The public is invited to Port Gamble on August 9th for five hours of free live music at the 9th annual Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival, from noon to 5 pm. The festival offers a pleasant afternoon of upbeat acoustic music in a relaxed outdoor setting. Maritime music has come a long way from the chanteys that were bellowed to coordinate work aboard the old sailing ships. It has incorporated the harmonies of modern folk, the beat of folk-rock, and the haunting strains of Celtic music. This fusion sound has a wide appeal to all ages, while retaining the connection with the water that is a vibrant background to life here in the Northwest.
Headliners will be William Pint and Felicia Dale, known around the Northwest as well as internationally for their innovative instrumental arrangements and wild vocal harmonies. Many of their songs feature Felicia on the hurdy-gurdy, an unusual instrument with a unique wailing cry. Val and Mike James will perform nautical, folk and traditional tunes with a jazz influence. Watch the Sky is a vocal trio that blends Celtic instrumentation with driving guitar rhythms. Tom Rawson taps into the American folk revival while accompanying himself on banjo and guitar. Spanaway Bay, an eclectic folk duo, looks at the humorous side of the maritime experience. Their hilarious songs and banter make them the ideal emcees for this laid-back musical voyage.
Winners of the Robert Kotta Memorial Songwriting Contest will be announced, and the prize-winning songs will be performed or played. This year’s contest theme is ‘Tides & Weather’.
The festival site is a grassy lawn with sunny spots and shady trees, overlooking Port Gamble Bay. The café in the Port Gamble General Store next door serves delicious food and ice cream to take outside. You can sit at a picnic table or bring your own chair or blanket. Children (or adults) can color pictures of boats and marine life in a free activity area. Free parking is available along Rainier Ave NE next to the amphitheater. In case of inclement weather, the rain stage will be the historic Port Gamble Theatre across the street.
The festival is completely free to everyone, although donations will be collected to help pay the musicians. A booth sponsored by the non-profit organization Maritime Folknet will sell music CDs recorded by the festival performers. Sponsors include Ivar’s and Pacific Fishermen Shipyard & Electric. Pilgrim Media Services will provide a professional sound system.
Port Gamble is a former mill town reminiscent of a New England village. Come early, before the music starts, to visit the Port Gamble Historic Museum or the Sea and Shore Museum, with a large collection of sea shells, both housed in the General Store building next door to the festival. Or stroll along the tree-lined streets to shop in small stores. The entire little town is preserved as a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and makes an appropriate venue for a festival that celebrates songs of the sea.
- 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm