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City launches Cre8tivZoo music series in downtown Redmond
As numbers began to dwindle at the City of Redmond's Arts in the Parks series, organizers started looking for other ways to bring music to the community.
Joshua Heim, arts administrator for the city, said people have told them they want to see more of a nightlife and things to do in the evening hours. Community feedback has also indicated that people would like more urban activities. These two factors — combined with the success of a previous event utilizing an empty storefront — have resulted in Cre8tivZoo, a new music series presented by the city that will take place at different downtown locations.
The first in the series was Sept. 26 at City Hall as part of the public forum for Downtown Park planning. The remaining five performances will be held at 8 p.m. every other Saturday beginning Oct. 12, with the final show on Dec. 7. The performances will be utilizing various indoor spaces throughout downtown Redmond: Veloce Apartments at 8102 161st Ave. N.E., VALA Art Center at 7303 164th Ave. N.E. and Soulfood Books at 15748 Redmond Way.
All events are free.
Heim said the goal of Cre8tivZoo is to try and activate more urban spaces and provide more downtown programming for the community. In addition, he said, the city also wanted a way to develop music programming and entertainment for the community for when it is cold and raining.
Heim said the series is a new format for the city as musicians have curated the acts as opposed to the usual format with the city hiring bands to perform.
Courtesy of Devin James Group
Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann, the co-founders of Lelavision Physical Music — a Seattle-based company for which they create their own instruments and combine kinetic sculpture, live music and dance in performance — were the curators for the Cre8tivZoo series. They were also the first performers in the series last week.
"All of the musicians that (Lelavision is) bringing in are all innovators," Heim said. "These are just creative musicians who are doing new things."
Devin James Group President Cletus Coffey, who is representing Cre8tivZoo, said the series is a celebration of the "wild an unexpected side of music." He described the performances as "kind of like what you get when you go to the zoo." When people go to the zoo, Coffey explained, they know they are going to see the animals, but they never know what the animals will do. With the Cre8tivZoo series, people will know they are going to hear music but otherwise, they don't know what to expect from the performers.
All of the artists are based in the Pacific Northwest and Coffey said their styles range from acoustic rock and electronics to the more theatrical and vocal harmonies. The performances will also give audiences the chance to be more engaged as some of the musicians' acts are improvised on the spot.
Heim said it took about a year to plan for Cre8tivZoo and if the community embraces it, they hope to bring it back in the future and have more businesses participate.
"I would love to see more downtown businesses turn into venues," he said.
IF YOU GO:
Rafe Pearlman with special guests
Oct. 12 at Veloce Apartments
Rarified, haunting, mystical vocals and acoustic rock of Rafe Pearlman with special guests Michael Maricle on keys, Seth Littlefield on drums and Randy Neal on pedal steel/guitar.
Oct. 26 at VALA Art Center
The hybrid genre of theatrics, dance and musical improvisation known as human jazz.
Nov. 9 at Veloce Apartments
World soul music, created with Denio's four-octave voice and electronics.
Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney
Nov. 23 at Soulfood Books
A voice/viola duo, who "seem to appear where vanguardsim, sacred texts, and improvised music come together in the Northwest" (Ben Ratliff, New York Times).
Dec. 7 at VALA Art Center
String, percussion and vocal harmonies locked in an embrace with tradition and innovation by Correo Aereo.