Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival 2017

This weekend is the 2017 Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival August 11-13th. Featuring Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Lonely Heart String Band, The Harmonic Tone Revealers,Jackstraw,Kaia Kater,Fireball Mail,a Stanley Brothers Tribute, Jenny Anne & Caleb Mannan and Bust it Like a Mule,The River City Ramblers, The Panhandle Polecats,Brett & Janet Dodd

blue waters

Nestled in the pines on the shores of Medical Lake, Washington, the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival is quite possibly the best summertime bluegrass experience in the Northwest. With it’s pristine location, warm Eastern Washington summer weather, stellar lineup of world-class and regional bands, and bargain-basement price, it’s no wonder folks all over the Northwest Bluegrass scene are buzzing about us.


The O’Connor Band Featuring Mark O’Connor Returns to Jazz Alley

O’Connor Band featuring Award-Winning Fiddler/Violinist Mark O’Connor

August 17 – 20, 2017

jazz alley


The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes the debut of Grammy-winning bluegrass folk fiddler Mark O’Connor and the O’Connor Band touring in support of their 2017 Grammy-winning album Coming Home (8/2016). Band members are Mark O’Connor (fiddle), Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals) Kate Lee (fiddle/vocals), Joe Smart (guitar/vocals) and Geoff Saunders (bass/banjo/vocals). Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Grammy Award-winning O’Connor Band, featuring iconic fiddler and composer Mark O’Connor, puts on an engaging, dynamic show showcasing compelling arrangements, virtuosic solos, and tight vocal harmonies. Their debut album, Coming Home, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017.

After exploring their bluegrass roots, the band is spending much of 2017 honing a sound that coheres even more than before, one that leverages the band’s songwriting talent and background in acoustic, country, jazz, and classical music in a way that is geared toward wider audiences yet still true to themselves and their roots.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The O’Connor Band is a family band in the great bluegrass and country traditions, but one that happens to have one of the greatest instrumentalists of his generation in the lineup. The O’Connor Band was founded by Mark O’Connor, the virtuoso violinist whose career has encompassed country, bluegrass, jazz, and classical as he’s worked with Stéphane Grappelli, David Grisman, Béla Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Itzhak Perlman, Chet Atkins, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more. In 2014, Mark married Maggie O’Connor (formerly Maggie Dixon), herself a gifted violinist who began playing at the age of 7 and studied with Herbert Greenberg at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, receiving a Masters of Music degree in violin performance. Maggie soon began collaborating with Mark, performing with him on the road, and they recorded an album together, 2015’s Duo. Meanwhile, Mark’s son from his first marriage, Forrest O’Connor, had dabbled in music, playing mandolin and guitar, before enrolling at Harvard to study business. But Forrest continued playing mandolin as a hobby during time off from his studies. After working with a tech startup for a while, he decided to return to Nashville in 2014 and take a shot at a career in music. He proved his mettle by winning the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship a few months after leaving Massachusetts. When Forrest relocated to Nashville, he brought along his fiancée, Kate Lee, another talented musician who had been performing vocals and on fiddle since the age of 12. Lee’s résumé included backing such country stars as Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, and Lady Antebellum, and writing songs with Pat Alger. Forrest and Kate had been playing shows together as a duo, and when Forrest was invited to play alongside his father and step-mother, Kate tagged along. Guitarist Joe Smart and bassist Geoff Saunders joined in to fill out their sound, and the O’Connor Band was born. The group, whose sound is a canny mixture of bluegrass, folk, country, and pop, began playing out at major bluegrass festivals in 2015, and the following year, they released their debut, and ultimately Grammy-winning album, through Rounder Records, Coming Home.


Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons with Phil Wiggins -Album Release



The Seattle folklorists & legendary bluesman release their album this Friday, July 28th.

