July 03--Thursday, July 3
--Portland funk-blues-rock outfit Tango Alpha Tango has a thick barroom sound that will at least get your head nodding and very likely will get you outright dancing. It's guitar heavy but balanced with a nice dose of bass and keys. The band takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Downtown Summer Nights, the city's free concert series on Fourth Street between Yakima Avenue and Chestnut Street. Local favorites Shoot Jake precede them at 6 p.m. And Olivia de la Cruz opens things at 5 p.m.
For information, visit www.downtownsummernights.com or call 509-972-3461.
Friday, July 4
--This edition of the monthly First Friday Art Walk in downtown Ellensburg coincides not only with Independence Day but also with the 125th anniversary of the great Ellensburg fire, which tore through the city and ultimately reshaped it. That will be commemorated at several stops on the art walk, including Gallery One, 408 N. Pearl St., and the Clymer Museum, 416 N. Pearl St.
Admission to both galleries is free. For information, visit www.gallery-one.org or www.clymermuseum.org or call the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce at 509-925-2002.
Tuesday, July 8
--The Yakima Valley Community Band is nearly a century old and still going strong, providing free family entertainment during its annual Concerts in the Parks summer series. The band, featuring volunteer musicians of all ages from throughout the Valley -- including several with symphony orchestra experience -- will be at Selah'sWixson Park at 7 p.m.
Bring a chair or a blanket. For information, visit www.yakimacommunityband.org or call 509-969-2817.
Thursday, July 10
--The Seasons Performance Hall's annual Yakima's Got Talent contest draws all sorts of performers -- some better than others. But by the time it gets to the semifinals (the auditions are Monday and Tuesday), the talent level is generally pretty impressive. There are always singers, musicians and dancers and there is usually a smattering of comedians, magicians or other novelty acts to spice up the proceedings.
Twenty acts will qualify for the semis, and the tickets cost just $10. So that's 50 cents per performer. Pretty good deal. The show starts at 7 p.m. For information, visit www.theseasonsyakima.com or call 509-453-1888.
--Say what you will about professional magicians -- they can be creepy and off-putting and cheesy, for instance -- some of them do put on pretty good shows. Jay Owenhouse promises to show you audience members floating in mid-air during his show, "Dare to Believe." So that's pretty good, I guess. Also, he has two tigers, and it's not often you see tigers on the Capitol Theatre stage. That's something.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. The Capitol is at 19 S. Third St. Tickets cost from $31 to $73. For information (or a magician's odd essay about the band Journey) visit www.jayowenhouse.com or www.capitoltheatre.org or call 509-853-2787.
Friday, July 11
--The annual Yakima Folklife Festival just keeps getting better. This year's three-day event kicks off with a Friday night concert at Franklin Park featuring local favorites Planes on Paper opening for one of the Northwest's best up-and-coming talents, Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl.
There will be dozens of other acts throughout the weekend, both at the park and at venues throughout downtown Yakima. But if you get a chance, make it out to see Earl. She is a sharp songwriter of remarkable emotional depth, and she's a fantastic singer.
For information, visit www.yakimafolklife.com or www.shelbyearl.com.
-- Pat Muir
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