Did you that know nine of the seventeen new musicals produced in Executive Producer David Armstrong’s tenure at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre went from this Seattle stage to Broadway and that two of them won the Tony award for Best Musical? As the fourth season of Seattle Growth Podcast examines the past, present, and future of the Seattle music scene, the city’s vibrant musical theater scene merits attention.

David Armstrong, who has served as the Executive Producer and Artistic Director for 5th Avenue Theatre for almost two decades describes how the city is getting national recognition for musical theater. Armstrong shares how the city is both producing and drawing in top flight musical theater talent. Armstrong also gives unique insight into how the city’s growth is affecting the business of the storied theater.

Two of the talented actors who were drawn to be a part of Seattle’s musical theater community open up about their transition to the city. Porscha Shaw, who was named by KUOW as one of the Seattle artists you should know about, tells the story of how she has begun her ride to prominence. Andre Brown shares what is happening in Seattle that facilitates the creation of art across various mediums. Both give further insight into the soul of the Seattle music scene.

This episode gives an inside look at a musical theater community that serves as a key aspect of Seattle’s vibrant art and culture.

Today’s episode gives rare insight into the economics and emotional journey associated with becoming a professional musician in Seattle. With money and people moving into the city, this episode focuses on some of the musicians the city stands to lose as economics of a recording artists change. You will hear the voice of a musician who has moved away from the city, two musicians who anticipate moving soon, and a musician whose successful band has gone on hiatus.

 

The episode gives further perspective on the soul of Seattle’s music scene and how the community is evolving as the city transforms.

 

In this episode are:

Naomi Wachira who was once named Seattle’s best folk singer by Seattle Weekly.

Matt Bishop who explains why his popular band Hey Marseilles recently went on hiatus.

Kate Voss who was named Best Jazz Act of 2017 by Seattle Weekly and NW Jazz Vocalist of the Year by Earshot.

Jason Goessl who performs in several bands including Sundae and Mr. Goessl with his wife Kate Voss.

 

The episode also features the songs Makes My Heart Sway by Sundae and Mr. Goessl and Beautifully Human by Naomi Wachira.

 

In this episode, you will learn how these artists attracted their followings, how they made a living, and how the booming economy affects the paychecks of local performing artists.

 

Voices appearing in Season 4 of Seattle Growth Podcast:

Episode 1

Jason Finn, drummer for Presidents of the United States of America

Pete Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom

Daryl Ducharme, host of Seattle After Party

Episode 2

Marco Collins, Seattle radio personality

Ben London, singer-songwriter and former executive at the Grammys.

Episode 3

Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix

DeVon Manier, Sportin’ Life Music Group

Episode 4

Dave B, recording artist

Draze, recording artist

Episode 5

Austin Santiago, BuildStrong Music Group and Do206

Lydia Ramsey, singer-songwriter and talent buyer at the Triple Door

Celene Ramadan, Prom Queen

Episode 6

Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles

Naomi Wachira, afro-folk singer-songwriter

Kate Voss, Seattle Weekly’s jazz act of 2017

Jason Goessl, Sundae + Mr. Goessl

Episode 7

Tekla Waterfield, singer-songwriter

Dustin Vance, singer-songwriter

Jeremiah Craig, singer-songwriter & marketing manager

Coming in Episode 8:

David Armstrong, Executive Producer and Artistic Director of 5th Ave Theatre

Porscha Shaw, actress

Andre Brown, actor

Coming in Episode 9:

Stephanie and Levi Ware, Melodic Caring Project

Curtis Romjue, First Aid Arts

Still to come in this season:

David Meinert, Onto Entertainment

Brent Stiefel, Votiv

Hollis, singer-songwriter, producer, artist, activist

Steven Severin, Neumos

Money and people are moving into Seattle at an unprecedented rate. The city is clearly undergoing a physical transformation as a nation-leading number of cranes dot the sky. Is there a cultural transformation underway as well? Has the music scene that grabbed the nation’s attention during the 1990s grunge era maintained its identity?

Three voices in today’s Seattle music scene share their perspective on the culture of Seattle music and how it is changing in recent years.

The episode features:

Austin Santiago, owner of BuildStrong Music Group which has been curating concerts and music culture in Cascadia since 2005 and Vice President at Do206, a website dedicated to highlighting live events in the area.

Lydia Ramsey, an Americana singer-songwriter and talent buyer at the Seattle music venue Triple Door.

Celene Ramadan, a Seattle musician who has performed as Leeni, Prom Queen, and Snax the Bunny

.

