Concerts to build connections

Katie Kowalski arts@ptleader.com
Posted 3/21/17

Port Townsend musician Aba Kiser (Abakis) is launching a five-month concert and workshop series inspired by a well-attended New Year’s Eve event she organized last year.

“It was amazing,” …

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Concerts to build connections

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Port Townsend musician Aba Kiser (Abakis) is launching a five-month concert and workshop series inspired by a well-attended New Year’s Eve event she organized last year.

“It was amazing,” she said of “Eat. Pray. Dance. 2017,” a musical celebration that drew 50 people to an intention-setting workshop and 100 more to the concert that followed.

For the new Sky House Concert Series, which kicks off March 24, Abakis is weaving together social justice initiatives and female-fronted music: She’s lined up bands from near and far, and is organizing workshops to precede each monthly performance.

“I want to be a part of connecting people in moving forward, and continuing the sustainable work of building coalitions and building relationships,” Abakis said.

The short workshops would feature local representatives of activist groups, and offer experiential learning through arts and crafts, Abakis said. “It’s a combination of hands-on experience and connecting to the groups that are doing this work in Jefferson County,” she said, noting that workshops are open to everyone.

Workshop are to include letter-writing campaigns, discussions with local leaders, instruction in making herbal medicine, a restorative justice session and butoh dance. “We’re drawing on the wealth of knowledge that’s here,” said Abakis.

Abakis is to lead the first workshop on March 24, a Standing Rock letter-writing campaign. Barbara Jo Blair of the Native Peoples Connection Action Group is also set to talk about work being done locally to build coalitions. A concert featuring Dianne Cluck follows the workshop.

Other artists lined up to perform “intricate music in an intimate listening environment” include Strong Sun Moon and Cavegreen (both of which performed at the New Year’s Eve event), Ali Dineen, Kia Cavallaro and Painted Honey. Abakis is to open each show with a short set featuring her new work.

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