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Marina Albero: An artist in her residence

The seating under the birch tree in Marina Albero's back yard welcome audiences over four nights this Summer.
Marina Albero
Marina Albeo
The seating under the birch tree in Marina Albero's backyard welcome audiences over four nights this summer.

In a typical North Seattle suburban neighborhood dotted with old growth evergreens, Marina Albero prepares a unique musical experience under the majestic birch tree in her spacious backyard. Creating an artist-in-residence series in her own private space, Albero is building a new sound with her latest musical project and building community in the process.

Albero's new project Not2Much (and special guests) will entertain an outdoor audience over four Wednesday nights beginning July 19. Tickets are now available for this residential residency she calls "Casa Marina."

Since arriving in the Seattle area in 2015, the Barcelona-native has become a key member of the Northwest music scene in many styles of jazz and far beyond. Albero's deep connections to the region's arts culture has enriched both the community and the artist herself.

Albero expertly blends her training in classical, jazz, Cuban and Catalonian music into her own style delivered with passion and confidence.

She's played with the top jazz musicians around Puget Sound, and also with an endless collection of younger players. The wisdom she shares is matched with a joy for playing that has made Albero extremely popular among listeners and her fellow musicians.

The Not2Much project matches her electric keyboard expressions with drummer D'Vonne Lewis, who's Seattle-music bona fides stretch to his grandfather Dave Lewis who helped define the garage rock sound of the Northwest in the 1960s. It's a fitting match of a Seattle legacy and an admired newcomer.

Not2Much was designed to create space for other musicians to engage with the pair. A recent performance at Seattle's Royal Room began with improvisations from the duo, then welcomed Brazilian singer Adriana Giordano for an exploration of wide-ranging Latin styles and much more.

The music of Not2Much tilts to the modern edges of jazz, but the improvisational center of the Albero-Lewis combination is joyful and grooving. This is accessible music that's also complex and thrilling.

Each diverse special guest takes the project in their own unique direction with the simple but sublime goal to make beautiful music while having a great time.

Marina Albero in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm
Marina Albero performs in the KNKX Studios, December 2019.

Guests at the Casa Marina series further Albero's global musical perspective with Giordano, Syrian oud player Bashar Balleh, and Japanese-American trumpeter Jun Iida.

A series of opening acts will start each night's program. Folk singer/violinist Benjamin Hunter, singer and sound designer Sophie Price, and pianist Rachel McQuarrie show Albero creating space to engage with musicians she admires but doesn't often encounter on the jazz scene.

Albero's frequent collaborator, singer Jaqueline Tabor will appear with her own band (and some surprises) August 2. More guests will be named later.

Sharing more details of her "Casa Marina" experience, Albero suggested the audience bring chairs and blankets and food. There will be a Tiki bar with mocktails, and more exciting features are being kept quiet for now.

Children are admitted free to this family friendly series. evenings will end at 9 p.m. just after the setting summer sun.

Albero told KNKX it's a joy to create her own event.

"Imagining something and just doing it with no constraints," she said. "It's an amazing experience."

The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Washington. LISTEN ON DEMAND

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Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.