 

The voices give insight into the current identity and trajectory of Seattle’s music scene. For comparison, the episode also includes quotes from previous guests including legendary Seattle radio personality Marco Collins, former Grammy executive Ben London, and platinum selling band member Jason Finn.

 

This episode gives unique insight into the process of becoming a musician in Seattle. It provides a window into the evolving culture of the city that spans beyond music and it gives you a chance to meet some of the talented artists in Seattle.

 

Featuring the song Show Me The Stars by Lydia Ramsey and the song Vengeance (Will Be Mine) by Prom Queen.

 

 

Voices appearing in Season 4 of Seattle Growth Podcast:

Episode 1

Jason Finn, drummer for Presidents of the United States of America

Pete Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom

Daryl Ducharme, host of Seattle After Party

Episode 2

Marco Collins, Seattle radio personality

Ben London, singer-songwriter and former executive at the Grammys.

Episode 3

Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix

DeVon Manier, Sportin’ Life Music Group

Episode 4

Dave B, recording artist

Draze, recording artist

Episode 5

Austin Santiago, BuildStrong Music Group and Do206

Lydia Ramsey, singer-songwriter and talent buyer at the Triple Door

Celene Ramadan, Prom Queen

Episode 6

Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles

Naomi Wachira, afro-folk singer-songwriter

Kate Voss, Seattle Weekly’s jazz act of 2017

Jason Goessl, Sundae + Mr. Goessl

Episode 7

Tekla Waterfield, singer-songwriter

Dustin Vance, singer-songwriter

Jeremiah Craig, singer-songwriter & marketing manager

Coming in Episode 8:

David Armstrong, Executive Producer and Artistic Director of 5th Ave Theatre

Porscha Shaw, actress

Andre Brown, actor

Coming in Episode 9:

Stephanie and Levi Ware, Melodic Caring Project

Curtis Romjue, First Aid Arts

Still to come in this season:

David Meinert, Onto Entertainment

Brent Stiefel, Votiv

Hollis, singer-songwriter, producer, artist, activist

Steven Severin, Neumos

Today’s episode gives you a rare inside look at the journey a Seattle hip-hop artist takes in the ride to prominence. The two guests also put to words the range of emotions many people are feeling as the city of Seattle undergoes a rapid transformation.

Draze, who has opened for Snoop Dogg and had his music appear on hit shows such as Empire, shares how Seattle’s transformation has affected his music and him personally.

You will also hear from Dave B, who collaborated with Macklemore on the hit song Corner Store, performed in front of a sold-out Key Arena, was seen on national tv performing on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, and recently headlined his own sold-out show at Seattle’s Neptune Theater.

Featuring the songs “The Hood Ain’t the Same” by Draze and “Sweetest Thing” by Dave B.

 

Voices appearing in Season 4 of Seattle Growth Podcast:

Episode 1

Jason Finn, drummer for Presidents of the United States of America

Pete Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom

Daryl Ducharme, host of Seattle After Party

Episode 2

Marco Collins, Seattle radio personality

Ben London, singer-songwriter and former executive at the Grammys.

Episode 3

Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix

DeVon Manier, Sportin’ Life Music Group

Episode 4

Dave B, recording artist

Draze, recording artist

Episode 5

Austin Santiago, BuildStrong Music Group and Do206

Lydia Ramsey, singer-songwriter and talent buyer at the Triple Door

Celene Ramadan, Prom Queen

Episode 6

Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles

Naomi Wachira, afro-folk singer-songwriter

Kate Voss, Seattle Weekly’s jazz act of 2017

Jason Goessl, Sundae + Mr. Goessl

Episode 7

Tekla Waterfield, singer-songwriter

Dustin Vance, singer-songwriter

Jeremiah Craig, singer-songwriter & marketing manager

Coming in Episode 8:

David Armstrong, Executive Producer and Artistic Director of 5th Ave Theatre

Porscha Shaw, actress

Andre Brown, actor

Coming in Episode 9:

Stephanie and Levi Ware, Melodic Caring Project

Curtis Romjue, First Aid Arts

Still to come in this season:

David Meinert, Onto Entertainment

Brent Stiefel, Votiv

Hollis, singer-songwriter, producer, artist, activist

Steven Severin, Neumos

This episode of Seattle Growth Podcast continues its brief look at Seattle’s rich musical history. In today’s episode, Janie Hendrix (CEO of Experience Hendrix) shares how the city’s growth has affected her efforts to honor the legacy of Seattle-born rock and roll legend Jimi Hendrix. You will learn more about the continued impact Jimi Hendrix has on Seattle today.

