Friday, August 8, 2014

The Buttonwood Tree Hosts Touring Artists with Worldly, Inspiring Music and Sat. Classes


August 8 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm    $10

Dual Sonic Citizenship:
Isra-Alien Finds Global Resonance, Guitar Grace in Israeli Roots

High-energy Balkan beats and mid-century Israeli hits. Russian lyricism and flamenco flourishes. Nylon and steel.

The live performances are humoristic and lively, and include stories and personal anecdotes about the music, the compositions and the musicians.

With two guitars and a second-nature connection, Isra-Alien finds the deep ties that bind rock and jazz, Israeli music and global sounds. Powered by the masterful technique and close friendship of jazz guitarist Oren Neiman and rock guitarist Gilad Ben-Zvi, the duo’s acoustic music moves effortlessly from rootsy to refined on their second album, Somewhere is Here! (release: November 2, 2012). They find wry, Gitano-esque twists on blazing dances (“Horah Alien”) and turn klezmer songs into sensuous feats of guitar nimbleness, inspired by everything from Astor Piazzolla to the Greek bouzouki.

Meeting on a remote base during military service and then reuniting years later in New York, Ben-Zvi and Neiman found an unexpected common ground in music that grew from the complexities of their shared heritage. By finding new sounds and settings for old forms and melodies, they hint at the diverse facets of Israeli music.
“For us, it felt like a natural synthesis,” explains Gilad. “It was in music we grew up with. It was a really organic thing.” here

Aligned with Source Workshop

August 9 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

$5 minimum suggested donation

Know Your Worth
What are you worth? Are you good enough? What is your Best? Do you deserve Good things? How does life treat you? Come learn how you alone can make yourself worthy… become All that you wish you were.

Chinese Brush Painting Class

August 9 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  $65  Registration is requested, all materials are included

Jason Mark Alster MSc once again leads a class in this elegant and versatile style of painting.

Chinese Bamboo Brush Painting. The bamboo is said to represent China, strong but also flexible. Chinese Brush painting is meant to be more than a representation of an object; it is also a symbolic expression. Painting the leaves and stem, but never the whole plant, bamboo painting is all about the beauty of line. You will be amazed at all the different qualities of line you can achieve with just one brush, simply by changing the angle and pressure with which you hold it.  Chinese bamboo brush painting lessons include brush stroke techniques, brushes used, making Chinese ink, using rice paper composition and space. People have used the designs produced on shirts, cups, business cards, towels and more.

Chinese Bamboo Painting class

You are welcome to bring your own card stock, shirt, bag or anything you wish to paint on!
Jason Mark Alster MSc also offers other programs, visit his website here:

Naomi Wachira

August 9 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm   $10

“Art is born from tension. And this tension is something that Seattle folk singer and songwriter Naomi Wachira feels every day as an African living in America. It’s the tension of any artist torn between two worlds, and the only way to overcome this is to create something that overcomes the divide. That’s why Naomi’s songs are so hopeful; they point toward a better future for all of us.”
Naomi Wachira
There’s no doubt that there’s a better future in store for Naomi, especially after her great breakout year in 2013. Named the Best Folk Singer in Seattle by alt publication Seattle Weekly and featured on their cover, Naomi became the toast of the town, which in turn led to a friendship with the much-loved indie songwriter Damien Jurado, who came onboard to produce this album. Other key collaborators that Naomi brought in, renowned Seattle bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, cellist Natalie Hall (Macklemore), drummer Darren Reynolds (Patrick & The Locomotive), and Latin percussionist Lalo Bello, all brought their own ideas to the accompaniment, guided by Jurado’s desire to keep the music as vibrantly alive as possible. The result is Naomi Wachira’s debut full-length, a portrait of a Kenyan artist at home in the Pacific Northwestern United States.

When you listen to Naomi’s songs, you’ll hear the lifelong influence of two powerful, groundbreaking female songwriters: Miriam Makeba and Tracy Chapman. Makeba became one of the biggest stars on the continent through her socially aware songwriting, something she shared closely with American songwriter Tracy Chapman. Chapman was a voice for social change as well, but Naomi loved her positive idealism, a concept that informs all the songs on Naomi’s album. Makeba’s also a personal icon for Naomi, who cites “the way she carried herself, her grace and character,” as influencers. “She was able to maintain her integrity as an African. She didn’t need to change who she was to fit with Western audiences.” That’s why you won’t hear any stereotypical African music on Naomi’s debut. She’s making music inspired both by the music she discovered in America and the music she grew up with in Kenya, not a Western conception of how African music should sound. The daughter of a Kijabe pastor, Naomi joined the traveling family band at five years old, spreading the good word through gospel song. This explains the beautiful harmonies on her album, for as she says “In my family everyone sang and everyone knew their part. Harmony was second nature for us.”

Larger African concepts also play a part in Naomi’s music, like the Zulu idea of Ubuntu. This concept means “I am because we are,” and it’s a community-based worldview that focuses on caring for each other.
This is why the songs on Naomi’s debut album sound so alive. They’re plucked from her own life, powered by her Northwest musical community, and imbued with her own sense of hopefulness. The Seattle Times had a recent photo of Naomi at Seattle’s naturalization ceremony, receiving her American citizenship with tears streaming down her face. It’s a remarkable photo, and a reminder of the distances we often travel to find our dreams.

Listen: /

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center
605 Main Street.   860.347.4957
Plenty of free parking at ION Market / on Main Street
Refreshments / beer/ wine / Slambovian coffee 

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