As we gear up for the official release of A Black & Tan Ball we are excited to have the full album streaming over on The Bluegrass Situation today! American Songwriter premiered “Longin’ For My Sugar” calling it “a soulful, melancholy tune originally recorded by Leroy Carr that meditates on the pain of a failed romance” while Glide Magazine featured the track “Shanghai Rooster” saying “played in the “greasy” style, “Shanghai Rooster” is the kind of tune you can picture being played at a rowdy gathering in the deep South at the turn of the century.” American Blues Scene premiered “Do You Call That A Buddy” lauding it as “just one of the outstanding performances on A Black & Tan Ball.”

You can stream and download the album below and if you need anything else from me please do let me know!

Private Stream of A Black & Tan Ball / Private Download

There’s a duality to the music of Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; the same duality that lies at the heart of the blues. It’s the dichotomy between the weight of history that hangs over black America and the lightness of these old folk songs, which are meant to uplift and charm, to trick away danger, to fool authority, to squeeze a person out of harm’s way, but also to assert a subtle sense of worth and dignity. These songs brought black Americans through the darkest years of our country’s history, and they have an unsettling amount of currency in today’s world, where saying that the blues is black music or even saying that the life of a black person matters are both controversial statements.

The music that renowned Seattle roots duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are making on their new album, A Black & Tan Ball, is not just blues music. The better term is a new and important one: Black Americana. To make this music, they’ve recruited good friend and touring partner Phil Wiggins, an eclectic legend of American blues harmonica (who received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship this year). By pulling together the many threads of black American roots music, and demonstrating the underlying meanings behind the black experience in folk music, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are showing another side to Americana that can help expand the genre’s boundaries.

Wintergrass Benefit 2017-5th Annual Brewgrass @ Hales Palladium

5th annnualIt is time again for the Fifth Annual Brewgrass Festival  this year at Hales Brewery during Seattle Beer Week, featuring a mix of local and out-of-state breweries bringing limited edition beers and collaboration releases to you. The event also includes four local bluegrass bands, including The Warren G Hardings, Tinkham Road and The Mighty Dreadful. Proceeds from the event benefit the Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation and the Wintergrass Youth Music Education Programs. Tickets are  $25 and include a cup and 6 drink tickets.


Pariticipating breweries include:


Oskar Blues Brewery (CO)
Hale’s Ales (WA)
Farmstrong Brewing (WA)
New Belgium Brewing (CO)
21st Amendment Brewery (CA)
Airways Brewing/Rainy Daze Brewing Collaboration (WA)
Victory Brewing (PA)
Ecliptic Brewing (OR)
Ninkasi Brewing (OR)
Modern Times Beer (CA)
Elysian Brewing (WA)
The Pike Brewing Co (WA)
Diamond Knot Craft Brewing (WA)
Merchant du Vin (EUR)
Radeberger Gruppe (EUR)
Finnriver Cidery (WA)
Schilling Hard Cider (WA)
Meriwether Cider Co (ID)


Wintergrass and Give Big

Wintergrass.  Something magical happens every year in the heart of downtown Bellevue.  Thousands of people gather to learn how to access joy, anytime, anywhere. They learn that a creative spirit smiles inside each and everyone, ready to break into song and dance at the slightest provocation. They learn that music is for everyone and music for a lifetime means always having a friend.  From the youngest to the eldest, beginner to virtuoso, all of these people are infused with an open-hearted spirit of joy and curiosity stoked by a stellar team of music educators.

Oh, and they also attend a 4-day, 5-stage bluegrass and acoustic music festival called Wintergrass. 

The Seattle Foundation is hosting its annual GiveBIG fundraising campaign.  Each year the Foundation supports 1,200 individuals and organizations through this campaign, distributing more than $350,000 in King County. Wintergrass is honored to participate in this campaign.  It’s simple to give.

Click on this link: Wintergrass, to go to the Wintergrass GiveBIG donation page.

Your donation supports ALL Wintergrass education programs including; Pintgrass, The Youth Academy, The Youth Orchestra, Rhapsody Songsters, The Youth Academy Teacher Training program, Adult Intensives workshops, and festival workshops.