The episode also features an interview with inaugural Seattle Music Commissioner DeVon Manier. Manier is cofounder of Sportn’ Life Music Group and works with Seattle artists such as the Black Tones and Future Shock. He shares stories from his time developing hip-hop artists at the turn of the century and what drove him to participate in the Seattle Music Commission.

The interviews give listeners a glimpse into Seattle’s musical past and provides insight into what the future holds for our growing city.

With appearances by Marco Collins, Ben London, Jason Finn, Draze, and Dave B.

Featuring the song”Woman in Black” by The Blacktones.

The fourth season of Seattle Growth Podcast brings together diverse perspectives from established and emerging artists, music lovers and music industry leaders to paint a picture of the past, present, and future of Seattle’s iconic music scene.

 

This second episode of the season continues last week’s focus on Seattle’s music community during the 1990s. Whereas Seattle had produced many notable musical artists in prior years, the sounds from the 1990s were distinctly recognized across the globe as emanating from this city.

 

The episode features singer-songwriter Ben London who began his Seattle music career while the Seattle sound, grunge, was exploding nationally. London went on to serve on the development team for the Experience Music Project (now known as MoPOP), to serve as an executive at the Grammys, and to serve as the inaugural chair of the Seattle Music Commission. You will hear what it was like to be “a footnote of flannel” during the Seattle grunge era and to do “all the things that other bands did, except…not sell millions of records.”

 

The episode also features Marco Collins, an influential radio DJ during the early 1990s who record executives from around the world turned to for insight into who would be the next big thing in music.The subject of his own documentary “The Glamour and the Squalor” opens up about what it was like to rub shoulders with Seattle’s rock stars, to help catapult bands to national prominence, and to have the whole world watching what was coming out of Seattle.

 

These two voices help paint a picture of a unique time in Seattle’s music history and provide insight into the city’s future.

 

Voices appearing in Season 4 of Seattle Growth Podcast:

Episode 1

Jason Finn, drummer for Presidents of the United States of America

Pete Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom

Daryl Ducharme, host of Seattle After Party

Episode 2

Marco Collins, Seattle radio personality

Ben London, singer-songwriter and former executive at the Grammys.

Episode 3

Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix

DeVon Manier, Sportin’ Life Music Group

Episode 4

Dave B, recording artist

Draze, recording artist

Episode 5

Austin Santiago, BuildStrong Music Group and Do206

Lydia Ramsey, singer-songwriter and talent buyer at the Triple Door

Celene Ramadan, Prom Queen

Episode 6

Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles

Naomi Wachira, afro-folk singer-songwriter

Kate Voss, Seattle Weekly’s jazz act of 2017

Jason Goessl, Sundae + Mr. Goessl

Episode 7

Tekla Waterfield, singer-songwriter

Dustin Vance, singer-songwriter

Jeremiah Craig, singer-songwriter & marketing manager

Coming in Episode 8:

David Armstrong, Executive Producer and Artistic Director of 5th Ave Theatre

Porscha Shaw, actress

Andre Brown, actor

Coming in Episode 9:

Stephanie and Levi Ware, Melodic Caring Project

Curtis Romjue, First Aid Arts

Still to come in this season:

David Meinert, Onto Entertainment

Brent Stiefel, Votiv

Hollis, singer-songwriter, producer, artist, activist

Steven Severin, Neumos

The arena wars are not over as two groups vie to reshape Seattle’s music scene, Seattle Center, and the future of winter professional sports in Seattle. In this special episode, find out why 33 members of Seattle’s music community weighed in on the arena debate to support one of the two proposals.

 

You will hear from Jason Finn, drummer for the platinum-selling, grammy-nominated band Presidents of the United States.

You will hear from David Meinert, whose Onto Entertainment manages the platinum selling musicians, The Lumineers.

Today’s episode gives you a better understanding about how Seattle’s music scene can be shaped by the arena proposals.

Today’s episode of Seattle Growth Podcast gives you rare insight into the minds of real estate developers as they reshape Seattle’s streets and skyline. As you look ahead to where you live or might live, these interviews give you insight into the kinds of neighborhoods and properties that attract real estate developers. You will get an inside look into their development process and how you can influence it.

You will hear from Liz Dunn of Dunn + Hobbes LLC, which specializes in the adaptive reuse of existing buildings as well as the construction of new urban infill projects.

