Defense seizes the day for nationally ranked Puyallup Nation Kings http://ift.tt/1t9Q58r Two football teams with loads of post-season aspirations ran headlong into each other July 12 at Chief Leschi Stadium, and the game remained in doubt for most of the contest. The Puyallup Nation Kings scratched and clawed their way through their toughest match-up of the season thus far and pulled-out a 14-0 victory over a determined Puget Sound Outlaws club.

As the end of the regular season looms, teams in the Western Washington Football Alliance are jockeying to score the best seed into the playoffs, and while the Outlaws are nearly a lock to make the post-season, they were trying to sew-up a berth against the league-leading Kings.

The Kings entered the game (and remain) ranked fifth in the American Football News Today rankings and had strung together six straight blowout victories. It was a gut-check game for them and as usual, the Kings’ defense came through for them when their offense found their hands full with a stout and athletic Outlaw defense.

Known as “The General” to his teammates and possibly the largest and most imposing linebacker in the Puget Sound, Nick Noga broke a scoreless tie in the waning seconds of the third quarter, when teammate Vikah Lefeau punched the ball out of the hands of the Outlaws’ Naaman Springs, and Noga snatched the ball up for a 53-yard return for a touchdown. The 6-3, 285 pounder bolted untouched down the sideline for his third defensive touchdown of the season for the Kings.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter cornerback Treisaun McCurry grabbed his second interception of the game, leaping high into the air on a deep pass attempt from Outlaw quarterback Justice Waite and came down with the ball at the Kings’ 25-yard line.

Holding onto a 6-0 lead, quarterback Justin Southern directed the Kings on a 4 minute, 75-yard scoring drive which was capped by a 17-yard pass to Nico Curran in the end-zone. The acrobatic catch was not without drama as it was an incredibly close play next to the sideline and it took the referees several moments to determine what call they were going to make. Following the touchdown, Southern fired a quick pass to running back Donald McKee who just got over the goal-line for a 14-0 Kings lead with 6:56 remaining in the ballgame.

With the shift in momentum, the Puyallup defense ramped-up their pressure on Waite and limited him to just one completion the rest of the game. It should be noted that Waite was playing quarterback in just his third game and had Kings defenders chasing him all around the field. Despite being sacked eight times in the contest, Waite’s scrambling probably saved another ten.

Nick Noga ultimately sent Waite limping to the sidelines with sack number eight and with little time left in the game, the Outlaws faced fourth down and 26 yards to go. Springs came in to take over at quarterback and his long pass down field missed his target and the Kings victory was sealed.

Puyallup’s defense held Puget Sound to 25 yards on 18 rushing attempts and kept Waite off-balance and on the run throughout the game as he completed seven passes in 19 attempts for 82 yards passing and two interceptions. Defensive end Darius Dennis was a constant force in the backfield and had his hand in on four quarterback sacks.

Although they came away with the loss, the Outlaws put up an impressive display on the defensive side of the ball, limiting the potent “Showtime” Kings offense to 189 yards of total offense. 

“This was a measuring stick for us,” said Puget Sound’s head coach Richard Warren. “They have been blowing everybody out and we knew our defense was there at that level. We’ve got a new quarterback in just his third game and he’s still growing. Now we’ve got two more home games coming up, so hopefully when we get that offense gelling it’s going to be a nice run in the playoffs.

“The game plan was to keep it close in the first half and see where the chips fall in the second. It was a big chess match. I know my team and they’re going to be hungrier than ever now because they want to see these guys again. We’re hoping this was the preview to a championship game.”

Quarterback Justin Southern was sacked four times but looked healthy after returning from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for three weeks. Southern finished with five completions on 15 attempts for 71 yards with one touchdown and an interception by the Outlaws’ Cameron Bailey.

“It took a little while to get back into the groove of things,” said Southern. “Missing some games and so many practices due to injury set me back a little.”

With the win, Puyallup moves to 7-0 in the WWFA league standings, followed by the Pierce County Bengals and Renton Ravens both at 6-1. Puget Sound drops to 4-3, but looks to have a playoff spot sealed up with the Thurston County Mayhem trailing at 3-4 and the Cowlitz County Blackhawks at 2-5.

The Puget Sound Outlaws will host the Blackhawks Saturday July 19 at Lakewood’s Harry Lang Stadium at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the Pierce County Bengals are heavily favored as they host the Washington Cavaliers at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium the same night at 6 p.m.

Puyallup hosts the struggling Northwest Cardinals July 19 at 5 p.m. The Cardinals began the season 3-0, but have since dropped three straight in their inaugural season in the WWFA. The Kings and the Bengals will square off on the final weekend of the regular season at Sunset Stadium on July 26 at 6 p.m.

“They blitzed a lot and had some fast guys,” said Southern. “Our offensive line is big and I think we need to take advantage of that more. The good thing is we can play a lot better. We didn’t play our best game of the season on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense played great. I think next week things will be a lot better.” July 16, 2014 at 11:35AM

Defense seizes the day for nationally ranked Puyallup Nation Kings http://ift.tt/1t9Q58r

Two football teams with loads of post-season aspirations ran headlong into each other July 12 at Chief Leschi Stadium, and the game remained in doubt for most of the contest. The Puyallup Nation Kings scratched and clawed their way through their toughest match-up of the season thus far and pulled-out a 14-0 victory over a determined Puget Sound Outlaws club.

As the end of the regular season looms, teams in the Western Washington Football Alliance are jockeying to score the best seed into the playoffs, and while the Outlaws are nearly a lock to make the post-season, they were trying to sew-up a berth against the league-leading Kings.

The Kings entered the game (and remain) ranked fifth in the American Football News Today rankings and had strung together six straight blowout victories. It was a gut-check game for them and as usual, the Kings’ defense came through for them when their offense found their hands full with a stout and athletic Outlaw defense.

Known as “The General” to his teammates and possibly the largest and most imposing linebacker in the Puget Sound, Nick Noga broke a scoreless tie in the waning seconds of the third quarter, when teammate Vikah Lefeau punched the ball out of the hands of the Outlaws’ Naaman Springs, and Noga snatched the ball up for a 53-yard return for a touchdown. The 6-3, 285 pounder bolted untouched down the sideline for his third defensive touchdown of the season for the Kings.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter cornerback Treisaun McCurry grabbed his second interception of the game, leaping high into the air on a deep pass attempt from Outlaw quarterback Justice Waite and came down with the ball at the Kings’ 25-yard line.

Holding onto a 6-0 lead, quarterback Justin Southern directed the Kings on a 4 minute, 75-yard scoring drive which was capped by a 17-yard pass to Nico Curran in the end-zone. The acrobatic catch was not without drama as it was an incredibly close play next to the sideline and it took the referees several moments to determine what call they were going to make. Following the touchdown, Southern fired a quick pass to running back Donald McKee who just got over the goal-line for a 14-0 Kings lead with 6:56 remaining in the ballgame.

With the shift in momentum, the Puyallup defense ramped-up their pressure on Waite and limited him to just one completion the rest of the game. It should be noted that Waite was playing quarterback in just his third game and had Kings defenders chasing him all around the field. Despite being sacked eight times in the contest, Waite’s scrambling probably saved another ten.

