Columns & Blogs

Behind the Scenes: Bob Storms presents Dixieland, boogie-woogie and more

Longtime Ferndale band leader, sax player and educator Bob Storms hosts Jazz Celebration VII, an annual concert series that began in 2008 when Storms reached his lifetime goal of writing and copyrighting 500 songs. Because of sell-out crowds, this year’s event, which features the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra, will take place at Northwood Hall, 3240 Northwest Ave.

The concert, which starts at 2 p.m., not only features Dixieland, boogie-woogie, swing tunes and a whole lot more, it will also be followed by an hourlong dance. Tickets are $12 advance at Jazz Project, and $15 at the door. Details: 360-650-1066.

Oliver Reed Trio in concert at WWU and area schools

Karen Berry, one of the organizers of Bellingham Festival of Music concerts, let me know that the annual collaboration between the festival and Whatcom Symphony Orchestra presents a concert by the Oliver Reed Trio in two public performances, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at Western Washington University’s Concert Hall, and at 7:30 p.m. March 21 at Bellingham High School.

In between the concerts, the trio will perform at area schools to spark an interest in classical music. The public concerts are free to students; a $15 donation is suggested for adults. Details:

Free-verse photo project in Ferndale seeks entries

Marla Morrow, Ferndale Arts Commission chairperson, wrote to tell me about the third annual Free-Verse Photo Project, sponsored by the commission.

In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, the commission is extending a call to Whatcom County artists of all ages. Applicants attach a line or two selected from a poem and submit a photo of the lines, but in a non-traditional, artistic way. Examples can be found at Academy of American Poets Free Verse Project.

Entry forms are available at the commission’s Facebook page and at Ferndale City Hall, 2095 Main St.

Entries will be accepted in person or by mail to Ferndale City Hall, 2095 Main St., Ferndale, WA 98248. Online entries cannot be accepted.

Entry deadline date is 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Details: 360-384-0050, or go to and click on “Get Involved, Boards & Commissions,” or go to Ferndale Arts Commission on Facebook.

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival issues call for auditions

Mary Mae Hardt of Skagit River Shakespeare Festival let me know that auditions for this summer’s plays will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. This season’s plays are “Two Noble Kinsmen,” directed by Trey Hatch, and “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Bjorn Whitney.

Auditions will also be held from 10 am. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Seattle Center Armory, Studio D, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 21 at Skagit Valley College’s Phil Tarro Theatre in Mount Vernon. Call-backs are 2 to 4 p.m. March 22 at Phil Tarro Theatre.

To reserve a time slot, email with your preferred time and location.