Michael-Paul Gurulé, a Bellingham saxophonist and band leader and the founder of Bellingham gypsy jazz ensemble Nuages, brought me a copy of the band's just-released debut CD, "Pure Imagination" (yes, that song from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is on the album).
Nuages is French for "clouds," and the CD can indeed bring to mind various forms of dancing atmospheric billows as they drift in the sky.
Gurulé, who founded the ensemble in 2011, says the band takes its name from the title of a piece composed by the father of gypsy jazz, Django Reinhardt, and since we are in the Northwest, Nuages seemed a perfect fit, he says.
Nuages plays music that blends Eastern European gypsy flavor with a traditional swing sound.
In addition to Gurulé, band members are Zach Zenovic on solo guitar, David Campbell on rhythm guitar and Travis Sipher on upright bass.
Other songs on the all-instrumental album include "C'est Si Bon," "There Will Never Be Another You" and "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top."
Their CD release party will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Chuckanut Brewery, 601 W. Holly St. The band will perform live songs from the album while guests dance, eat and partake in some tasty beverages; and it's an all-ages event.
They'll also play at one of their frequent venues, Skylark's, in Fairhaven, on Aug. 16. Details: nuagesjazz.net/home.html.
MAKE.SHIFT TO HOST LOCAL MUSIC LIBRARY
Bellinghm poet Jessica Lohafer tipped me off about a project her friend Eric Holl has been working on. Here's what Holl told me about his endeavor:
The Bellingham Local Music Library will be a physical installation at Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St., where the public will have free digital access to everything he's been able to get his hands on - vinyl, cassettes, DAT tapes, CDs - that was recorded by Bellingham musicians.
People will be able to digitally access the music for free and listen from either speakers overhead or from headphones, and will be able to view album art anytime that Make.Shift is open. And, he notes, since the question usually comes up: no one will be allowed to copy any files from the main server. That's been his first rule since the start.
He says the project started about 10 years ago when he was seeing so many musicians and bands start in town, record something, perhaps be able to release something, then break up or move away, and by a few years those records, tapes and CDs would essentially be impossible to come by.
Holl was using his MySpace account to download music, and when that was prohibited by MySpace, he started creating the project.
It's an astounding list, with everything from the Acorn Project to Zorbatron, and practically everything in between.
The compendium will be live on Make.Shift's website, makeshiftproject.com, the day of the Make.Shift Block Party on Saturday, Aug. 2.
The annual Make.Shift Block Party starts at noon and continues until 9 p.m., closing off the block for live music, an inflatable gladiator joust, a climbing wall, a bounce house, a Slip 'N' Slide of Doom, haircuts, a skate jam, a dunk tank, a beer garden, a Duke of Bellingham gender-neutral pageant-style competition, and more. Wear something weird and bring a shirt to get screen-printed.
Also at Make.Shift: Seattle curator Amanda Michele Dellinger presents "Inky Spokes: A Traveling Exhibition of Bicycle Inspired Art," in conjunction with the Gigantic Bicycle Festival (giganticbicyclefestival.org), showing through Aug. 17.
The exhibit features work by Northwest artists, some represented by established galleries and others who have never shown their works in public.
Suggested donation for the party: $5. All ages welcome. Details: 360-389-3569, makeshiftproject.com.
NEW DATE SET FOR JOAN BAEZ CONCERT
Mount Baker Theatre has confirmed a new a date of Nov. 13 for the postponed July 20 Joan Baez concert. If you already have tickets, they're still valid for the new date, with the same seats. If the new date isn't convenient and you bought your tickets prior to July 20, return your tickets to the ticket office by mail or in person by Nov. 12 for a full refund to the original payment method.
Tickets, $49 to $79, are at 360-734-6080 and mountbakertheatre.com.
Behind the Scenes focuses on the people who make the arts and entertainment world of Whatcom County happen. It appears in Take Five, The Bellingham Herald's entertainment section, each Thursday. Margaret Bikman is the Entertainment News Coordinator at The Bellingham Herald. Contact her at 360-715-2273 or email@example.com.