Whew!  That’s a lot.  It’s a lot of hours and love given by a large cadre of dedicated teachers.

Your donation is a message to these very teachers that their efforts matter.

Thank you!

GiveBIG makes it easy to donate.  In addition to supporting Wintergrass:

You may also find our friends at KBCS, Folklife, The Bellevue Youth Symphony, Music Works Northwest and a host of other great organizations via a simple search on the GiveBIG site.

Thank you for keeping the smiles coming.

Wintergrass February 23-26, 2018, Hyatt Regency, Bellevue WA


Tacoma Guitar Festival 2017


APRIL 29th 2017 (9:30 AM – 5:00PM)
APRIL 30th 2017 (10:00 AM – 4:00PM)

The Tacoma Guitar Festival will feature over 150 exhibit style booths, guitar workshops led by industry experts, live performance music played by well-known guitarists, guitar personalities meet n’ greets and a festival atmosphere. Come to buy, trade or sell vintage, used and new guitars, amps, pedals, mandos, banjos, ukes, vinyl records, guitar accessories and more!

Doors open from 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM // Adrian Galysh
11:20 AM – 12:05 PM // Larry Mitchell
12:25 PM – 1:35 PM // Kaki King
1:55 PM – 3:05 PM // Andy Timmons
3:10 PM – 3:40 PM // Fender Guitar/JHS Pedals Demonstration
3:55 PM – 4:30 PM // Bryan Ewald/PRS
Doors open from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
10:30 AM – 11:05 AM // Larry Mitchell
11:20 AM – 11:55 AM // Adrian Galysh
12:15 PM – 1:25 PM // Bruce Kulick
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM // Ethan Tucker
3:00 PM – 3:35 PM // Carl Tosten

$15.00 /per day
$25.00 /2-day pass

KIDS: 12 & under are FREE w/ a guardian.

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsor-WAMA

WAMA-The Washington Acoustic Music Association is one of the fastest growing associations in the Pacific Northwest. They provide numerous workshops, concerts, slow jams, and an annual music festival. They even loan musical instruments to members in need. Their mission is “to promote and educate the community about acoustic music.” They are fulfilling this mission as they continue to grow by leaps and bounds. wama

Our Mission:

To promote the development, performance, and preservation of American acoustic music.”

Who We Are

  • Nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization
  • Among the fastest growing music associations in the Northwest
  • Highly contagious enthusiasm where members mentor and encourage one another in a musical, family friendly atmosphere
  • Top priority is involving youth and helping people of all ages find their inner musician and creative spark

What We Do

  • Conduct a Slow Jam on the 2nd Saturday of the month (Oct – May) at the Hope Grange in Winlock, WA and host a jam at the Oakview Grange in Centralia, WA on the 3rd Friday of the month (Oct – May)
  • Sponsor concerts & multi level workshops
  • Musicians of all levels and visitors are always welcome
  • Email bulletins and newsletters: exclusive articles about some of the greatest musicians worldwide; musical arrangements; reviews; instruments for sale; upcoming concert events; and important notifications
  • WAMA members have enjoyed ticket discounts for concerts/workshops from musical greats such as Dan Crary, Steve Spurgin, David Grier, Kate Long, Robin Kessinger, Steve Kaufman, Emory Lester, Stephen Bennett, Jim Hurst, and many others
  • WAMA Family Membership fees are only $20.00 per year


Our annual 3 day music festival is held on the first weekend of August in beautiful Winolequa Park, Winlock, WA. This festival features slow jams, live bands on stage, workshops, open mic, beer/wine garden, food, camping, children’s activities, and much more. Check out our next Pickersfest at

~ Your WAMA membership saves you 30% on Pickersfest ticket prices! Join today!!!

Visit us at or email us at

WAMA ~ PO Box 845 ~ Winlock, WA ~ 98596