Tag Archives: Music

The Royal Room Announces Grand Reopening September 15

by Elizabeth Turnbull


After 18 months of closure, the South Hudson Music Project announced the reopening of the live music venue, The Royal Room, this Wednesday, Sept. 15. The reopening signals a reawakening of musical and artistic life in the South Seattle Area.

The Royal Room’s first event “Piano Starts Here” will showcase the work of great pianists, including Duke Ellington, Carla Bley, Cole Porter, Earl Hines, and others, all played by local Seattle-based pianists and improvisers. Local composer and performer Alex Guilbert is the host of the series. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event as they will not be sold in-person.

Events will continue through the weekend. On Thursday, Sept. 16, local jazz vocalist Elnah Jordan will perform. Jordan is an accomplished singer with a singing repertoire including gospel, jazz, blues, and R&B. 

On Friday, Sept. 17, people who want to welcome back live music on the dance floor will get not one but two opportunities to attend “The Royal Room Grand Reopening Dance Party.” Tickets will be available for both an early show at 6:30 p.m. or the late show at 9:30 p.m. Local musicians will be covering classic artists such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Lake Street Dive, Amy Winehouse, and The Staple Singers. 

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South Park Collab Presents Day Party: Celebrating Art, Music, and Community

by Chamidae Ford


On August 15, the South Park Collab is throwing a party. Day Party, an outdoor dance event, will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. along the Duwamish River, with picturesque views of Downtown Seattle, and will feature arts-filled fun for those over 21. 

The event has been organized by Cheryl Delostrinos, the co-founder of Au Collective. Delostrinos views herself as a connector, and Day Party aims to remind South Park that even after over a year of isolation, a powerful community exists there. 

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Rainier Arts Center Hosts Weekly Porch Festival Showcasing BIPOC Artists

by Chamidae Ford


This Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Rainier Arts Center will be hosting its second installation of the August Porch Festival. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. you can find local BIPOC artists taking the stage to perform music for their community. Each week offers a wide range of styles and genres of music and performances. 

The Center was opened in 1997 and has served as a gathering space to support the arts for the Rainier community since. Throughout the summer, the Center hosts a wide array of events and activities located in Columbia Park. As a part of that, the Porch Festival aims to provide local artists the space to demonstrate their talents while keeping everyone safe and socially distanced. 

“We primarily wanted to showcase South End artists that were BIPOC,” said Ben Leiataua, manager of the Rainier Arts Center.

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Seattle Blues Singer Lady A Continues Year-Long Battle for Her Name

by Beverly Aarons


“I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I really did,” said Lady A during a telephone interview with the South Seattle Emerald. The Seattle-based Black blues singer has been embroiled in a year-long fight over her name with the white country band Lady A (formerly known as Lady Antebellum). “I was not well when this all started and I didn’t know what I was going to do … I was praying and I said, ‘I am going to stop worrying about this. God has a plan …’”

On June 11, 2020, just as explosive Black Lives Matter protests swept the nation, the country band Lady Antebellum announced on Instagram that they were inspired to change their name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A because “… our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality, and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday …” There was just one problem — the Black blues singer Lady A had been performing under that name since the 1980s as reported in the Emerald in 2020. 

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The Pandemic Turned a Neighborhood Cafe Into Columbia City’s Only Record Store

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Like many other cafes, Columbia City’s Empire Roasters and Records had to make some changes in order to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. While some coffee shops expanded their offerings to include grocery items or wines during lockdown, Empire went a different direction. Owner Ian Peters repurposed the cafe’s upstairs seating area into a record shop, which opened last November. Adding a record store to a cafe might have been an unconventional choice, but based on the positive community response, Columbia City’s only record store is here to stay. 

“We would have never come up with this idea had it not been for the pandemic,” Peters said. 

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Kristin Leong’s #AZNxBLM Project Draws Together Black and Asian American Artists

by Roxanne Ray

(This article was originally published by International Examiner and has been reprinted with permission.)


By now, most people have heard — or at least heard of — TED Talks. More recently, this Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) nonprofit foundation launched The Mystery Experiment, which granted $10,000 to 300 inspired participants, and in February, local KUOW community engagement producer Kristin Leong was awarded one of these grants.

The funding was a big surprise to Leong. “When TED shared their call for people to apply to be part of their Mystery Experiment, they were very vague about what the project was all about or what it would require of participants,” Leong said. “There was no mention of money at all.”

But that didn’t stop Leong from applying. “I replied to their mysterious call because I’ve had such a supportive and inspiring experience over the last four years as a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and because I believe in TED’s mission to amplify innovative and audacious ideas,” she said. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into!”

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POETRY: We Are the Spring

by Dragon Moon (translation by Kalayo Pestaño)


Dragon Moon wrote this bilingual song for a kids’ garden show, but it has since become an anthem for all ages. Inspired by the Tagalog song “Bahay Kubo” as well as the famous quote by Pablo Neruda, the song illustrates how plants and humans grow and create cycles of change. It is in English and Tagalog.

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With ‘Born to Win,’ Draze Pays Homage to Zimbabwean Ancestry

by M. Anthony Davis

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


After success from his last single, “Black Wealth,” that not only accumulated over 2 million views across social media platforms, but launched multiple Black marketplace events that showcased Black businesses nationwide, hip-hop emcee and musician Draze is back with another new single, “Born to Win.” 

Both singles will be included in an untitled album set to release this summer. “Born to Win” pays homage to Draze’s Zimbabwean roots with a new sound that he calls “Ancestral Art.” 

“Being a Black man, and being from both Seattle and Zimbabwe, it was the merging and the meshing of these two worlds,” Draze explains. On “Born to Win,” these two sounds are merged seamlessly. The track opens with Ngonidzashe, who is Draze’s younger cousin, singing in their native language. His melody smoothly washes over hip-hop drums, before he transitions to English and is followed by Draze who delivers a verse that explores nuances of being a Zimbabwean growing up in Seattle through lines like, “ I remember the third grade them n***** they had waves, I had them beady bees you know the Zimbabwean grade, so they threw shade.” 

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OPINION: We Must Continue Lifting the Voice of Every Womxn

by Shasti Conrad


In 2020, we saw people across the country make their voices heard with an urgency America hasn’t witnessed in decades. We marched in cities from coast to coast to express the need for social justice in our country. We advocated for change, pushing for more equity and inclusion.

The core of our chorus in protest after protest, “Black Lives Matter,” is a demand for action — an insistent call to finally tend to the overdue work of elevating Black voices and centering Black experiences. 

That call was heeded at the ballot box here in Washington State, with more Black candidates elected than ever before.

Now that we have transitioned into 2021, it is more important than ever to keep building that momentum beyond electoral politics. We must continue to lift our voices and advocate for change throughout our society. 

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NEWS GLEAMS: ‘Sharks at the Beach,’ Philanthropy Northwest Hiring, Plus a Grant & a Scholarship

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


2021 “Sharks at the Beach”

Urban Impact wants to know: Do you, or do you know someone who needs help launching their business idea or growing their “side hustle?”

Why yes, myself and/or someone I know does need help with that, you say. Well then, check out Urban Impact’s Sharks at the Beach entrepreneurship program. Note: There was an info session on the 20th — don’t worry, there’s still time to get in on this! The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 29 at 11 p.m. Use this web form to apply or you can email the administrator, Keristian Farra, from there if you have any questions.

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