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Bumbershoot isn't only musical option, by far

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By Sharon Wootton
Special to The Herald
  • Umalali: The Garfina Women's Project performs next week in Seattle.

    Umalali: The Garfina Women's Project performs next week in Seattle.

  • Sheryl Crow performs Saturday in Redmond.

    Sheryl Crow performs Saturday in Redmond.

  • Michael McDonald

    Michael McDonald

  • The Waifs perform Monday and Tuesday in Seattle.

    The Waifs perform Monday and Tuesday in Seattle.

Exploration and globalization threaten to obscure or eradicate small cultures -- and their music. But in ways large and small, people are pushing back, continuing to sing music with roots in cultural traditions, and being recorded by people who want to preserve the music.
Women are the caretakers of songs that tell of tragedy and triumph of the Garifuna, descendants of African slaves who married into the Carib and Arawak Indian tribes and settled along the coasts of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Umalali: The Garfina Women's Project is both performance and CD. The women from the Garifuna Collective perform Wednesday in Seattle.

Sheryl Crow: Outspoken and free-spirited singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow continues her journey of self-discovery on her tour with music from "Detour," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The nine-time Grammy winner and activist doesn't believe in lightweight songwriting, turning her attention to topics such as environmental disaster, breast cancer (which she had), adoption (her baby Wyatt) and the war in Iraq. Crow will donate $1 of each ticket on this tour to the United Nations World Food Program. She'll share the stage with James Blunt.

Michael McDonald: The ex-Steely Dan, ex-Doobie Brothers, now-solo singer and keyboardist, brings R&B and blue-eyed soul to the stage. As a Doobie, he recorded many of his best-known songs including "What a Fool Believes" (chart-topping single, 1980 Grammy) and "Taking It to the Streets." A successful solo career has kept him busy and brought another Grammy and more nominations as well as a No. 1 song ("On My Own" with Patti Labelle).

Boys II Men: If sales are the criteria, the four-time Grammy-winning Boys II Men is the most successful R&B male vocal group ever. B2M had five top-of-the-charts R&B songs in the 1990s and had success with R&B and mainstream listeners because of its harmonies and other non-rock approaches. The quartet's most recent album was last year's "Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA."

The Waifs: The core of the Australian folk-rock (although you can make an argument for the roots label) band is sisters Vikki Thorn and Donna Simpson, and Josh Cunningham. The independent group has gone from a cover band to earning consistent Australian airplay and Australian music awards. It also has a strong U.S. following, including Bob Dylan, who asked the group to join him on three tours. The Waifs were the first Australian band to play at the Newport Folk Festival.

Out and about: One of the most popular Mexican pop singers, Luis Miguel has won nine Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards and three World Music Awards, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at age 26 and is the best-selling performing Latin musician (Wednesday, WaMu) … Dave Matthews Band and guests O.A.R. set the bar high (tonight through Sunday, Gorge) … Guitar master Bill Frisell is one of the musicians in the Anacortes Jazz Festival (Saturday) …
Michael Dean Damron brings his new band to Seattle (Wednesday, Tractor Tavern) … Mogwai ("ghost" in Cantonese; a character in the film "Gremlins") is a Scottish post-rock group that delivers lengthy, instrumental pieces but with more harmonies, rhythms and melodies than usually found in rock music (Thursday, Showbox SoDo) …
Built to Spill is an indie band from Idaho with catchy guitar hooks (Thursday, Showbox Market) … The Blues Machine, Koko Taylor's band, was involved in a serious single-vehicle accident in Wisconsin on Aug. 23. Five of the seven passengers suffered broken bones and needed surgery. Taylor was not in the van.

Where to hear it

Umalali: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $22.50, 206-441-9729.

Sheryl Crow: 7 p.m. Saturday, Marymoor Park, Redmond; $49.50, $80.50, 206-628-0888.

Michael McDonald: 7 tonight, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville; $39.50, $59.50, 206-628-0888.

Boyz II Men: 8 tonight, Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $29.50, $39.50, 206-628-0888.

The Waifs: 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $30, 206-838-4333.

Story tags » JazzMusicRock Music

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