VAA is proud to reprise our annual outdoor summer concert this August. We call it ‘Bramblefest’ in honor of the many brambles that naturally proliferate all across the Island and bear fruit at the peak of summer. It speaks to the idyllic and sweet summers that characterize Vashon-Maury, and we hope you will inaugurate a family tradition of spending a glorious summer afternoon on the grass, listening to exceptional musicians. This year, the theme for the concert has a world beat flavor, beckoning the rhythms of Cuba, Brazil and Spain. Join us for food, drink and fun kids’ activities!
SuperSones has been called Seattle’s answer to The Buena Vista Social Club, playing the sublime music known as son—acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern salsa. This genre represents a blend of Spanish guitars and harmony, Afro-Cuban percussion and swing, call-and-response singing and trumpet improvisation. Since 2001, SuperSones has played this rich musical tradition with a wide range of classic and original songs in the many styles within the son family including bolero, cha cha and guaracha. In addition to bongos, trumpet and upright bass, you will hear unique instruments such as the Cuban tres guitar, a hollow gourd guiro and the clave, which all contribute to the characteristic and evocative sound of the Cuban son.
Maracujá delivers the languorous and nostalgic sounds of bossa nova and energetic samba with their take on the music that characterizes 1950s-’60s Brazil. The group reinterprets hits from popular Brazilian artists such as Joao and Astrud Gilberto, Sergio Mendes and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Maracujá guitarist Terrence Rossnagle speaks passionately of how this music invokes saudade—a Brazilian Portuguese word for a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing—that is simultaneously both happy and sad. Caitlin Belem (vocals, saxophone) has lived and studied in Brazil and Cuba, and sings beautifully in the original Portuguese. Dhara Goradia (upright bass) and Sam Esecson (percussion) round out this dynamic quartet who will lull audiences with the rhythms of the streets and cafes of Brazil.
The flames of flamenco will heat up the stage as electrifying guitarist Ben Woods and passionate dancer Stephanie Pedraza return to Vashon for an encore performance. Their previous concert at VAA last November stunned the audience with Ben’s virtuoso guitar-playing and Stephanie’s expressive and fiery flamenco moves. As one of the most talented and prolific flamenco guitarists in the U.S., Woods is sought after as a gifted performer known for his innovative blend of flamenco and metal, and has recently traveled across Europe as part of the Master Guitar Tour. Based in Vancouver, B.C., Pedraza has her roots in Colombia, where she has been immersed in Latin song and dance. Her original music compositions reflect her rich Latin American background, blending traditional Latin rhythms with pop and jazz.