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Free Edmonds summer concert series begins this weekend

 

Gypsy jazz band Ranger and the Re-Arrangers kick off the 2019 free summer concerts in Edmonds.

The free Edmonds summer concerts at City Park and Hazel Miller Plaza kick off Sunday, July 14, with Ranger and the Re-Arrangers.

The performances this year range from a cappella and Latin/world music to Shakespeare, juggling and comedy show.

“One of the goals is to provide a diverse range of performances, and we generally do not have performers back two years in a row,” said Frances Chapin, arts and culture manager for the City of Edmonds.

Formed in 2007, Ranger and the Re-Arrangers is a gypsy jazz band with Ranger Sciacca on violin; his dad, Mike Sciacca, playing rhythm guitar; Jeffrey Moose on percussion; Mick Nicholson on bass; and Dave Stewart on mandolin.

The band is named after Ranger, whose fiddle teacher introduced him as the “re-arranger” for Ranger’s love of improvisation.

“I was always improvising and … changing something,” he said.

Now, that passion has a place in the band, which features plenty of improvisation.

The band’s style of music, gypsy jazz, is named after Django Reinhardt, a gypsy in France during the 1930s and 1940s inspired by American jazz.

“When he started to play, he brought his own background into it of playing gypsy music and playing French accordion music, and it just sounded a little different. It had those influences that became part of gypsy jazz as well,” Ranger said.

Mike Sciacca said the style appeals to many people.

“It adds a certain sort of gypsy flavor to what we have come to know as American jazz. So sometimes we take American jazz tunes like ‘All of Me’ or that kind of music, and we turn them into something that sounds both ancient and older and modern,” he said.

The instruments used in gypsy jazz are a little different than the instruments found in the typical jazz band. Gypsy jazz includes many string instruments, such as guitars, violin, and a bass. Often, there is also a clarinet, accordion, or a saxophone.

Traditionally, gypsy jazz is solely instrumental, but Ranger and the Re-Arrangers take a departure from that with Stewart and Moose’s vocals in many of their songs, Ranger said.

“I love gypsy jazz because it's just fun music that has a lot of positive energy and just sounds happy, even the slow songs or the minor songs. They’ve got this joy in the music, and so we’re going to do our best to bring out that,” Ranger said.

At the July 14 concert at Edmonds City Park, they will play some traditional Gypsy tunes, French music, and swing music, Ranger said.

The concerts held at Edmonds City Park are on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. and held at Hazel Miller Plaza on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 5-6:30 p.m.

The lunchtime concerts at Hazel Miller Plaza are more family-oriented, particularly Roberto the Magnificent and the Imagination Band. The other concerts at that time are still family oriented, but would also be enjoyable for everybody, Chapin said.

Free summer concerts in Edmonds

July 14-Aug. 25 Concerts in the Park

3-4 p.m. Sundays, canceled at 2:30 in case of rain. City Park, Third Avenue South and Pine Street. Free.

  • July 14: Ranger and the Re-Arrangers, gypsy jazz
  • July 21: Wooden O/Seattle Shakespeare Co. “Twelfth Night”
  • July 28: Tingstad and Rumbel, contemporary instrumental
  • Aug. 4: Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, marches
  • Aug. 11: Gasango, West African dance and music
  • Aug. 18: Correo Aero, Latin
  • Aug. 25: Dmitri Matheny, jazz instrumental
July 16-Aug. 20 Hazel Miller Plaza

12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Fifth Avenue South and Maple Street. Rain or shine.

  • July 16: Milho and Diego, sounds of Japan and Latin America
  • July 23: Katrina Ji and Culture Shaki, Rajasthoni folk dance
  • July 30: Roberto the Magnificent, juggling and comedy stunts
  • Aug. 6: Imagination Band, music and storytelling
  • Aug. 13: The Side Project, acoustic indie/pop covers
  • Aug. 20: Roosevelt Road, bluegrass/Americana/gospel
July 20-Aug. 24 Hazel Miller Plaza

5-6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Fifth Avenue South and Maple Street. Rain or shine.

  • July 18: 20/20, a cappella
  • July 25: The Bylines, jazz-inspired pop
  • Aug. 1: Jovino Santo Neto Trio, Brazilian
  • Aug. 8: Santa Poco, country
  • Aug. 15: Sundae + Mr. Goessel, contemporary vintage jazz duo
  • Aug. 22: Maiah Wynne, folk pop

 

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