Nick Noga ultimately sent Waite limping to the sidelines with sack number eight and with little time left in the game, the Outlaws faced fourth down and 26 yards to go. Springs came in to take over at quarterback and his long pass down field missed his target and the Kings victory was sealed.

Puyallup’s defense held Puget Sound to 25 yards on 18 rushing attempts and kept Waite off-balance and on the run throughout the game as he completed seven passes in 19 attempts for 82 yards passing and two interceptions. Defensive end Darius Dennis was a constant force in the backfield and had his hand in on four quarterback sacks.

Although they came away with the loss, the Outlaws put up an impressive display on the defensive side of the ball, limiting the potent “Showtime” Kings offense to 189 yards of total offense.

“This was a measuring stick for us,” said Puget Sound’s head coach Richard Warren. “They have been blowing everybody out and we knew our defense was there at that level. We’ve got a new quarterback in just his third game and he’s still growing. Now we’ve got two more home games coming up, so hopefully when we get that offense gelling it’s going to be a nice run in the playoffs.

“The game plan was to keep it close in the first half and see where the chips fall in the second. It was a big chess match. I know my team and they’re going to be hungrier than ever now because they want to see these guys again. We’re hoping this was the preview to a championship game.”

Quarterback Justin Southern was sacked four times but looked healthy after returning from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for three weeks. Southern finished with five completions on 15 attempts for 71 yards with one touchdown and an interception by the Outlaws’ Cameron Bailey.

“It took a little while to get back into the groove of things,” said Southern. “Missing some games and so many practices due to injury set me back a little.”

With the win, Puyallup moves to 7-0 in the WWFA league standings, followed by the Pierce County Bengals and Renton Ravens both at 6-1. Puget Sound drops to 4-3, but looks to have a playoff spot sealed up with the Thurston County Mayhem trailing at 3-4 and the Cowlitz County Blackhawks at 2-5.

The Puget Sound Outlaws will host the Blackhawks Saturday July 19 at Lakewood’s Harry Lang Stadium at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the Pierce County Bengals are heavily favored as they host the Washington Cavaliers at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium the same night at 6 p.m.

Puyallup hosts the struggling Northwest Cardinals July 19 at 5 p.m. The Cardinals began the season 3-0, but have since dropped three straight in their inaugural season in the WWFA. The Kings and the Bengals will square off on the final weekend of the regular season at Sunset Stadium on July 26 at 6 p.m.

“They blitzed a lot and had some fast guys,” said Southern. “Our offensive line is big and I think we need to take advantage of that more. The good thing is we can play a lot better. We didn’t play our best game of the season on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense played great. I think next week things will be a lot better.”

July 16, 2014 at 11:35AM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/Wf7W2I Friday, July 18

EMERALD QUEEN: Wynonna and The Big Noise (country) 8:30 p.m., $35-$85

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC 

HALF PINT: Project Blue, The Rallies (Weezer tribute, rock) 8 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Spazmatics & Mr. Pink (’80s covers) 8 p.m., $8

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

LOUIE G’S: Eyes to Earth, Fishing with Bigfoot, Gebular, HellBelly (rock) 8 p.m., $5, AA

MAXWELL’S: Lance Buller Trio (jazz) 7 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Crosswalk (rock) 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: The 5 (dance) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Andy Woodhull (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

UNCLE THURM’S: CJK with Gary Crooks, Mike Jaap and Kurt Kolstad (jazz) 7:30 p.m., NC, AA

Saturday, July 19

LOUIE G’S: Straight Line Stitch, Girl on Fire, Amanda Hardy, Dead Horse Trauma (metal) 8 p.m., $10-$15, AA

B SHARP COFFEE: Dean Reichert Band (blues) 8 p.m., NC, AA

BOB’S JAVA JIVE: Hot Cops, Brother Tiger, Coma Figure, TV Girl (rock, pop) 8 p.m., AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC 

JAZZBONES: Tribal Theory, Stay Grounded (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

NORTHERN PACIFIC: Jeremiah Clark, Elephant Gazebo, The Possum Stompers (Americana) 8 p.m., NC, AA

ROCK N ROLL STEAKHOUSE: Mechanism, Fallen Kings, Saintz of Mayhym (metal) 8 p.m., $10

THE SPAR: Olsen Brothers (alt-country) 

STONEGATE: Crosswalk (rock) 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: Kry (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Andy Woodhull (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

THEATRE ON THE SQUARE: Musical Theatre Camp presents “The Prince on the Pauper” (rock musical) 2 p.m., $5-$14, AA

Sunday, July 20

THE SWISS: South Sound Underground featuring Beyond Theory, Barefoot Barnacle, Decimate the Ruins and more (metal) noon, NC, AA till 8 p.m.

DAWSON’S: Tim Hall Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

JAZZBONES: Leezy Soprano CD release with Clemm Rishad, Rocky Sandoval, Lil Ripp (hip-hop) 8 p.m., $10

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 3 p.m., NC; Cave Singers, No Grave (alt-country, folk-rock) 8 p.m., $5 

TACOMA COMEDY: Jim Kellner (comedy hypnotist) 8 p.m., $10

Monday, July 21

JAZZBONES: Rockaroke (live band karaoke) 11 p.m., NC

GIG SPOT: Monday Mash-Up open mic and trivia, 8 p.m., NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Open mic comedy, 9 p.m., NC 

THE SWISS: AEK Blues Band (blues) 8 p.m., NC 

Tuesday, July 22

JAZZBONES: Ha Ha Tuesday with Alycia Cooper and host Ralph Porter (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $5

ANTIQUE SANDWICH CO.: Open mic, 6:30 p.m., $3, AA

DAVE’S OF MILTON: Jerry Miller (blues, rock)

R N R STEAKHOUSE: Comedy open mic, 9 p.m., NC, AA

STONEGATE: Leanne Trevalyan (acoustic open mic) 8 p.m., NC

Wednesday, July 23

TOWER BAR & GRILL: Michelle Beaudry (jazz guitar) 4:30 p.m.

DAVE’S OF MILTON: The Rubber Band (jam night) 8 p.m., NC

DAWSON’S: Dawson’s Jazz Series, 8 p.m., NC

OLD TOWN PARK: Karl Thurmond (singer-songwriter) 6:30 p.m., NC, AA

STONEGATE: Dave Nichols’ Hump Day Jam, 8:30 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8 p.m., NC, 18+

THE SWISS: Kareem Kandi Band (jazz open mic) 7 p.m., NC, AA

Thursday, July 24

TACOMA COMEDY: Jubal Flagg (comedy) 8 p.m., $10

CHARLEY’S: Blues jam with Richard Molina, 8 p.m., NC

DAWSON’S: Billy Shew Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

UNCLE SAM’S: Jerry Miller (blues, rock) 7 p.m., NC July 16, 2014 at 10:56AM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/Wf7W2I

Friday, July 18

EMERALD QUEEN: Wynonna and The Big Noise (country) 8:30 p.m., $35-$85

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC

HALF PINT: Project Blue, The Rallies (Weezer tribute, rock) 8 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Spazmatics & Mr. Pink (’80s covers) 8 p.m., $8

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

LOUIE G’S: Eyes to Earth, Fishing with Bigfoot, Gebular, HellBelly (rock) 8 p.m., $5, AA

