Get Out

Jazzing it up in Blaine for a week with world-class musicians

Jazz vocalist Camille Bloom is one of the “three divas” performing Sunday at the kick-off concert of the Drayton Harbor Music Festival.
Jazz vocalist Camille Bloom is one of the “three divas” performing Sunday at the kick-off concert of the Drayton Harbor Music Festival. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

World-renowned musicians take to the stage in Blaine, Skagit County gets its Scottish on at the Highland Games, and it’s Pride Weekend in Bellingham.

Jazz Fest features world-class faculty and enthusiastic students

The annual Drayton Harbor Music Festival runs Sunday through July 16, and features world-class musicians coming together in Blaine to teach young musicians and perform for the community. The week-long camp is open to students ages 12-19. Students who attend the camp experience an intense and rewarding week of instruction from the music faculty: Lou Abbott, drums; Clipper Anderson, bass; Camille Bloom, singer and songwriter; Darin Clendenin, piano; Ed Donohue, trumpet; Nick Biello, saxophone; Theodore DeCorso, festival artistic director, clarinet, saxophone; Peter Krysa, violin; Randy Halberstadt, piano; Larry Holloway, bass; Charlie Porter, trumpet; Greg Hopkins, trumpet; Mark Kelly, saxophone; Martin Kuuskmann, bassoon; Greta Matassa, vocals; David Marriott Jr., trombone; Jon Mutchler, piano; Jovino Santos Neto, piano; Robert Storms, clarinet; Amanda Taylor, vocals; Aidrien Wilkins, guitar; and Christopher Woitach, guitar. What’s more the faculty and students offer a variety of performances to the public.

Here’s what’s scheduled:

▪ Sunday, 7 p.m., Blaine Performing Arts Center, 975 H St.: Kick-off concert, with Camille Bloom, Greta Matassa and Amanda Taylor, joined by with Groove for Thought. Admission is by donation.

▪ Monday, 7:30 p.m.: Martin Kuuskmann and Jovinos Santo Neto present “Serenata Brasileira” at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., in Lynden. The duo interprets a selection of lyrical pieces by Brazilian composers Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, Santos Neto, Pixinguinha and Edu Lobo. Tickets, $20, available through the Jansen Art Center:

▪ Tuesday, noon, G St. Plaza: Festival Jazz Faculty present “A Few of My Favorite Things.”

▪ Wednesday, noon, G St. Plaza:: Performances by the “Classical to Contemporary” faculty.

▪ July 13, 7:30 p.m., Blaine Pavilion, 636 H St.: Big Band Benefit ($50). Purchase tickets at the Blaine Visitor Center or the Pacific Building Center or online.

▪ July 15, noon, G St. Plaza: Student Showcase with festival faculty.

▪ July 16, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: “Art to Jazz Street Fair” featuring student performances at the G and H St. Plazas, with arts & craft and chalk art for children.


Grab your kilts and bagpipes and head south

The 23rd annual Skagit Valley Highland Games & Celtic Festival takes place Friday and Saturday at Edgewater Park, 600 Behrens Millet Road in Mount Vernon. The Celtic Arts Foundation, which hosts the festival, calls it a “Scottish three-ring circus,” with a wide range of activities for young and old alike.

The Skagit Valley Highland Games is part of an annual circuit of Scottish competitions held in the Pacific Northwest and Lower Mainland of British Columbia. As such, the quality of performers in solo bagpiping and drumming competitions, bagpipe bands, fiddling, traditional Scottish athletics (the “heavy” events) and Scottish Highland dancing is at a high level.

Features of the Skagit Valley Highland Games include athletic competitions, bagpipe and drumming competitions, Highland dance competitions, a beer and whiskey garden, sheepdog trials, clan and culture tents, children’s activities and musical performances.

Admission varies, with weekend and day passes for a range of ages. Info:

Cruising the bay

Whatcom Museum hosts its summer history cruises along Bellingham Bay, now in its 34th year, partnering with San Juan Cruises. The weekly cruises are offered on Tuesday evenings, July 11 through Aug. 29, leaving from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Boarding is at 6:15 p.m., with a 6:30 p.m. departure; and the boat returns to dock at 8:30 p.m.

Participants get close-up views of parks, businesses, industry and neighborhoods from Bellingham Bay, with Bellingham historians Brian Griffin or Doug Starcher serving as tour guides who’ll tie their knowledge of local history with up-to-date facts about bay activities.

The boat has indoor and outdoor seating on two levels, an on-board snack bar and a full bar with a selection of Northwest beers, wines and cocktails. Restrooms are available on board. Guests are welcome to bring dinner, snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic) for a picnic-style dinner while cruising.

Cost is $35 general, $30 museum members; $28 per person for groups of eight or more. Tickets are available through, by calling 800-838-3006 ext. 1, and at the museum store at the Lightcatcher, 250 Flora Street. Info:

Come to the Gardens

The 31st annual Tour of Private Gardens sponsored by the Whatcom Horticultural Society is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, featuring self-guided tours of six city and country private gardens. Visitors will see a Mediterranean garden with a view, a mosaic artist’s collection, hundreds of day lilies, roses and clematises in bloom; a charming garden greenhouse and guesthouse, elegant ponds; several collectors’ gardens; and a large country display garden and nursery. Presale tickets are $15 members; $18 general, $10 students and free for ages 12 and younger. Day of tour tickets are $18 members, $22 general. Purchase tickets and memberships online or at A Lot of Flowers, The Garden Room, The Gardens at Padden Creek, The Garden Spot, De Wilde’s Nursery, Kent’s Nursery, My Garden Nursery and Bellingham Whatcom Visitor Information Center; at Cloud Mountain Farm Center in Everson and Vander Giessen Nursery in Lynden, or at the gardens. Info:

Pride in Bellingham

Bellingham Pride Festival kicks off with a Queer Prom at 7 p.m. Friday at Make.Shift, 306 Flora St., presented by Bellingham Pride and Whatcom County PFLAG. All ages are welcome.

The Pride Picnic is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. Families and all ages are welcome.

The Pride Parade starts at noon Sunday at the corner of Halleck and Ohio streets, continuing along Cornwall Avenue, turning on West Chestnut Street to Railroad Avenue. From there, floats continue up Chestnut and people turn down Railroad to find the main Pride Festival at Depot Market Square for food trucks, vendors, activities and entertainment. Funds raised at this event help fund Planned Parenthood, Northwest Youth Services, and other essential services for the LGBTQ+ community. The goal at Bellingham Pride is to cultivate and preserve a safe and healthy community for LGBTQ people and their families to live, work, grow, and thrive and to celebrate the diversity of human life, promote equal rights, and increase the visibility of the LGBTQ community. Info:

What are you going to get out and do next weekend? Share with Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, Tell us about your event at least three weeks in advance to be considered for this column.