Art Beat: Comedy show filming, jazz festival, author reading and art exhibit

Edmonds Comedy Night supporting the Edmonds School District was another laugh-so-hard-it-hurts event!

Local comedian Kermit Apio hosted and had the audience giggling up a storm. Arlo Weierhauser’s joke about getting tricked into going hiking by being promised a picnic had me gasping.

One exciting note was last year’s headliner, Don Friesen, loved Edmonds so much he’s coming back to film his comedy special here. See more below.

Don Friesen live comedy special

Don Friesen
Doors: 6:30 p.m., show: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds

• Live taping — Seating ends when the show begins, so please arrive early

If you missed Friesen’s hilarious show last year or his Showtime one-hour special Ask Your Mom, you’ve got to catch his next one live.

Engaging, clever, and just flat-out funny, Friesen ignites the stage with a playful, high-energy spoof of his life as a modern suburban dad, and (until recently) husband, who’s just trying to make sense of the constantly changing world around him. Everyday life has never been funnier.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says “Friesen will leave a lasting comic impression,” and describes him as “offbeat, satirical, self-deprecating and slightly out of control.”

With an act that somehow manages to be both intimate and absurd, Friesen will draw you into his world where he skillfully blends characters, voices, physicality and parodies to create some of the most memorable routines around.

Friesen’s credits include Showtime, Live at Gotham, and Comics Unleashed, and he is the only two-time winner in the 41-year history of the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He was also featured in TBS’ The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and is wildly popular on KLOS’ 5:00 Funnies, 100.3 The Sound’s Laughter at 45 After, and XM Sirius satellite radio. Get tickets here.

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DeMiero Jazz Festival returns to Edmonds

Thursday-Saturday, March 7-9

The 48th annual DeMiero Jazz Festival will take place at several downtown Edmonds locations.

This music education event is bringing in more than 50 jazz choirs for a non-competitive, inspiring chance to perform and work with professional jazz artists. Daytime performances, clinics and master classes are open to the public for free. Venues include the Edmonds Center for the Arts, North Sound Church and Community Christian Fellowship.

At 7 p.m. Friday night at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (410 4th Ave. N.), hear the professional jazz artists in a thrilling concert for students and the public. Tickets are available through the Edmonds Center for the Arts website and at the door.

Headline artists for 2024 include FreePlay and Last Call. Using two voices and innovative live-looping techniques, FreePlay (Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran, from Toronto, Canada) provides a virtuosic and genre-bending performance that will take you around the world … all without leaving your seat.

Last Call, based in the Pacific Northwest, is an eight-voice ensemble with a venerable presence in the vocal jazz scene, making waves with their enchanting harmonies and distinctive sound.

These artists will work directly with students during the daytime festival teaching master classes and workshops in addition to their performances on Friday.

Come see why generations of jazz choir students have attended this festival for more than 48 years, learning from international artists and clinicians. The DeMiero Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and relies on community support, sponsorships and donations for its funding.

For volunteer inquiries, please contact Louise Uriu at 425-252-7327. For more information, see their website.

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Sarri Gilman, author of “Cocoon: How One Woman Created a Shelter for Teens and Found Hope Along the Way”

Sarri Gilman
6 p.m. Thursday, March 21, Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Ave. S., Edmonds

Whidbey Island author and therapist Sarri Gilman will be reading from her book Cocoon at Edmonds Bookshop during the March Art Walk Edmonds.

Gilman is the founder of Cocoon House. She is a psychotherapist who has a TEDx Talk with over one million views. For two decades she ran nonprofits and realized the people who do the work of caring for others need support. She has a private practice on Whidbey Island.

She teaches workshops around the world based on her books on boundaries, self-care, and overwhelm recovery for people in healthcare, human services and education.

Gilman noticed a problem. Many of the teenage students attending the Everett school where she worked had nowhere to go at night. She then realized they were victims of a devastating loophole in the state’s system, which provided housing for younger children and adults who were homeless but had no space for teens.

What happened next was not in Gilman’s career plan, but the family therapist could not turn her back on the problem unfolding around her. Instead, she became the executive director of a nonprofit organization, Cocoon House, which served – and continues to serve – as a home for the most vulnerable teens in her community, giving them the chance to find stability and a new lease on life. Cocoon is her unbelievable, inspiring and true story.

More information can be found on her website and on the Edmonds Bookshop event page.

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“Stills: Scenes from Films on Industry and Empire” by Kathryn Rantala

February-March, Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St,, Edmonds

Kathryn Rantala has been making assemblages, or what she calls “stills,” for 10 years now.

The term “stills” refers to individual frames you would see if you stopped a film in the middle — in movie stills). Each still has its own life and the context is often very revealing beyond what the film intended.

Rantala thinks of her stills as a three-dimensional extension of poetry. With both, she strives toward beauty, interaction and mystery, trying to capture a moment, attitude, or arrested action in a way that engages and pleases the viewer.

The stills are made from largely unrestored thrift store finds, tourist items, miniatures, fragments, etc., usually protected by boxes or domes that are themselves used and often just as battered as the pieces.

Rantala enjoys finding the discarded and neglected and giving it new life with beauty and grace.

— By Elizabeth Murray

(Photo by Brittany Gross)
Elizabeth Murray is a freelance writer thankful to call Edmonds home. When she’s not busy wrangling her two kids (and husband), you can find her playing ukulele. She can be reached at

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