MAXWELL’S: Lance Buller Trio (jazz) 7 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Crosswalk (rock) 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: The 5 (dance) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Andy Woodhull (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

UNCLE THURM’S: CJK with Gary Crooks, Mike Jaap and Kurt Kolstad (jazz) 7:30 p.m., NC, AA

Saturday, July 19

LOUIE G’S: Straight Line Stitch, Girl on Fire, Amanda Hardy, Dead Horse Trauma (metal) 8 p.m., $10-$15, AA

B SHARP COFFEE: Dean Reichert Band (blues) 8 p.m., NC, AA

BOB’S JAVA JIVE: Hot Cops, Brother Tiger, Coma Figure, TV Girl (rock, pop) 8 p.m., AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC

JAZZBONES: Tribal Theory, Stay Grounded (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

NORTHERN PACIFIC: Jeremiah Clark, Elephant Gazebo, The Possum Stompers (Americana) 8 p.m., NC, AA

ROCK N ROLL STEAKHOUSE: Mechanism, Fallen Kings, Saintz of Mayhym (metal) 8 p.m., $10

THE SPAR: Olsen Brothers (alt-country)

STONEGATE: Crosswalk (rock) 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: Kry (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Andy Woodhull (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

THEATRE ON THE SQUARE: Musical Theatre Camp presents “The Prince on the Pauper” (rock musical) 2 p.m., $5-$14, AA

Sunday, July 20

THE SWISS: South Sound Underground featuring Beyond Theory, Barefoot Barnacle, Decimate the Ruins and more (metal) noon, NC, AA till 8 p.m.

DAWSON’S: Tim Hall Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

JAZZBONES: Leezy Soprano CD release with Clemm Rishad, Rocky Sandoval, Lil Ripp (hip-hop) 8 p.m., $10

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 3 p.m., NC; Cave Singers, No Grave (alt-country, folk-rock) 8 p.m., $5 

TACOMA COMEDY: Jim Kellner (comedy hypnotist) 8 p.m., $10

Monday, July 21

JAZZBONES: Rockaroke (live band karaoke) 11 p.m., NC

GIG SPOT: Monday Mash-Up open mic and trivia, 8 p.m., NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Open mic comedy, 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: AEK Blues Band (blues) 8 p.m., NC

Tuesday, July 22

JAZZBONES: Ha Ha Tuesday with Alycia Cooper and host Ralph Porter (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $5

ANTIQUE SANDWICH CO.: Open mic, 6:30 p.m., $3, AA

DAVE’S OF MILTON: Jerry Miller (blues, rock)

R N R STEAKHOUSE: Comedy open mic, 9 p.m., NC, AA

STONEGATE: Leanne Trevalyan (acoustic open mic) 8 p.m., NC

Wednesday, July 23

TOWER BAR & GRILL: Michelle Beaudry (jazz guitar) 4:30 p.m.

DAVE’S OF MILTON: The Rubber Band (jam night) 8 p.m., NC

DAWSON’S: Dawson’s Jazz Series, 8 p.m., NC

OLD TOWN PARK: Karl Thurmond (singer-songwriter) 6:30 p.m., NC, AA

STONEGATE: Dave Nichols’ Hump Day Jam, 8:30 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8 p.m., NC, 18+

THE SWISS: Kareem Kandi Band (jazz open mic) 7 p.m., NC, AA

Thursday, July 24

TACOMA COMEDY: Jubal Flagg (comedy) 8 p.m., $10

CHARLEY’S: Blues jam with Richard Molina, 8 p.m., NC

DAWSON’S: Billy Shew Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

UNCLE SAM’S: Jerry Miller (blues, rock) 7 p.m., NC

July 16, 2014 at 10:56AM

Arts & Entertainment: Find something fun and different every week at Stadium Fare http://ift.tt/1t9Q44p Transitioning a summer event into a yearly tradition is easier said than done, but Stadium Fare looks to accomplish this while riding a wave of momentum into its second year.

Stadium Fare offers an alternative to the farmers markets that focus more on the artisan side of Tacoma, allowing creativity to flow in a safe, comfortable environment, providing both fine art and fine food from more than 20 vendors on the two final Saturdays of July, August and September from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church across from Wright Park on the corner of second and ‘G’ streets.

“I’d like to encourage people to come out and see opportunities for vendors, people that want to play music or tell fortunes or tell jokes – anyone who wants to get in front of a broader group of people, we’d love to have them come out,” Stadium Fare co-founder Ethan Wing said.

The idea came about when Wing, a New York native, was reminded of Brooklyn market Smorgasburg and thought a similar event should be brought to Tacoma.

“Tacoma is a pretty creative little town. It’s filled with people that are being creative in all sorts of interesting ways, and they don’t have a ton of outlets. There’s no way to share creativity with the broader community. The more we get into this the more we realize in our heart of hearts that this is what [Stadium Fare] could be. 

“I have a hard time imagining that we could do something like this in a different city. It’s small enough, it’s open enough that you can create things seemingly out of thin air, like this market. That simple fact speaks to the character of this city. We don’t have to deal with all the stuff Seattle has to deal with and ultimately that’s liberating,” Wing said.

This year, the Fare is looking to get bigger and better as it continues to expand. Each month will feature a different theme day on the final Saturday including Country Western in July, Happy Days in August and Mardi Gras in September.

“We are so excited to be able to do so much more than last year,” Fare Manager Nadine Larsson said in a press release. “We laid the groundwork for a great yearly event, and we’re looking forward to a season that will far exceed our expectations. Tacoma has so much talent and we love being able to provide an outlet for locals to showcase their goods and skills.”

Other events include an upcoming silent auction at the July 26 market and a scavenger hunt on a date to be determined to support local businesses. 

“We had great first attendance, which kind of dropped off. We wanted to think up something fun and different every single week,” Marketing Director Leah Knoll said.

The fare already has 25 different vendors scheduled for the first Saturday of the season, and is expecting to add a few more contributors every week and is constantly on the lookout for more volunteers.

“We’re inventing it as we go. We spent a lot more time and effort to reach out to people so that they know were there,” Wing said.

The Fare saw a lot of success in 2013 due to the renaissance of Tacoma art that has taken place in recent years.

“The creativity, the willingness to be wrong the willingness to learn; it’s a very resilient population and people that understand community and the importance buy local. We are local, we’re the roots of local, come on down to Stadium Fare and water your roots,” Larsson said. July 16, 2014 at 10:48AM

Arts & Entertainment: Find something fun and different every week at Stadium Fare http://ift.tt/1t9Q44p

Transitioning a summer event into a yearly tradition is easier said than done, but Stadium Fare looks to accomplish this while riding a wave of momentum into its second year.

Stadium Fare offers an alternative to the farmers markets that focus more on the artisan side of Tacoma, allowing creativity to flow in a safe, comfortable environment, providing both fine art and fine food from more than 20 vendors on the two final Saturdays of July, August and September from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church across from Wright Park on the corner of second and ‘G’ streets.

“I’d like to encourage people to come out and see opportunities for vendors, people that want to play music or tell fortunes or tell jokes – anyone who wants to get in front of a broader group of people, we’d love to have them come out,” Stadium Fare co-founder Ethan Wing said.

