If you haven’t heard of the Classical Tuesdays series, you’re missing out on one of Tacoma’s musical gems. Free, family-friendly and offering an eclectic set of excellent musicians, the series brightens up mid-week dreariness from fall to early spring with concerts in the relaxed atmosphere of Slavonian Hall in Tacoma’s Old Town. The series’ ninth season kicks off outside to celebrate the Old Town Park’s new outdoor stage, and will feature Seattle’s Thione Diop leading the Yeke Yeke West African drum ensemble Tuesday.
Born in Senegal, Diop is from a Griot family, who dedicate their lives to preserving cultural identity. Diop learned the sabar and djembe drums from his father, a renowned drummer, at age 5, and later moved to Seattle. He teaches and performs around the Northwest.
The rest of the series features local performers. On Oct. 8, harpist Margaret Shelton, a University of Puget Sound graduate and winner of the prestigious Watson Fellowship, offers a musical tale of harp music from around the world, researched on her year-long Watson trip to China, Germany and Paraguay. On Nov. 12, husband and wife Tim Christie (viola) and Maria Sampen (violin) are joined by their UPS faculty colleague David Requiro on cello; Dec. 10 brings the annual Wine and Song Benefit with soprano Dawn Padula and pianist Denes Van Parys; the Mosaic Brass Quintet plays Jan. 8; and the Stadium High orchestra performs on Feb. 12.
For Sept. 10 concert, bring chairs, blankets and a picnic, or buy drinks and snacks from nearby businesses such as Treos, Starbucks, the Spar and Café Divino.
The free concert begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Old Town Park, 2305 N. 30th St., Tacoma. All other concerts are at 5:30 p.m. in Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th St., Tacoma. classicaltuesdays.blogspot. com.Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 rosemary.ponnekanti@ thenewstribune.com