An Evening of Jazz and Art comes back to Kent

Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers

Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers

Play it again, Senior Center.

The first Evening of Jazz and Art event was such a hit last year at the Kent Senior Activity Center that organizers decided to bring the free show back this summer.

You can drop by for an Evening of Jazz and Art from 5-8 p.m. June 25 at the south lawn of the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St.

The outdoor concert features Seattle jazz guitarist Michael Powers and the Seattle jazz band Pearl Django.

“It was awesome and highly acclaimed,” said Helena Reynolds, program coordinator for the senior center, about the 2008 event. “We had many requests for a repeat.”

Powers returns for the second year to perform a mix of original hits as well as cover songs. Fans asked Reynolds to bring the guitarist back. He takes the stage from 7-8 p.m.

“He’s a great crowd pleaser,” Reynolds said. “He’s very personable, talented and versatile. He was really good last year.”

Powers used his previous Kent showing as a release party for his album, “20 Songs for 20 Years,” celebrating two decades of playing guitar. He has performed, recorded or shared billings with music greats Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles and Gladys Knight, according to his Web site,

Pearl Django will open the concert with a performance that runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The band took its name after Django Reinhardt, a Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist from the 1920s to 1950s who is considered one of the most influential guitar artists of the 20th century.

According to Pearl Django’s Web site,, the band’s followers include Reinhardt fans, guitar enthusiasts and lovers of string music, “world music” fans drawn to French and Gypsy accents, plus jazz buffs and aficionados of the new swing music.

Jazz pianist Richard Dean also will bring his sound to the show, giving two performances from 5-5:30 p.m. and from 6:30-7 p.m.

The evening also features a juried fine art show and a Kent Valley Artists exhibition. Organizers plan to extend the art display into two additional classrooms.

The concert and art show are presented by the city of Kent and the Kent Arts Commission.

Stafford Suites and Chateau at Valley Center are sponsors of a free box dinner and dessert to be served from 5-5:30 p.m. Residents already grabbed up tickets for the reserved dinners, but any unclaimed dinners will be given away that night.

Fans can bring their own picnic dinner, lawn chairs and blankets for a seat on the grass. Organizers also will set up chairs.

Aegis Living, Radcliffe Place and Arbor Village plan to provide free refreshments (drinks and snacks) while supplies last.

“Our co-sponsors make the event possible,” Reynolds said.

The concert goes on rain or shine. If it rains, fans will have access to limited indoor seating.

“It’s going to be nice,” Reynolds said. “It usually is at the end of June.”

For more information, call the Senior Center at 253-856-5164.


What: Evening of Jazz and Art featuring Michael Powers, Pearl Django

When: 5-8 p.m. June 25

Where: Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St.

Cost: Free

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