The idea came about when Wing, a New York native, was reminded of Brooklyn market Smorgasburg and thought a similar event should be brought to Tacoma.

“Tacoma is a pretty creative little town. It’s filled with people that are being creative in all sorts of interesting ways, and they don’t have a ton of outlets. There’s no way to share creativity with the broader community. The more we get into this the more we realize in our heart of hearts that this is what [Stadium Fare] could be.

“I have a hard time imagining that we could do something like this in a different city. It’s small enough, it’s open enough that you can create things seemingly out of thin air, like this market. That simple fact speaks to the character of this city. We don’t have to deal with all the stuff Seattle has to deal with and ultimately that’s liberating,” Wing said.

This year, the Fare is looking to get bigger and better as it continues to expand. Each month will feature a different theme day on the final Saturday including Country Western in July, Happy Days in August and Mardi Gras in September.

“We are so excited to be able to do so much more than last year,” Fare Manager Nadine Larsson said in a press release. “We laid the groundwork for a great yearly event, and we’re looking forward to a season that will far exceed our expectations. Tacoma has so much talent and we love being able to provide an outlet for locals to showcase their goods and skills.”

Other events include an upcoming silent auction at the July 26 market and a scavenger hunt on a date to be determined to support local businesses.

“We had great first attendance, which kind of dropped off. We wanted to think up something fun and different every single week,” Marketing Director Leah Knoll said.

The fare already has 25 different vendors scheduled for the first Saturday of the season, and is expecting to add a few more contributors every week and is constantly on the lookout for more volunteers.

“We’re inventing it as we go. We spent a lot more time and effort to reach out to people so that they know were there,” Wing said.

The Fare saw a lot of success in 2013 due to the renaissance of Tacoma art that has taken place in recent years.

“The creativity, the willingness to be wrong the willingness to learn; it’s a very resilient population and people that understand community and the importance buy local. We are local, we’re the roots of local, come on down to Stadium Fare and water your roots,” Larsson said.

July 16, 2014 at 10:48AM

Make a Scene: Meet Leezy Soprano http://ift.tt/Wf7VvM One of Tacoma’s most promising hip-hop artists, Leezy, will drop his new album, “Never Enough,” on Sunday, July 20. To mark the occasion, the rapper will headline a CD release show that day at Jazzbones.

Recently, we met up with the rapper (born Timothy Tanks) to break down his new sounds and his quest to put Tacoma on the hip-hop map. 

“A lot of the time, Tacoma gets overshadowed by Seattle,” he said. “A lot of people know about Tacoma - like you hear us shouted out a lot in music by artists Like Schoolboy Q … and E-40. But we just wanna get heard and put the city on and let them know we’re talented over here, too.”

Discography: “Never Enough” is the rapper’s fourth disc. Fans can also download his previous albums, “Knoe,” “United We Ball” and “All Due Respect” on iTunes or at http://ift.tt/1yxn8WS. 

What’s in a name? The “Leezy” in his stage name is derived from “lay,” as in “he’ll lay you out.” “I got that in the streets from fightin’,” he explained, “getting in fights and laying people out. You know, just kid stuff.” Well, maybe if you’re Floyd Mayweather. Diehard fans may know him as Leezy Soprano, though, the second half of his moniker inspired by the late James Gandolfini’s character from HBO. 

He recently shortened the name after reflecting on the Sopranos’ not-so-evolved views on race. Plus, a ton of other rappers had the same idea. “There’s Sopranos from everywhere – Sopranos in Portland, a Soprano in Seattle,” he said. “It’s over-saturated now.” 

Y-Lyfe: Drake’s motto is “Y.O.L.O.” Tupac had “Thug Life,” and Leezy has “Y-Lyfe” - as in “Young Life” - a slogan that appears in several cuts. The name comes from a clique he and his friends formed at Lincoln High School. 

“It’s really like a Young Lifestyle,” he said, “what it feels like to be young and free to do whatever you want, be your own person and not really have to answer to anybody. I know a lot of people living young lives, and they’re happy.” It’s also a brand of clothing he sells at shows.

Based on actual events: Many of his hard-boiled lyrics are based on trials he’s faced in real life. “There’s a song called ‘Anything’ on (the new album) where I talk about a lot of issues and a lot of my friends that I’ve lost. It’s kind of a letter to my friends, tellin’ ‘em how their sons are doing, how much I miss them and stuff like that. I just try to stay true to myself, really. I couldn’t really do music about something that I’m not really living. I get the substance from my life.”

Pushing boundaries: Leezy recorded “Never Enough” at Pacific Studios with Tacoma producer Tryfe, who pushed him out of his comfort zone with unorthodox beats and a rapid-fire recording schedule. 

“We set out to do this project in a week,” he said. “I did a lot of writing in the studio, and it was long nights and early mornings until it was done. 

“That’s never how I work, but I definitely wanted to challenge myself; and I found, in doing that, that it builds a lot of momentum. I was able to do songs at a fast pace and really good songs. I didn’t even think I could do it, but after I made the 12 songs I was like, ‘Man, we can keep goin.”

Live band: Like the Roots, Beastie Boys and other hybrid hip-hop acts, Leezy has started performing with a full band, the D1 Experience. “I’ve done the live band a couple of times at comedy shows. The (Jazzbones) show’ll be crazy. I’m doing half band, half DJ. I’m doing a lot of songs from my new project, and then a lot of my known songs with the band.” 

Show details: Sunday’s bill will also feature Rocky Sandoval, Lil Ripp and Clemm Rishad, half of the Writer’s Block, the Tacoma duo best known for penning Nicky Minaj and Rihanna’s hit, “Fly.” Doors will open at 8 p.m. with music starting at 9, and tickets are $10; http://ift.tt/He4gXG for further details. July 16, 2014 at 10:46AM

Make a Scene: Meet Leezy Soprano http://ift.tt/Wf7VvM

One of Tacoma’s most promising hip-hop artists, Leezy, will drop his new album, “Never Enough,” on Sunday, July 20. To mark the occasion, the rapper will headline a CD release show that day at Jazzbones.

Recently, we met up with the rapper (born Timothy Tanks) to break down his new sounds and his quest to put Tacoma on the hip-hop map.

“A lot of the time, Tacoma gets overshadowed by Seattle,” he said. “A lot of people know about Tacoma - like you hear us shouted out a lot in music by artists Like Schoolboy Q … and E-40. But we just wanna get heard and put the city on and let them know we’re talented over here, too.”

Discography: “Never Enough” is the rapper’s fourth disc. Fans can also download his previous albums, “Knoe,” “United We Ball” and “All Due Respect” on iTunes or at http://ift.tt/1yxn8WS.

What’s in a name? The “Leezy” in his stage name is derived from “lay,” as in “he’ll lay you out.” “I got that in the streets from fightin’,” he explained, “getting in fights and laying people out. You know, just kid stuff.” Well, maybe if you’re Floyd Mayweather. Diehard fans may know him as Leezy Soprano, though, the second half of his moniker inspired by the late James Gandolfini’s character from HBO.

He recently shortened the name after reflecting on the Sopranos’ not-so-evolved views on race. Plus, a ton of other rappers had the same idea. “There’s Sopranos from everywhere – Sopranos in Portland, a Soprano in Seattle,” he said. “It’s over-saturated now.”

