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Cornish to Star in South Lake Union Block Party

Cornish to Star in South Lake Union Block Party

: Tomten in concert; Tomten is Jake Brady (MU '11), Robert Bennett (DE '11), Brian Noyes-Watkins (TH), and Dillon Sturtevant. Photo by courtesy of Tomten.

Cornish to Star in South Lake Union Block Party

: Julio Lopez & Cullen Gray. Photo by courtesy of Gray & Lopez.

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If you’ve been waiting for the right time to take in the South Lake Union Block Party, wait no longer: this summer, it’s all about Cornish. Plus: it’s free.

Why on earth wouldn’t you come to a block party in South Lake Union? What’s not to like? Summer sun. Nice neighbors. Lots of art. It’s free. The 10th annual block party gets under way Friday, August 8, at noon. There is free music — the lion’s share of it by Cornish community members — along with plenty of eats, a beer-and-wine garden, and a burger-grilling competition. The whole thing is topped off with a free, outdoor showing of School of Rock on the lawn from 9-11:00 p.m. All this, and it’s only a hundred yards from Cornish’s Main Campus Center. But wait, there’s more: all proceeds from this year’s party go to Cornish’s Annual Scholarship Fund. That means you can party all day long and still feel a sense of responsible accomplishment.

Where Is It, Again? On the day, you’ll find the party on the block bordered by Denny Way and Westlake Avenue North, right across the street from Denny Park. Start out by locating the Cornish booth and saying “hi” to the staffers out meeting the public. The Communications Department hints that there will be multiple swag opportunities at the booth.

Your Day at the Block Party. Your day could go like this: come at noon and (of course) eat. Or, more accurately, begin eating, as the SLU Block Party folk promise there will be “food sampling” from noon till 3:00 p.m. Next, if you have accreditation from the state of requisite seniority, repair to the beer-and-wine garden for 45 minutes. At 3:45, probably without moving from your seat, you will hear Cullen Gray and Julio Lopez bring their Cornish training to the stage. Eat more — from food trucks this time, or at the “Best Burger at SLU” Grilling Competition. At 4:45, it’s time to hear Cornish’s Katy Levine Trio. They are followed by up-and-coming “Baroque pop band” Tomten, also mostly Cornish grads. Prep for the cinema-on-the-lawn feature, Jack Black in School of Rock, by watching the Seahawk’s drumming unit, Seahawks Blue Thunder, followed by the Seattle Rock Orchestra.

The Music.

Tomten is, by itself, the hot reason to come to the party. The very picture of the cross-disciplinary vibe at Cornish, three of the band’s bands four members hail from the music, design, and theater departments: Jake Brady (MU ‘11), Robert Bennett (DE ‘11), and Brian Noyes-Watkins (TH). They will, no doubt, play tunes from their album Wednesday’s Children or their recently completed The Farewell Party. Preview the excitement at their Bandcamp site. “A charming stage presence, playful pop songs, and impressive musical skills,” writes The Stranger, “they know how to put a show together, and one day soon, they’ll be at the top of festival bills. Go see them in the intimate venues while you can.”

Katie Levine Trio will bring jazz to the SLU BP stage. A recent graduate of Cornish, Katie Levine (MU ’14) is a “explorative musician, composer and pianist” based in Seattle. Her musical background ranges from jazz ensembles to African drumming ensembles and marching bands. Katie’s current projects include composing for small jazz ensembles, big band, and chamber music groups. She is joined by drummer Matthew Singler, who also studied at Cornish, and Troy Scheifelbein, a young composer and performer from Portland who will be a senior this year in the Music Department.

Cullen Gray (MU ’14) and Julio Lopez (MU ’15) are a Seattle-based instrumental duo, whose music blends a wide variety of styles, from folk to contemporary finger-style to experimental electronics. While both came to Seattle from Northern California, they began playing together at Cornish. They have assembled a unique and eclectic repertoire, reflecting both their wide-ranging backgrounds.


The South Lake Union Block Party is presented by Amazon, with a fine assemblage of premiere sponsors: Vulcan Real Estate, Bartell Drugs, Top Pot, Bang & Olufsen, Whole Foods Market, Brave Horse Tavern, and SeattleMet.

South Lake Union Block Party, Friday, August 8, 2014, on the block at Denny Way and Westlake Avenue North, across from Denny Park, from 12 noon-11:00 p.m.


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