San Francisco based composer/musician Jesse Olsen Bay is well known as part of the eclectic folk group Ramon & Jessica, as well as for his frequent collaborations with dance, theater, and film. His recent work has been supported by the American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, and and the Ucross Foundation. Tonight he celebrates the album release of Makings, a song cycle based on unpublished writings by his grandmother, legendary author/activist Tillie Olsen. This work was composed using what Tillie called her “Blueys” – blue and white sheets of typewriter paper on which she wrote notes, ideas, bits of prose and poetry. Performing on guitar, percussion, piano, toy instruments and found objects, and joined by Seattle percussionist Paul Kikuchi, Jesse weaves Tillie’s words into a tapestry of vivid emotion and imagery.
Megan O’Donoghue-Williams is a vocalist originally from Los Angeles, but with deep ties to Seattle. Megan will be presenting original work from her upcoming album, Peshawar, a series of songs written while living in Central Java and working as traditional singer for shadow puppet theater. The songs use a mixture of English, Javanese and Indonesian languages and were originally written using the cuk, a three string Javanese ukelele. Megan will also present several pieces written by the late Sri Joko Raharjo, a Javanese shadow puppet master and musician, who passed away on June 9th, 2014. She’ll be joined by Seattle friends Samantha Boshnack (trumpet), Maggie Brown (guitar/cuk), John Ewing (drums), Beth Fleenor (clarinet), Jessika Kenney (voice), and Adrienne Varner (piano).