Y-Lyfe: Drake’s motto is “Y.O.L.O.” Tupac had “Thug Life,” and Leezy has “Y-Lyfe” - as in “Young Life” - a slogan that appears in several cuts. The name comes from a clique he and his friends formed at Lincoln High School.

“It’s really like a Young Lifestyle,” he said, “what it feels like to be young and free to do whatever you want, be your own person and not really have to answer to anybody. I know a lot of people living young lives, and they’re happy.” It’s also a brand of clothing he sells at shows.

Based on actual events: Many of his hard-boiled lyrics are based on trials he’s faced in real life. “There’s a song called ‘Anything’ on (the new album) where I talk about a lot of issues and a lot of my friends that I’ve lost. It’s kind of a letter to my friends, tellin’ ‘em how their sons are doing, how much I miss them and stuff like that. I just try to stay true to myself, really. I couldn’t really do music about something that I’m not really living. I get the substance from my life.”

Pushing boundaries: Leezy recorded “Never Enough” at Pacific Studios with Tacoma producer Tryfe, who pushed him out of his comfort zone with unorthodox beats and a rapid-fire recording schedule.

“We set out to do this project in a week,” he said. “I did a lot of writing in the studio, and it was long nights and early mornings until it was done.

“That’s never how I work, but I definitely wanted to challenge myself; and I found, in doing that, that it builds a lot of momentum. I was able to do songs at a fast pace and really good songs. I didn’t even think I could do it, but after I made the 12 songs I was like, ‘Man, we can keep goin.”

Live band: Like the Roots, Beastie Boys and other hybrid hip-hop acts, Leezy has started performing with a full band, the D1 Experience. “I’ve done the live band a couple of times at comedy shows. The (Jazzbones) show’ll be crazy. I’m doing half band, half DJ. I’m doing a lot of songs from my new project, and then a lot of my known songs with the band.” 

Show details: Sunday’s bill will also feature Rocky Sandoval, Lil Ripp and Clemm Rishad, half of the Writer’s Block, the Tacoma duo best known for penning Nicky Minaj and Rihanna’s hit, “Fly.” Doors will open at 8 p.m. with music starting at 9, and tickets are $10; http://ift.tt/He4gXG for further details.

July 16, 2014 at 10:46AM

Arts & Entertainment: Kerry Cole brings visions to Handforth http://ift.tt/Wf7Vff Tacoma artist Kerry Cole is a self-professed “seer.” 

“I talk to ghosts and furniture,” says her artist’s statement. “I think bugs have feelings and I paint what I feel coming from others, whether they be actual people, people I see in my dreams or sense around me coming through other dimensions.” The concept is reminiscent of certain statements by English artist and poet William Blake, who claimed to see spirits and was able to make detailed portraits of them.

Over a dozen of Cole’s richly colored paintings are currently on display at the Tacoma Public Library’s Handforth Gallery. Cole’s paintings are mostly of female faces set off by flowery, flowing hair and feathery fashion accessories. Lush red lips lure the viewer in. Cole has a gift for painting expressive, soulful eyes that gaze out from the flat surface of the painting.

In works like “Weight of the World,” all of Cole’s hallmarks are present. The figure depicted has pale skin and vivid lips. Rusty tears run down from wide-spaced eyes. A fiery nimbus surrounds the figure. A tiny house and a group of tiny mountain climbers are on the shoulders of the woman. Cole’s style is akin to a kind of doodling that a teenager might do on sheets of paper while lost in daydreams. Cole, however, has taken it to the next level with jewel-bright color and accents of gold leaf or collage elements.

A personal favorite is “Oh Deer!” This small painting is one of Cole’s stylized heads equipped with a pair of orange antlers and set upon a pasty white deer’s body. “Sidewalk Confession,” a portrait of a pink poodle, has the allure of black velvet paintings of dogs and children with big, sorrowful eyes that were popular in the 1950s and 60s.

Set alongside Cole’s work is a show of enhanced Polaroid snapshots by Tom Holt. Taken in Europe, Florida and locally, these intimate, gem-like works are a great complement to Cole’s lavish paintings.

The show runs through July 30. Get out and see it while you can. For further information visit http://ift.tt/1aVnrR7 or http://ift.tt/1yxn6OE. July 16, 2014 at 10:40AM

Arts & Entertainment: Kerry Cole brings visions to Handforth http://ift.tt/Wf7Vff

Tacoma artist Kerry Cole is a self-professed “seer.”

“I talk to ghosts and furniture,” says her artist’s statement. “I think bugs have feelings and I paint what I feel coming from others, whether they be actual people, people I see in my dreams or sense around me coming through other dimensions.” The concept is reminiscent of certain statements by English artist and poet William Blake, who claimed to see spirits and was able to make detailed portraits of them.

Over a dozen of Cole’s richly colored paintings are currently on display at the Tacoma Public Library’s Handforth Gallery. Cole’s paintings are mostly of female faces set off by flowery, flowing hair and feathery fashion accessories. Lush red lips lure the viewer in. Cole has a gift for painting expressive, soulful eyes that gaze out from the flat surface of the painting.

In works like “Weight of the World,” all of Cole’s hallmarks are present. The figure depicted has pale skin and vivid lips. Rusty tears run down from wide-spaced eyes. A fiery nimbus surrounds the figure. A tiny house and a group of tiny mountain climbers are on the shoulders of the woman. Cole’s style is akin to a kind of doodling that a teenager might do on sheets of paper while lost in daydreams. Cole, however, has taken it to the next level with jewel-bright color and accents of gold leaf or collage elements.

A personal favorite is “Oh Deer!” This small painting is one of Cole’s stylized heads equipped with a pair of orange antlers and set upon a pasty white deer’s body. “Sidewalk Confession,” a portrait of a pink poodle, has the allure of black velvet paintings of dogs and children with big, sorrowful eyes that were popular in the 1950s and 60s.

Set alongside Cole’s work is a show of enhanced Polaroid snapshots by Tom Holt. Taken in Europe, Florida and locally, these intimate, gem-like works are a great complement to Cole’s lavish paintings.

The show runs through July 30. Get out and see it while you can. For further information visit http://ift.tt/1aVnrR7 or http://ift.tt/1yxn6OE.

July 16, 2014 at 10:40AM

South Sound FC buckles up for wild finish – Sounders U-23 close-out http://ift.tt/Wf7UIf As the curtain draws to a close on two premier soccer league seasons, one Tacoma team remains in the hunt for a league championship while the other looks toward next year’s fortunes.

The South Sound Shock FC slipped at home on July 10 against the Seattle Stars 2-0 and with it handed over the league-lead to the Spokane Shadow. With 26 points, the Shadow now leads the Shock and the Vancouver Victory FC by one point in the Evergreen Premier League standings.

A title is still up for grabs for all three clubs, but it will take some help and some grit to get there.

Spokane holds their own fate with two matches remaining and has the benefit of hosting both, but it will be a true test for the Shadow. The Seattle Stars travel to Spokane for a July 19 Saturday night tilt and then the Shadow must turn around less-than 22 hours later as they host a dangerous Wenatchee United FC.

