By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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They're a few of the songs in Jazz for Oso, a benefit concert with the Peninsula College Vocal Jazz Ensemble and guest musicians, outdoors at Olympic Cellars, 255410 U.S. Highway 101, this Thursday night. All ages are welcome.
Vocal Jazz director Elaine Gardner-Morales got together with winery co-owner Lisa Martin to present the 7 p.m. show, a fundraiser for Snohomish County's Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation.
There's no set admission charge, but donations will go to the foundation providing relief to survivors of Oso's disastrous mudslide March 22.
“I have wanted to do something for Oso [but] have been kind of at a loss for what,” said Gardner-Morales.
Then it dawned on her: music, of course.
Gardner-Morales envisioned a “jazz under the stars” concert at the winery, so she got in touch with Martin, who liked the idea.
With Olympic Cellars as her sponsor, Gardner-Morales got her singers together: 15 of them, plus some musician friends.
For good measure, she invited professional singer Sarah Shea to join in, along with pianist Al Harris of Chez Jazz, bassist Taylor Ackley of Locos Only and drummer Terry Smith, known for his work with Olympic Express Big Band, the Hayshakers and the Soulshakers.
Gardner-Morales, who not only teaches vocal jazz at Peninsula College but also plays guitar with Olympic Express, pronounced herself “stoked” as she put together a 75-minute concert. Jazz for Oso will be jammed with music from the Great American Songbook and current airwaves.
The Vocal Jazz Ensemble will sing Pharrell Williams' hit “Happy” and Michael Jackson's “Man in the Mirror,” as well as “I'll Be Seeing You,” “Orange Colored Sky” and “Young and Naive.”
And these performers hail from across the Peninsula: Tyler Napiontek of Port Angeles and Lavee Hess of Sequim will sing a duet of “Feeling Good,” Port Angeles' Marissa Wilson will sing “A Song for You,” Jessie Spicher will perform “You Lost Me,” and Port Townsend's Donna Marklund will offer “At Last.”
The Peninsula College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which has attracted capacity crowds to its concerts since it began last year, includes Derrick Akin, Gabe Bagno, Misha Casella-Blackburn, Justin Bradley, Daniel Camper, Kaitlen Crippin, Brandi Larson, Jordyn Owen, Nancy Webb and Izzie Quintana.
At the winery, patio heaters will be on, noted Martin. But concert-goers should dress warmly, and blankets are a good idea.
For more information about Jazz for Oso, phone the winery, open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, at 360-452-0160.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.