Steel Magic Northwest to host outdoor open house June 19

Steel Band Northwest performs during pre-COVID times.
Steel Magic Northwest, an Edmonds-based non-profit steelband organization, is hosting a Steelband open house on Saturday, June 19.
According to Steel Magic Northwest Executive and Artistic Director Gary Gibson, the event will take place in the middle of 5th Avenue, north of the roundabout at Main, starting at approximately 4:30 p.m.
The open-air event is intended to appeal to passersby who remain in the downtown area after the first Summer Market of the year, and those on their way to the first day of Walkable Main Street dining on Main Street, Gibson said.
This event replaces the organization’s  “Here Comes the Sun” spring concert, canceled this year due to indoor event restrictions.
“We came up with the concept of a steelband open house because we want to avoid drawing a consistent large crowd for any length of time; we want people to come and enjoy a few songs on their way to wherever they are going, and maybe get some information about our organization before moving along,” Gibson said. “It will be an excellent opportunity to see our bands up close, in a casual setting.”
Steel Magic Northwest’s four levels of groups (beginning, intermediate and advanced youth, and adult), will perform their entire repertoire with titles to celebrate the coming of summer, the parting of the clouds, and the general feeling of optimism and rebirth, Gibson said. These include Here Comes the Sun, I Can See Clearly Now, Happy, Summer Samba, Hot Hot Hot and I’m Walking on Sunshine.
Steel Magic Northwest’s groups range in size from 14 to 33 players. The highest-profile touring group, the advanced youth Pan Wizards Steel Orchestra, is 25 players strong.
“A larger steel orchestra has a big, full, almost orchestral sound that appeals to everyone,” said Gibson, who founded the organization in Edmonds in 2014.
For information about the event, or for information about enrolling in Steel Magic Northwest’s weeklong Summer Steelband Intensives, visit www.steelmagicnorthwest.org.

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