South Sound is not without championship possibilities, but the club will have to win it all as road dogs when they span the expanse of Interstate-5 over the same weekend. The Shock will go up against two clubs that are quickly becoming their heated rivals in this inaugural EPLWA season.

Friday night the Shock travel north toward Canada to square-off with Bellingham United FC and two days later close-out the season down south against Vancouver. South Sound toppled Bellingham, replacing them at the top of the standings June 1 at home with a 2-1 victory and Bellingham has never recovered since. The Shock will have their hands, or feet, full Friday night.

Vancouver dropped a tough match against the Shock 4-1 May 24 at Harry Lang Stadium. Apparently the club is not incredibly fond of South Sound FC after the hosts ejected several Vancouver supporters (known as the Vanguard) after the visitors lit off dozens of smoke grenades in the stands. While the use of smoke devices is within EPLWA rules, apparently it doesn’t fly in Lakewood.

Vancouver can sneak out an EPLWA league championship if Spokane loses both of their matches, the Shock loses against Bellingham and Vancouver gets a win over the Shock.

The EPLWA is set up as a winner-take-all “English Premier League” type organization where the point leader at the end of the season is crowned the champion. There are no playoffs.

It was bad luck and poor timing for the Shock July 10 against the Stars. The club was without several players due to injuries, including top goal scorers Joey Gjertsen and Scotty Hanson. It proved too be too much as the Stars fought through a surprisingly physical match in Lakewood to pull off the upset. While a few Shock players suffered some rough fouls, it was the Stars that spent significant time sprawled out upon the field after some hard shots. In all, 12 Stars hit the deck and stayed there for awhile throughout the game.

Meanwhile, across town, the Sounders U-23 are wrapping up a solid, somewhat disappointing season. With just one game remaining – a July 16 Wednesday night tilt against their rival and league-leading Kitsap Pumas just after Tacoma Weekly press time – the Sounders U-23 will bid adieu to an impressive roster of young college and international standouts.

It was a promising but tough season for the Sounders U-23 as the top three teams in the league ran out to a solid points lead and would never relinquish it. Kitsap, Victoria Highlanders FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 all qualify for the Premier Development League playoffs with the Portland Timbers U-23 a full seven points out of third place and the Sounders U-23 another three behind the rival to the south.

The Sounders U-23 put together a high-quality roster this season that seemed to still be finding its way late into the season. There are several future stars on the roster including Jordan Morris, Mo Dumbuya, Luis Steves, Clement Simonin, Niko Hansen and Michael Bajza; to just name a few. Be on the lookout for their return to the club next season or possibly a bigger stage at the professional in the near future. July 16, 2014 at 10:27AM

South Sound FC buckles up for wild finish – Sounders U-23 close-out http://ift.tt/Wf7UIf

As the curtain draws to a close on two premier soccer league seasons, one Tacoma team remains in the hunt for a league championship while the other looks toward next year’s fortunes.

The South Sound Shock FC slipped at home on July 10 against the Seattle Stars 2-0 and with it handed over the league-lead to the Spokane Shadow. With 26 points, the Shadow now leads the Shock and the Vancouver Victory FC by one point in the Evergreen Premier League standings.

A title is still up for grabs for all three clubs, but it will take some help and some grit to get there.

Spokane holds their own fate with two matches remaining and has the benefit of hosting both, but it will be a true test for the Shadow. The Seattle Stars travel to Spokane for a July 19 Saturday night tilt and then the Shadow must turn around less-than 22 hours later as they host a dangerous Wenatchee United FC.

South Sound is not without championship possibilities, but the club will have to win it all as road dogs when they span the expanse of Interstate-5 over the same weekend. The Shock will go up against two clubs that are quickly becoming their heated rivals in this inaugural EPLWA season.

Friday night the Shock travel north toward Canada to square-off with Bellingham United FC and two days later close-out the season down south against Vancouver. South Sound toppled Bellingham, replacing them at the top of the standings June 1 at home with a 2-1 victory and Bellingham has never recovered since. The Shock will have their hands, or feet, full Friday night.

Vancouver dropped a tough match against the Shock 4-1 May 24 at Harry Lang Stadium. Apparently the club is not incredibly fond of South Sound FC after the hosts ejected several Vancouver supporters (known as the Vanguard) after the visitors lit off dozens of smoke grenades in the stands. While the use of smoke devices is within EPLWA rules, apparently it doesn’t fly in Lakewood.

Vancouver can sneak out an EPLWA league championship if Spokane loses both of their matches, the Shock loses against Bellingham and Vancouver gets a win over the Shock.

The EPLWA is set up as a winner-take-all “English Premier League” type organization where the point leader at the end of the season is crowned the champion. There are no playoffs.

It was bad luck and poor timing for the Shock July 10 against the Stars. The club was without several players due to injuries, including top goal scorers Joey Gjertsen and Scotty Hanson. It proved too be too much as the Stars fought through a surprisingly physical match in Lakewood to pull off the upset. While a few Shock players suffered some rough fouls, it was the Stars that spent significant time sprawled out upon the field after some hard shots. In all, 12 Stars hit the deck and stayed there for awhile throughout the game.

Meanwhile, across town, the Sounders U-23 are wrapping up a solid, somewhat disappointing season. With just one game remaining – a July 16 Wednesday night tilt against their rival and league-leading Kitsap Pumas just after Tacoma Weekly press time – the Sounders U-23 will bid adieu to an impressive roster of young college and international standouts.

It was a promising but tough season for the Sounders U-23 as the top three teams in the league ran out to a solid points lead and would never relinquish it. Kitsap, Victoria Highlanders FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 all qualify for the Premier Development League playoffs with the Portland Timbers U-23 a full seven points out of third place and the Sounders U-23 another three behind the rival to the south.

The Sounders U-23 put together a high-quality roster this season that seemed to still be finding its way late into the season. There are several future stars on the roster including Jordan Morris, Mo Dumbuya, Luis Steves, Clement Simonin, Niko Hansen and Michael Bajza; to just name a few. Be on the lookout for their return to the club next season or possibly a bigger stage at the professional in the near future.

July 16, 2014 at 10:27AM

Cheney Stadium – a Tacoma treasure http://ift.tt/Wf7UrF As a frequent visitor to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma for over 50 years, I can say that I have never been more impressed than I was on July 3 with the quality of baseball, the stadium itself and the crowd-pleasing hi-jinks that kept fans entertained throughout the game that evening.

Although owning a win-loss record slightly under .500 at the time, the hometown Rainiers performed at a Major League skill level, both defensively and at-bat throughout the game in defeating a very good Reno team in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. In fact, the skill level displayed by both teams was equal to any that I’ve viewed at Cheney Stadium since the advent of Pacific Coast League baseball here in 1960.

The fact that the Tacoma roster was dotted with players who have already performed at the Major League level, I’m sure was a significant factor in this beautifully played baseball game, which Tacoma came from behind to win.

Not only was the game itself of Major League caliber, but the stadium has never looked better.

The playing surface is carefully manicured and exciting changes and additions have been introduced at the park. The former bleacher seats on the left and right field lines have been converted to party deck and grassy-slope viewing opportunities for fans. The addition of seating, which rises above the left field wall and over the relocated bullpens, has converted Cheney from a “Ballpark” to a true “Stadium” in my view.

