Category Archives: Profile

Classic Jazz Fills the Halls of the Royal Room

by Gus Marshall

The Royal Room dinner crowd eagerly awaited the evening’s performance. A couple minutes past the seven-thirty start time, a tall man with glasses took the stage and grabbed hold of a microphone. He introduced himself as Alex Guilbert, the organizer and producer of Piano Starts Here, a bimonthly piano-focused performance featuring the eclectic works of influential pianists over the past century.

Continue reading Classic Jazz Fills the Halls of the Royal Room

The Myriad Vocal Stylings of BEARAXE’s Shaina Shepherd

by Jake Uitti

There are many ways front people try to connect with their audience. For some, it could be a sunny song about tequila and the beach. For others, maybe a short skirt lures listeners. But for Shaina Shepherd, lead singer of the Seattle-based band BEARAXE, the connection is rooted in stories of resilience.

Continue reading The Myriad Vocal Stylings of BEARAXE’s Shaina Shepherd

An Uplifting Night with Mujeres in Music & Media

by Irene Jagla

The notes of a Tlingit warrior song reverberated through the Bethaday Community Learning Center. The song, explained the singer, was passed down by Native sisters in British Columbia, Canada, and was meant to affirm Native survival and honor the gathered audience’s presence on Native land. It was also meant to ensure that the evening’s three panelists—all women of color DJs—could speak from a place of power.

Continue reading An Uplifting Night with Mujeres in Music & Media

Emerald Voices: Darryl Smith

by Sharon H. Chang

DARRYL SMITH, former Deputy Mayor of Community and founder of Columbia City Beatwalk, is not only a heartfelt but eloquent man. His words are smooth and dedication is profound in everything he says. More importantly he’s a community man, deeply invested resident and long time organizer. Simply put he cares. And, Darryl explains, he’s never known any other way. Born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, in a racially diverse and political neighborhood called the Third Ward “I grew up in a household where my mom was the campaign manager for the first African American mayor in Bergen County,” he says. “It was normal to have Jewish friends and we all went to Quaker-run sleepaway camp…I just grew up like that.” Continue reading Emerald Voices: Darryl Smith

Vietnamese Veterans Continue to Feel War’s Lasting Impact

by Jeff Nguyen

Every year a huge celebration for Vietnamese veterans is held in Orange County, California. My grandfather, a veteran of the Vietnam War and proud member of the Vietnamese community, watches it religiously, staring intensely at the TV set. The pride on his face is evident as the color guard marches on stage carrying a bright yellow flag emblazoned with three red stripes.

He changes the channel to watch news about Vietnam’s state of affairs. Today it’s a mix between President Barack Obama’s recent visit to eat Pho with Anthony Bourdain and the arrests of more native journalists and bloggers, their faces forming a mosaic as the network illustrates the scale of the crackdown.

In a sense, he is still home and war hasn’t ended. Continue reading Vietnamese Veterans Continue to Feel War’s Lasting Impact