Garden Show ‘Floral Symphony’ Will Be Music to Your Ears

Garden Show ‘Floral Symphony’ Will Be Music to Your Ears

The Northwest Flower & Garden Show will be bringing winter weary show attendees an extra dose of cheer with their 2012 show theme – A Floral Symphony – and the musical events they have scheduled throughout the garden show. Festive South Lobby concerts, all FREE with admission, will be four times each day, with a wide variety of musical acts that cover the realm of styles for every music lover. And our PlayGarden Sprout Stage we’ll be engaging children of all ages – and their parents – with our professional singer/songwriters, crooning tunes for the younger set to go with the PlayGarden “Rockin’ Robin” theme.



Recording artist Kenny Coleman, just back from touring with John Legend, is one of Chicago’s most sought after and renowned Jazz and Blues percussionists. As a graduate of the American Conservatory of Music, Coleman has studied under the tutelage of famed Percussionist Leo Murphy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has been involved with the music industry for over 20 years as a session player, composer and producer, and worked with musical icons, including Johnny Mathis, Sugar Blu, Ethel Holloway and R&B superstar Monica. (Subaru presents Kenny Coleman, Wednesday 2/8 at 1 pm and Thursday, 2/9 at 1 pm.)


The melodic originals of Seattle pianist Nelda Swiggett draw from her long list of influences, from jazz to Afro-Cuban, to gospel, blues and more. Nelda formed her first band in 1990, and has since performed at many of Seattle’s leading clubs, concerts and festivals, including the Earshot Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, and a KPLU-FM Summer Jazz Cruise, among others. She’ll be performing with the Nelda Swiggett Trio, which includes bassist Chris Symer and drummer Byron Vannoy, held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett. (Performing Wednesday, 2/8 at 12 pm and Friday, 2/10 at 6 pm.) 


Guitarist Paul Johnson, from Auburn, WA, plays acoustic jazz that soothes the senses. (Playing Wednesday, 2/8 at 5 pm and Saturday, 2/11 at 11 am.)  And it’s time for a bit of nostalgia as the popular Edmonds Woodway High Jazz Ensemble will be bringing back the era of big band music. (Sunday, 2/12 at 3 pm.) 


Ray Baldwin is the epitome of cool with his velvet trumpet. Many people know that Ray Baldwin performs the best of traditional and contemporary jazz. If you have ever experienced him performing live then you know his unique style is full of rich harmonies, crowd participation, musical features and extraordinary trumpet playing. When Ray Baldwin takes the stage get ready for a fascinating time. (Thursday, 2/9 at 12 pm.)



Orville Johnson’s name is well-known to Seattleites who love bluegrass. He moved to Seattle in 1978 where he was a founding member of the legendary NW folk/rock group ‘The Dynamic Logs’ and over the years has played with a diverse list of artists including Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, John Hartford, Maria Muldaur, Richie Havens, Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Company) and Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones).  (Thursday, 2/9 at 2 pm.)


The Cascade Cut Ups will be bringing their banjo best, along with guitar, dobro, harmonica, mandolin and bass, along with their high-note harmonies. (Saturday, 2/11 at 2 pm)


The Wiretappers are an acoustic string band from the Seattle area, playing a mix of Juke Joint music, Western Swing, classic country, dancehall honky-tonk, and hillybilly jazz, with a bit of bluegrass, jazz standards, gypsy, and funky folk mixed in. Their sound is groove-oriented with great instrumentals, lead vocals and lots of harmony singing.(Sunday, 2/12 at 1 pm.) 



How about a quick Flamenco dance between all that shopping and seminar watching at the garden show? You might want to break out your dancing shoes with the sounds of Julian Catford’s classical guitar flavored with a decidedly Spanish and Brazilian beat. (Wednesday, 2/8 at 2 pm and Thursday, 2/9 at 4 pm.)


The Kirkland Choral Society was born in the living room of one of its founding members and originally Practiced in a basement rehearsal space with a handful of singers. Now a respected nonprofit organization, it is dedicated to sharing their music with the public and teaching about choral musical arts. (Sunday, 2/12 at 11 am.)  


