Best Bets: "Enlightened Piano" concert series kicks off at Bellingham church

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 4, 2014 

Enlightened Piano, Karen Fitzgerald

Whatcom County pianist Karen Fitzgerald is among the featured performers when the Enlightened Piano Radio concert series begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014 at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St.

TED WILLIAMS — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

This "Enlightened Piano" concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., will be the 2014 debut for the Enlightened Piano Radio concert series, featuring the original music of Whatcom County pianist Karen Fitzgerald, Eric Smith of Bellevue, Cathy Oakes of Columbia, Tenn., and Donovan Johnson of Omaha, Neb.

The concerts are conducted in the style of a songwriters circle, with the EPR signature "improvisation round" after intermission. Participants can win CDs and other prizes. Many stories, songs and laughs await you at this show.

Admission is $10.

Details: 402-616-1794.

For more information on the national Enlightened Piano Radio concert series, or to stream music from the radio station 24/7, please visit the Enlightened Piano Radio website at: enlightenedpiano.com.

BUDDHISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Jessica Main will be speaking about Buddhism and human rights, from 19th-century reformers to contemporary advocates, in a talk at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

The free talk is co-sponsored by Western Washington University's College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Liberal Studies.

Main will discuss innovative and contextual examples of Buddhists claiming rights for themselves and others, as well as the occasional appearance of philosophical stumbling blocks.

Main received her doctorate in Asian Religions from McGill University in 2012. Her dissertation was on the topic of human rights and Buddhism, with a particular focus on the unfortunate existence in Japan's Pure Land Buddhist community of discrimination against Japan's "untouchables" (the burakumin).

Since 2009, Main has served as the director of the University of British Columbia's Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program.

For more information, contact Stephanie Wanne at Western's Department of Liberal Studies at 360-650-3031 or stephanie.wanne@wwu.edu.

BLUEGRASS AT THE BORDER

Emerging from the acoustic string band tradition, Quickdraw String Band - Dave Maguire, Matt Novak, Allegra Ziffle and Robert "Goldtooth" Ray - plays a repertoire of old-time, early bluegrass, country blues, and ragtime on various configurations of mandolin, fiddle, guitar, dobro, vocals, and bass.

They'll play at the next Backstage @ the Border concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Christ Episcopal Church, 382 Boblett St., in Blaine.

Experienced and hard working, they have been performing around Whatcom County off and on for the past twelve years. Their style often defies categorization into any singular genre, but is solidly grounded in acoustic tradition.

Admission is $7 at the door.

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