Fans of beautiful music and passionate storytelling have learned to mark the first Friday on their calendars during the summer, and this Friday marks the last chance this year for newcomers to take part in a blossoming tradition.
Violinist, storyteller and all-around entertainer Swil Kanim will perform at the last First Friday event at the Lummi Gateway Center (LGC) on Friday, September 6.
Held since May, the monthly event has featured family-friendly performances and extended shopping hours at the LGC’s seafood market and arts and crafts shops. The LGC invites the public to browse, shop or just hang out and take in a captivating performance from a skillful musician.
Swil Kanim has played the violin since the age of eight and went from busking as a young man on the streets of Seattle to performing at events around the world – even performing by invitation for the Dali Lama. The Lummi tribesman’s musical talent is complemented by a gift for storytelling, and he typically weaves stories into his music.
Listening to Swil Kanim perform makes for “a phenomenal family evening,” said Nancy Jordan, who directs the center. “He’s very engaging and welcoming to everyone who attends.”
Swil Kanim often invites other local musicians to perform with him, including singer/guitarist J.P. Falcon Grady. With a large community following, Swil Kanim and his fellow musicians draw an audience that often fills the multi-purpose room at the center, Jordan said.
The event is free, but donations are appreciated. Proceeds support Swil Kanem’s organization HonorWorks. The nonprofit said their mission is to inspire the potential for honor among all people through music, fine arts and storytelling. Their newest project, a school curriculum called the Honoring our Heritage program, explores issues of discrimination and teaches young students about other cultures, and has already been implemented at several schools.
Seafood samples will be offered at the seafood market before, during and after Swil Kanim’s performance. Music begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 8:30. A community salmon dinner will be offered beforehand, starting at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, and the dinner will be offered only as long as supplies last.
The Lummi Gateway Center is located right off I-5 Exit 260.
For more information, visit lummigatewaycenter.com.