Be sure to catch The Bella Trio, a talented trio of ladies who have been performing together for over seven years. It will feel right at home surrounded by the lush settings of the garden show. This trio of ladies on violin and cello are the perfect accompaniment to the nearby blossoms in the South Lobby garden by the Floral Growers of Washington, and the fantastic displays of artistry by local florists in the Floral Competition. (Thursday, 2/9 at 6 pm.)  If you love the stirring sounds of classical chamber music, you also won’t want to miss the renowned Garfield High’s Classical Quartet chamber music. (Wednesday, 2/8 at 4 pm and Saturday, 2/11 at 6 pm.)


There is so much inspiration to be found at the garden show, in both the gardens and the brilliant seminar photography. But you will truly be inspired by Duo Savoir Faire, violinists Nicola and Tyler Reilly. Tyler was quite the phenom in Olympia when he started playing at the age of nine. He was touring Europe by age 11 and winning competitions in his teens. Nicola started the violin at age seven. She attended the Northwest School for the Arts and has traveled to perform and compete in Austria, Germany, and Japan. (Friday 2/10 at 4 pm.)



Be prepared for some joy! The Total Experience Gospel Choir bursts with love, joy and enthusiasm – humanity! It is hailed as one of the Pacific Northwest’s finest soulful ensembles. Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright started the group as a gospel music class at Seattle’s Franklin High School in 1973. Since then the choir has grown to become a nationally and internationally known gospel singing group. (Friday, 2/10 at 2 pm.)


We all wear sensible shoes to the garden show, since we will be spending so much time exploring all the great things the show has to offer. But do stop and listen to Sensible Shoes, an ensemble of the acclaimed Seattle Women’s Chorus, a pop and vocal jazz group in the tradition of groups like Captain Smartypants and Emerald City Volunteers. This group of women balance great vocal delivery with fun, innovative staging. (Saturday, 2/11 at 4 pm.)


Miles and Karina are David Miles Keenan and Nova Karina Devonie. Their music is the happy result of a 19-year collaboration. Since their early days with cowgirl supergroup Ranch Romance, with whom they recorded 3 CD’s, they have been writing and performing locally in their home town of Seattle. They have shared the stage with EmmyLou Harris, Bela Fleck, Bill Monroe, Alison Kraus, Tim O’Brien, Rodney Crowell and David Grisman, to name a few. (Friday, 2/10 at 12 pm.)


All of our South Lobby Concerts are free with admission, and you can get your tickets on (Remember, Early Bird prices are only good to February 7.) The full schedule is posted on the garden show website.  



The show’s wildly popular PlayGarden that debuted last year returns with the theme of “Rockin’ Robin” and we’re chirping for joy with the musical acts that will be appearing daily on the Sprout Stage.


Caspar Babypants is better known as Chris Ballew, the twice Grammy-nominated songwriter and lead singer for the four times platinum rock and roll band The Presidents of the United States of America. As his alter ego, Caspar Babypants, he makes high quality, thoughtful, simple, acoustic sing along songs for parents and kids of all ages to enjoy together. (Performing daily at 10:30 am)


Your Imaginary Friend is the duo of Jana Vitols and Greg Ruby. For a dozen years Seattle’s youngest have been singing, dancing and learning the fundamentals of music in Jana’s ‘Music for Everyone’ classes.  Greg brings his compositional ear and guitar skills to the stage, and plays strings and keys, writes and records for listeners of all ages. (Friday, 2/10 through Sunday 2/12 at 12:30 pm)


Nancy Stewart is a national award-winning musician who has been writing and performing for young children and their families for twenty years. This followed a successful fifteen year-long career as lead guitarist and vocalist with a nationally known show band. (Daily at 2:30 pm)


Lisa Taylor and the Seattle Tilth Children’s Garden team return for two fun acts, Don’t Squish That Bug! where the ‘Critters’ explore the insect world and teach about bugs through song, stories and friendly, giant puppets. And Wiggle, Squiggle, Giggle! which is sure to be awesome adventure of the slimy kind. (Wednesday and Thursday at 12:30 pm) ~ Janet


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