-of lists and won numerous awards, including a pair of coveted Parents' Choice Gold Awards for Apple Apple and Sundrops.
Keeth has a growing collection of strange canned foods, and is not embarrassed to cite both Chopin and Eddie Van Halen as a major musical influences. He can be regularly found strumming up a tune on his ukulele, wearing an unusual hat, or getting his fingernails dirty in the garden.
Holly & Oy
Holly and Oy
Festival Project Narrative
Festival Project Narrative
Kristin Allen-Zito is an artist that will surprise you. Her energy, frank lyrics and beautiful, catchy melodies will get your attention and keep it. Her debut album, Helium, is a departure from her folk music roots into a realm that could best be described as indie pop rock. With great song writing at the core of her music, her foray into the world of smoky bars and rock shows, as well as her time as lead singer of electro pop punk group The Trucks, has given her a live show an edge to accompany her sometimes brutal lyrical honesty.
Kristin Allen-Zito's second solo release The Atlas heralds her return from life as the lead singer of The Trucks to her folk music roots. The album draws on her deep history of folk songwriting, solo performance, and a family deeply ensconced in the folk music scene. It is as clear as ever that Kristin knows how to blend traditional folk, catchy pop, and captivating story telling to create a unique and compelling record. Also featured on the album are many guest musicians such as Kristina Olsen (Melissa Etheridge), Larry Knechtel (Bread, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan), and more.
Kristin Allen-Zito's third solo record will be released in the fall, featuring Bryant Moore (The True Loves), Emily Mckinnon (Grey Gardens, Sniffy Little Things), and Danny Beutler (Darci Carlson Band).
Ladan Yalzadeh and Ryan Mielcarek
About Ladan Yalzadeh
For the last 20 years, Ladan Yalzadeh has worked across disciplines including film, theater, live art and writing.
Through a highly personal and autobiographical approach, Yalzadeh explores themes surrounding immigration, exile, loss, memory, love and longing in her own work.
As organizer and collaborator, Yalzadeh's interest revolves around creating opportunities and engaging with creatives and projects that transgress the norms both in form and content.
" In my work, I am always looking for what connects things to each other. So the questioning of a Self that most of us believe in, seems to be one way to investigate the idea of connection. I think about this a lot these days. Once we really start to look at who/what we are, we start to see that this Self we are so convinced of, is perhaps not as solid as we first thought. That who we are and how we feel from minute to minute, is totally dependent on other causes and conditions. With this discovery, comes a genuine experience of interconnectedness. And with this understanding, we start to see ourselves as part of a whole. So here we are as individuals but also a collective (and not just of humans.)
I have the same approach to how I make art. I try to set up situations where connections can happen. I work in theater and film as a director because so many people with individual talents and expertise come to together to create one thing. In fact, if we didn’t have a playbill or film credits, we wouldn’t know where exactly one person’s work ends and another’s begins. Same thing is true with curating and arranging."
Ladan’s the recipient of several honors including 2009 Noor Film Festival’s Best Short Film Award for The Florist, the AFI Directing Workshop for Women Scholarship in 2004, which she was the first Iranian-American to receive, the Nell Shipment Film Award and the Eastern Washington University Artist Award.
Yalzadeh has sat on various selection committees including REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney at CalArts Theatre), On The Boards, AFI (American Film Institute) and Seattle Center Public Programs.
Ladan’s work has been presented in Iran, Germany, Chile, UK, Spain and the United States.
She is also a teacher and a facilitator of the Contemplative Creative Lab and is the co-founder of Authentic Presence. Authentic Action.
Ladan received her BA in Mediaworks from the Evergreen State College and her MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute, Plymouth University.
About Ryan Mielcarek
Ryan is a humble humanitarian, talentless creative, and social alchemist that plants seeds for unexpected friends to discover and enjoy each other's heart space. He is an advocate and practitioner of holistic healing, whether that be storytelling, theatre, or nature-based ceremonies of return for military veterans. His greatest role has been an as an ensemble member of a grassroots collective leading veteran transformation in the wilderness, which is showing unprecedented promise for veterans to move beyond uncertainty towards reclaiming their true selves in loving community. You may catch a glimpse of Ryan in an upcoming film of that journey by esteemed documentarian Frederick Marx or on stage in a Seattle Rep Public Works production. He is an unworthy battlecat to a persian goddess that inspires him to live in beauty.
About Ladan and Ryan's work at the Festival
All are invited to bring a poem along and read it out loud among the trees. Love poems of any length are encouraged.