Lastly, the high-definition video board which rises above the outfield wall keeps fans continually interested even when the action on the field slows. At the July 3 game, younger fans squealed with delight when their images appeared on the screen. It was obvious that team management has found a powerful tool in drawing fans of all ages to Cheney Stadium and transforming an experience that was, frankly, of high interest mostly to an older audience, to one that now appeals to the young as well.

Certainly Cheney Stadium and the Triple-A baseball played there are a huge plus for Tacoma and Pierce County. City and County government, team management and the parent Seattle Mariners have done a wonderful job in creating a high-quality facility and baseball product for the people of this area. City and County residents should be proud of their stadium and their team. I encourage everyone to visit beautiful Cheney Stadium and enjoy this fine game of baseball played by highly-skilled athletes. July 16, 2014 at 10:25AM

Cheney Stadium – a Tacoma treasure http://ift.tt/Wf7UrF

As a frequent visitor to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma for over 50 years, I can say that I have never been more impressed than I was on July 3 with the quality of baseball, the stadium itself and the crowd-pleasing hi-jinks that kept fans entertained throughout the game that evening.

Although owning a win-loss record slightly under .500 at the time, the hometown Rainiers performed at a Major League skill level, both defensively and at-bat throughout the game in defeating a very good Reno team in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. In fact, the skill level displayed by both teams was equal to any that I’ve viewed at Cheney Stadium since the advent of Pacific Coast League baseball here in 1960.

The fact that the Tacoma roster was dotted with players who have already performed at the Major League level, I’m sure was a significant factor in this beautifully played baseball game, which Tacoma came from behind to win.

Not only was the game itself of Major League caliber, but the stadium has never looked better.

The playing surface is carefully manicured and exciting changes and additions have been introduced at the park. The former bleacher seats on the left and right field lines have been converted to party deck and grassy-slope viewing opportunities for fans. The addition of seating, which rises above the left field wall and over the relocated bullpens, has converted Cheney from a “Ballpark” to a true “Stadium” in my view.

Lastly, the high-definition video board which rises above the outfield wall keeps fans continually interested even when the action on the field slows. At the July 3 game, younger fans squealed with delight when their images appeared on the screen. It was obvious that team management has found a powerful tool in drawing fans of all ages to Cheney Stadium and transforming an experience that was, frankly, of high interest mostly to an older audience, to one that now appeals to the young as well.

Certainly Cheney Stadium and the Triple-A baseball played there are a huge plus for Tacoma and Pierce County. City and County government, team management and the parent Seattle Mariners have done a wonderful job in creating a high-quality facility and baseball product for the people of this area. City and County residents should be proud of their stadium and their team. I encourage everyone to visit beautiful Cheney Stadium and enjoy this fine game of baseball played by highly-skilled athletes.

July 16, 2014 at 10:25AM

Dancing in the Streets http://ift.tt/1t9PXFW The Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival has had its share of growing pains over the years. When local band leader Rich Wetzel and Tacoma City Councilman Doug Miller founded the event in 2003 – initially calling it the Tacoma Jazz Festival – it was held at Broadway Center. But steep theater rental fees rendered it unsustainable, Wetzel recalled, and organizers pulled the plug in their third year. 

It returned as a free event, coinciding with the popular Daffodil Festival in 2006; but the biggest logistical hurdle was having stages spread out between the Dome District’s Freighthouse Square and the Swiss Tavern and Harmon Pub downtown. “It was almost a little too spread out,” Wetzel admitted. “It was really tough. You would say (to patrons) you could ride the light rail for free. But still, it was kind of a challenge.”

This year, Wetzel and a new group of collaborators think they may have gotten the formula just right. The new, improved Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival is set for July 26, and it’s been re-imagined as a sprawling street festival that will take over two blocks of South Tacoma Way, between South 54th and 56th streets. 

“I’ve always had this vision of it being kind of like a Beale Street thing where it’s just all on one street,” Wetzel said, referring to Memphis’ most legendary strip. “So I mentioned the idea to Jeff Call (the owner) at the Stonegate – just kind of on a lark – and Jeff loved it.”

This year’s event – also co-produced by Junkyard Jane’s Bill Stoops and Irwin Design owner Stephanie Irwin – will feature an outdoor main stage for the first time with music kicking off at 1:30 p.m. with local blues and garage-rock legend Bill Engelhart, a.k.a. Little Bill, and The Bluenotes. Making her first appearance at the event is Tacoma singer-songwriter Vicci Martinez – an alumna of NBC-TV’s “The Voice” - who is back from Los Angeles playing a flurry of regional dates this summer. 

“I wanted to make sure we went a little broader (with booking) just to be appealing to a much wider audience,” Wetzel said. “So we’ve really got a strong lineup, on the outdoor main stage in particular. It all builds up and builds up to my band, which is a 15-piece jazz, rock, Latin and funk big band, which is real high energy.” 

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra will headline the main stage at 8 p.m. followed by a second set at Stonegate Pizza, with renowned Bay Area trumpeter Mike Vax, returning from last year’s event, and trombonist Jiggs Whigham sitting in on both performances. 

Most tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the event, and patrons have to be 21 or older to get in. Advance tickets can be purchased through the festival website, http://ift.tt/Wf7TUJ, by calling the event hotline, which is 1 (800) 838-3006 or in person at the Stonegate Pizza & Rum Bar or Dawson’s Bar & Grill. VIP packages are also available – which allow access to special seating, a private lounge at the Stonegate and meet and greets with performers – for $100. 

Next weekend’s lineup is as follows: 

Main stage (outdoors)

Little Bill & The Bluenotes (1:30 p.m.)

Junkyard Jane (3 p.m.)

Vicci Martinez (4:30 p.m.)

The Randy Oxford Band (6 p.m.)

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra with special guests Mix Vax and Jiggs Wigham (8 p.m.)

Stonegate Pizza & Rum Bar (5419 South Tacoma Way)

Lance Buller Trio (2 p.m.)

Mitch Reems Combo (4 p.m.)

Lynda Myers Band (6 p.m.)

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra (10 p.m.)

Dawson’s Bar & Grill (5443 South Tacoma Way)

Keith Klawitter Jazz Alliance (2 p.m.)

Steve Stefanowicz (4 p.m.)

Palmer Junction (6 p.m.)

Junkyard Jane and Blues All Star Jam (10 p.m.) 

Tacoma Dance Studio (5412 South Tacoma Way)

Kevin England Jazz Collective (2 p.m.)

Carole Kapeliela Jazz Trio (4 p.m.)

Malo Castro with Clave Con Jazz (6 p.m.) July 16, 2014 at 09:02AM

Dancing in the Streets http://ift.tt/1t9PXFW

The Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival has had its share of growing pains over the years. When local band leader Rich Wetzel and Tacoma City Councilman Doug Miller founded the event in 2003 – initially calling it the Tacoma Jazz Festival – it was held at Broadway Center. But steep theater rental fees rendered it unsustainable, Wetzel recalled, and organizers pulled the plug in their third year.

It returned as a free event, coinciding with the popular Daffodil Festival in 2006; but the biggest logistical hurdle was having stages spread out between the Dome District’s Freighthouse Square and the Swiss Tavern and Harmon Pub downtown. “It was almost a little too spread out,” Wetzel admitted. “It was really tough. You would say (to patrons) you could ride the light rail for free. But still, it was kind of a challenge.”

