Last year, at this time, our sound man Bobby Iaconnetti was in the hospital fighting for his life for months, with many obstacles. I made a promise to myself that next year we would have a big celebration with the music that is so meaningful for him and his family, and that we would bring his good Hawaiian friend, Barry Flanagan, and HAPA, back to Lynden! Last time they were here was in 2015. I decided to celebrate even more of those good, old connections, so we invited back Martin Alvarado from Argentina and Keenan Date from Nashville, both wonderful people who were also willing to be part of our online Christmas Concert in 2020.
As we know, reunions are important for people and we, as festival organizers, want you not only to enjoy the live music during the festival but hope these musicians’ music carries into your life beyond the festival. We just visited Italy, and the highlight for us was to meet a wonderful waiter who made our trip so memorable! Whether a waiter, musician or a rugby player, it is people who make the world smaller and make you feel more connected.
Getting schools involved is our big mission! This year, with the help of Eleanor and Henry Jansen Foundation, we are bringing together Bellingham, Blaine and our own LC and LHS Jazz bands. We have open clinics for them by Washington State University emeritus professor, Greg Yasanitsky. He also brings his jazz musician friends from all over the state, to give us a special performance, along with Lynden’s own Front Street Jazz!
We will have over 100 musicians on stage during the festival from all different genres, and for the first time ever, Arab music!
I personally want to welcome you to enjoy these wonderful performers with a curious mind. This year, you can even bring your dancing shoes on Friday evening at Lynden HOP.
Just as we witnessed a miracle in our sound man’s life, we know that music itself is also a miracle, and a special gift for the human experience.