Festival Project Narrative
Markeith Wiley is a dance maker, performer and instructor across a range of movement styles. Originally from California, Wiley holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts and has performed with Keith Hennessey, Kitten n' Lou, The Dance Cartel, Lingo and more. His movement vocabulary spans a lifetime of influences, from breakdancing and hip-hop to contemporary and theatre dance. Wiley was featured on the 2014 City Arts Future List; he’s danced at venues all over Seattle, including Spectrum, Velocity and On the Boards, and choreographed for theatre groups WET and the Satori Group. Wiley spent his two-week, November 2017 residency working with collaborator Laura Aschoff on a new project, "Being All Feeling or 6 to 8 white women," under the name Sylvia_Cilvia.
Northwest Film Forum
Festival Project Narrative
Festival Project Narrative
Shin Yu Pai & Michael Barakat
Shin Yu Pai is Town Hall Seattle's 2018 Inside/Out Resident representing the Phinney Greenwood neighborhoods. Shin Yu is a poet, cross-media artist, and curator for the collaborative global exploration project Atlas Obscura. Her poetic origins inform an artistic style that has grown beyond the written word—manifesting in photography, installation and public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. Michael Barakat is a filmmaker and animator. Previous work includes a commissioned video poem for The City of Redmond for its 2017 Redmond Lights Festival. As an industrial designer, Michael makes custom shoes and quality goods under the brand MackerelCrow. You can also find him at http://hellodeary.com.
TIMOTHY BERTSCH - GUITARIST, HARPGUITARIST, COMPOSER, PERFORMER, RECORDING ARTIST
Tim Bertsch has been a disciple of the guitar and it's resonance since the age of 10. Having long since lived, composed and performed in three very different musical worlds, Timothy is equally proficient on the electric guitar as well as acoustic guitar/harp guitar. Heavily rooted in jazz, fusion, flamenco, rock, classical, blues and gypsy music his unique musical talents are equally as diverse.
Tim has been a longstanding member of the rock dynamo Jaded Mary, as well as a valued member of the seasoned jazz group H.D. Fusion, sharing the headliner billing with many national acts such as Halestorm, Buckcherry, Sevendust, Skid Row, Puddle of Mudd, Saving Abel, Filter, Helmet, The Tea Party, Tantric, Duff Mckagan's Loaded, Jason Bonham, Adelitas Way, Red, Rehab, Local H, The Presidents of the United States of America, Powermac 5000, 10 Miles and many more. He has performed as a soloist at many festivals including Folklife, The Reno International Jazz Festival, and The NAMM Show to name a few. Tim has also been featured by Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Classical Guitar Magazine for multiple AG Video Sessions. His writings have been published by Acoustic Guitar Magazine most recently “Transposition for Musicians” released November 2017.
Timothy's songs have had placement on The Discovery Channel including the series “Lords of the Car Hoardes” and his groups have received airplay on the Pacific Northwest’s biggest and most popular FM radio stations including 99.9 FM KISW, 104.9 FM THE BREW, 107.7 FM THE END and 95.7 FM KJR as well as college radio including 90.1 FM KUPS, 88.1 FM THE BURG and many more!
Jaded Mary has been featured as 99.9 FM KISW's Loud and Local Band of the Week several times over the past few years.
His versatility and competency on guitar, harp guitar, bass, mandolin, ukulele and sitar have made him an in demand studio musician as well as a sought after live performer. He is currently endorsed by Guild Guitars, Emerald Guitars, Orange Amplification, Peavey Amplification, EMG Pickups, DR Strings, Mogami Cables, Lehle, K&K Pickups and Shubb Capos. Timothy has also been featured as the EMG Pickups Artist of the Week as well as K&K Pickups Artist of the Month.
Tim studied music composition formally in college and received many outstanding soloist awards while performing with the Olympic College jazz band and vocal jazz groups. Timothy has long been a dedicated private music educator and in 2000 established the Sound Academy of Music school. His other interests include luthiery, musical physics, and a keen interest in the spiritual qualities of music.
"I've been fortunate to have studied with: Larry Coryell, Emily Remeler, Beppe Gambetta, Joshua Breakstone and John Stowell as well as many other masters of the guitar". As a musical composer, performer, and recording artist, Bertsch is always looking for untapped resources of musical expression and inspiration. His lifelong goal: "To live a life of expression, to leave a lengthy, meaningful catalog of my soul's finest resonances".