This year, Wetzel and a new group of collaborators think they may have gotten the formula just right. The new, improved Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival is set for July 26, and it’s been re-imagined as a sprawling street festival that will take over two blocks of South Tacoma Way, between South 54th and 56th streets.

“I’ve always had this vision of it being kind of like a Beale Street thing where it’s just all on one street,” Wetzel said, referring to Memphis’ most legendary strip. “So I mentioned the idea to Jeff Call (the owner) at the Stonegate – just kind of on a lark – and Jeff loved it.”

This year’s event – also co-produced by Junkyard Jane’s Bill Stoops and Irwin Design owner Stephanie Irwin – will feature an outdoor main stage for the first time with music kicking off at 1:30 p.m. with local blues and garage-rock legend Bill Engelhart, a.k.a. Little Bill, and The Bluenotes. Making her first appearance at the event is Tacoma singer-songwriter Vicci Martinez – an alumna of NBC-TV’s “The Voice” - who is back from Los Angeles playing a flurry of regional dates this summer.

“I wanted to make sure we went a little broader (with booking) just to be appealing to a much wider audience,” Wetzel said. “So we’ve really got a strong lineup, on the outdoor main stage in particular. It all builds up and builds up to my band, which is a 15-piece jazz, rock, Latin and funk big band, which is real high energy.”

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra will headline the main stage at 8 p.m. followed by a second set at Stonegate Pizza, with renowned Bay Area trumpeter Mike Vax, returning from last year’s event, and trombonist Jiggs Whigham sitting in on both performances.

Most tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the event, and patrons have to be 21 or older to get in. Advance tickets can be purchased through the festival website, http://ift.tt/Wf7TUJ, by calling the event hotline, which is 1 (800) 838-3006 or in person at the Stonegate Pizza & Rum Bar or Dawson’s Bar & Grill. VIP packages are also available – which allow access to special seating, a private lounge at the Stonegate and meet and greets with performers – for $100.

Next weekend’s lineup is as follows:

Main stage (outdoors)

Little Bill & The Bluenotes (1:30 p.m.)

Junkyard Jane (3 p.m.)

Vicci Martinez (4:30 p.m.)

The Randy Oxford Band (6 p.m.)

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra with special guests Mix Vax and Jiggs Wigham (8 p.m.)

Stonegate Pizza & Rum Bar (5419 South Tacoma Way)

Lance Buller Trio (2 p.m.)

Mitch Reems Combo (4 p.m.)

Lynda Myers Band (6 p.m.)

Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra (10 p.m.)

Dawson’s Bar & Grill (5443 South Tacoma Way)

Keith Klawitter Jazz Alliance (2 p.m.)

Steve Stefanowicz (4 p.m.)

Palmer Junction (6 p.m.)

Junkyard Jane and Blues All Star Jam (10 p.m.)

Tacoma Dance Studio (5412 South Tacoma Way)

Kevin England Jazz Collective (2 p.m.)

Carole Kapeliela Jazz Trio (4 p.m.)

Malo Castro with Clave Con Jazz (6 p.m.)

July 16, 2014 at 09:02AM

Arts & Entertainment: Out in the Park, Tacoma’s Annual LGBTQA Pride Celebration http://ift.tt/Wf7QIG July 11, 12, and 13 had the perfect weather for the 2014 Tacoma Pride Festival. With temperatures peaking in the 90s, citizens from all over the Pacific Northwest came in the thousands to celebrate the pride of the LGBTQA community in downtown Tacoma. The festivities kicked off on Friday evening with the pride flag being raised and a speech by Mayor Marilyn Strickland to open the ceremonies. Saturday, with the sun beaming down on Broadway, people came adorned in rainbow attire and festive costumes to enjoy and celebrate together no matter what their sexual orientation. 

With musicians playing all day long and two different music venues on the street, the event was a hit. Keynote sponsor Puget Sound Mini Cooper added a fun attraction with a rainbow themed display of Mini Coopers. Delicious food vendors, great entertainment and fun people were all present at one of the most colorful summer festivals in Tacoma. Wright Park was also in full swing on Saturday with event goers enjoying the Washington summer sun and great people. July 16, 2014 at 08:33AM

Arts & Entertainment: Out in the Park, Tacoma’s Annual LGBTQA Pride Celebration http://ift.tt/Wf7QIG

July 11, 12, and 13 had the perfect weather for the 2014 Tacoma Pride Festival. With temperatures peaking in the 90s, citizens from all over the Pacific Northwest came in the thousands to celebrate the pride of the LGBTQA community in downtown Tacoma. The festivities kicked off on Friday evening with the pride flag being raised and a speech by Mayor Marilyn Strickland to open the ceremonies. Saturday, with the sun beaming down on Broadway, people came adorned in rainbow attire and festive costumes to enjoy and celebrate together no matter what their sexual orientation.

With musicians playing all day long and two different music venues on the street, the event was a hit. Keynote sponsor Puget Sound Mini Cooper added a fun attraction with a rainbow themed display of Mini Coopers. Delicious food vendors, great entertainment and fun people were all present at one of the most colorful summer festivals in Tacoma. Wright Park was also in full swing on Saturday with event goers enjoying the Washington summer sun and great people.

July 16, 2014 at 08:33AM

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: A Weekend of Celebrations: Art on the Ave http://ift.tt/Wf7Qsa This year’s Art on the Ave was a blast with blocks of local vendors and musicians, all with the backdrop of iconic sixth Avenue behind. It was one to remember with scorching temperatures and many attractions. On July 13, Sixth Avenue was in full swing with festivities by noon. Thousands of music and art lovers attend each year and this year was no different. The theme this year was “Operation Epic!” and delivered true to the theme with live music acts, art installations, vendors, the Grub Crawl and a carnival with rides. 

With 111 vendors, five entertainment stages, four temporary art installations and six carnival rides, there was something fun for every age. Eleven restaurants and bars on Sixth Avenue participated in the annual Grub Crawl, which was fun for patrons as always. With The Ave fully engulfed in art and music for the day, everyone seemed to be having a great time and the events theme was achieved. The 2014 Art on the Ave “Operation Epic!” was a success. July 16, 2014 at 08:32AM

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: A Weekend of Celebrations: Art on the Ave http://ift.tt/Wf7Qsa

This year’s Art on the Ave was a blast with blocks of local vendors and musicians, all with the backdrop of iconic sixth Avenue behind. It was one to remember with scorching temperatures and many attractions. On July 13, Sixth Avenue was in full swing with festivities by noon. Thousands of music and art lovers attend each year and this year was no different. The theme this year was “Operation Epic!” and delivered true to the theme with live music acts, art installations, vendors, the Grub Crawl and a carnival with rides.

With 111 vendors, five entertainment stages, four temporary art installations and six carnival rides, there was something fun for every age. Eleven restaurants and bars on Sixth Avenue participated in the annual Grub Crawl, which was fun for patrons as always. With The Ave fully engulfed in art and music for the day, everyone seemed to be having a great time and the events theme was achieved. The 2014 Art on the Ave “Operation Epic!” was a success.

July 16, 2014 at 08:32AM