"La Bamba

"La Bamba

Centrum summer leads up to sizzling finale

PORT TOWNSEND — Los Lobos, the blistering R&B-rock ‘n’ roll-Mexican-American outfit, will cap some 70 concerts and programs the Centrum foundation is hosting this summer at Fort Worden State Park.

The group, together for three decades and known for albums from “How Will the Wolf Survive?” to “Just Another Band from East L.A.,” will take the McCurdy Pavilion stage at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, in the finale Centrum Executive Director John MacElwee has been foreshadowing for weeks now.

As with the rest of the season’s shows — the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Jazz Port Townsend and other events — tickets are available via www.Centrum.org and 800-746-1982.

Centrum members can buy now; others have to wait till Tuesday, May 1.

Musicians and writers may still register for the weeklong workshops that lead up to the concerts.

Applications for Voice Works, Fiddle Tunes, Jazz Port Townsend and the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference and Acoustic Blues Festival are available from the website or by phoning 800-733-3608 or 360-385-3102.

In his announcement of the 2012 season, MacElwee hailed many other luminaries of the musical and literary world.

Bluegrass giant Tim O’Brien will teach and perform during the Voice Works festival June 28-30 along with his wife, Mollie O’Brien, and folksinger Aoife O’Donovan.

National fiddle champion Byron Berline will lead the Fiddle Tunes finale concert July 7.

Celebrated singer Mary Stallings will join Jazz Port Townsend the weekend of July 28.

On a whole other front, a writer who recently got quite famous will return to Fort Worden: Cheryl Strayed, author of the best-seller Wild, will be among the guests giving free readings during the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference from July 8-21.

Critics call Wild, a memoir of Strayed’s 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, “blazingly honest” and a “tough, feral sister” to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.

Strayed “is one of the hottest writers on the planet,” MacElwee estimated.

Here’s a sampling of other events at Fort Worden:

— Voice Works, a festival of vocal music, features “An Intimate Evening of Duet Singing” on June 28, the Honky Tonk Dance on June 29 and the “Country Roots & Bluegrass” concert featuring Tim and Mollie O’Brien on June 30.

— The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes presents the “Fiddlin’ on the Fourth” concert at 1:30 p.m. the Fourth of July, the Cajun Dance with free gumbo while it lasts July 6 and the Fiddle Grand Finale with Jerron Paxton, Antonia Apodaca, Genticorum and many others July 7.

— The Port Townsend Writers’ Conference offers public readings and lectures by Dorothy Allison, Diane Roberts, Jennine Capó Crucet, Pam Houston, Cheryl Strayed and others July 8-21.

— Jazz Port Townsend brings together experts in the many forms of jazz — from Mary Stallings and Dena DeRose to Wycliffe Gordon and Jiggs Whigham to artistic director John Clayton — on July 27-28.

— The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival features the Centrum Gospel Choir, barrelhouse pianist Ann Rabson, Chicago blues with Billy Flynn and Terry “Harmonica Bean” and others Aug. 3-4.

— Both Jazz Port Townsend and Acoustic Blues come with extra shows in venues off the Fort Worden campus, such as The Upstage and the Key City Playhouse — some of which offer free admission.

— Free noontime Fridays at the Fort concerts include a Voice Works Showcase on June 29, a Fiddle Tunes show July 6, folk artist Josie Sokoloff-Toney on July 13, artists to be announced July 20, a Jazz Port Townsend Showcase on July 27 and an Acoustic Blues Festival show Aug. 3.

For more information, visit www.centrum.org.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5066, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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