Downtown concerts return

EVERETT — Local musicians are set to inject a lively pulse into a government nerve center near you.

It starts next week when the Music on the Plaza series returns to Snohomish County campus amphitheater in downtown Everett.

Spirit of Ojah, a Mukilteo-based band that plays reggae and other styles from around the globe, gets it started.

“Our music is about peace and love,” said Roger Ocquaye, Spirit’s band leader and drummer. “We play music and we send the message.”

Ocquaye hails from Ghana. Other band members are from Brazil and the United States. Their repertoire is even more diverse, and stretches from Ghanaian high life and soukous, to funk and Arabic styles.

“We play a real variety of music,” Ocquaye said. “We are into satisfying everybody because there are a lot of cultures around us.”

Other bands follow each Wednesday, starting at 11:30 a.m., through Aug. 19.

They include Dyno Jamz, the winners of this year’s Experience Music Project Sound Off! competition, and the Jelly Rollers, a high-energy blues group.

During the shows, local growers will sell fresh flowers. Kettle corn, burgers and bratwursts will be available from the Comcast Arena Grill.

The free concert series is now in its fifth year. It’s being presented by the Snohomish County Arts Commission and Executive Aaron Reardon’s office.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465,

Music on the Plaza concerts

All performances are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Snohomish County Campus at Rockefeller Avenue and Wall Street in Everett.

July 15: Spirit of Ojah (reggae, African rhythms, funk)

July 22: The Jelly Rollers (blues)

July 29: Grupo Ashe (contemporary Cuban music and salsa)

Aug. 5: Native American Celebration (native arts, crafts and music)

Aug. 12: Dyno Jamz (winner of the 2009 Experience Music Project Sound Off!)

Aug. 19: The Northwest Jazz Collective (traditional and contemporary jazz)

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