You will hear from Joe Ferguson of Lake Union Partners, which specializes in residential mixed-use and commercial projects.

These two interviews give you examples of the variety of developers reshaping the physical landscape of our city.

Can Seattle become a hockey town? If the highest level of professional hockey calls Seattle home, what would that mean to the Seattle residents who do not care about the sport? Listen to today’s episode of Seattle Growth Podcast to find out.

Seattle Growth Podcast is an exploration of what the city’s rapid growth and transformation mean to residents, businesses, and city leaders. As a hallmark of that growth, multiple groups are vying to invest roughly half a billion dollars into our community to build a world class sports and entertainment arena. Oak View Group is hoping to renovate Seattle Center’s Key Arena. Chris Hansen and his investment team is hoping to build a private arena in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood. City council will soon be deciding which proposal if any to proceed with.

Much of the attention for this arena has been on bringing back the Supersonics, a professional basketball franchise the city lost in 2008. In fact, Seattle Growth Podcast devoted an entire season to examining what professional basketball would mean to our growing city.

But often overlooked in this discussion is the fact that the National Hockey League (NHL) may grant a franchise to Seattle if a modern arena is developed in the city.

Today’s episode brings you several perspectives on the existing hockey community in Seattle and what hockey could mean to all residents, sports fans and non-sports fans alike.

Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission Ralph Morton describes what Seattle’s economic development means for a possible hockey franchise and what a hockey franchise can mean for Seattle’s further economic development. He is joined in the interview by Kevin Ticen, director of marketing and communications. 

John Barr, a hockey enthusiast behind the NHL to Seattle fan movement, shares insight into the existing hockey community clamoring for the NHL.

Vanessa Kirk-Briley, from Ronald McDonald House Charities explains how professional hockey can have a significant impact on Seattle residents in need.  

Todd Humphrey, a former professional hockey player who served on the Mayor’s Advisory panel that weighed two proposals for a Key Arena remodel, weighs in on the ongoing arena debate.  

Today’s special episode of Seattle Growth Podcast focuses on the future of Key Arena. This issue has become more relevant as multiple groups are hoping to bring professional basketball and hockey back to Seattle. Key Arena played home to the basketball franchise Seattle Supersonics until 2008, when the team moved to Oklahoma City. In its current state, the arena does not meet the expectations of the NBA or the NHL.

There are three proposals to develop an NBA-ready arena that are being considered by City Council. Two groups have proposed to renovate Key Arena, while one group, led by Chris Hansen, is proposing to develop a sports and entertainment complex in the SODO neighborhood.

The issue is now two-fold: Which proposal will the city support for the purpose of attracting professional basketball and hockey teams?  And secondly, if Key Arena is not chosen for that purpose, what will the city do with that public asset?

In this episode, City Councilmember Rob Johnson describes the process by which the proposals will be evaluated and offers insight into the pros and cons of each.

Developer Sam Farrazaino offers an alternative vision for repurposing Key Arena should a development in SODO becomes the home of professional arena sports.

This episode gives you a better understanding of how public resources may be deployed in bringing the NBA and NHL to Seattle and in improving Seattle Center.

 

Episode Recap

Rob Johnson describes what Seattle Center means to the city as whole (4:45). He describes what he would like Key Arena to mean to Seattle Center and the region (5:49) and what he is looking for in the proposals (7:48). He notes his concern is “to make sure that we are not privatizing the profit and publicizing the risk.”

He describes the pros and cons of the Oak View Group proposal (9:44). He views the community partnerships and community outreach as positives. Johnson noted, “The financial elements are the pieces that are the hardest to unravel because they both require some level of public subsidies.”

One concern Johnson noted with the Oak View Group proposal is how it will affect the citizens of Seattle. “They ask for a forgiveness on the sales taxes associated with construction, which will likely save them several hundreds of millions of dollars…They may not require a direct public subsidy. By not paying that sales tax, it does have a downstream impact on the kinds of services that we can provide as a city and county.”

Johnson briefly described the memorandum of understanding the city has signed with the SoDo arena group (13:12) and then discussed the pros and cons of the Seattle Partners proposal to renovate Key Arena (14:35). “From an urban design perspective, it is a slightly better proposal the way it meets the street.” Johnson noted the transportation investment strategies as another benefit. However, the financial component is something he believes needs to be vetted properly. “The biggest piece of their financial assumptions are again that access to city bonding authority. There are some other issues that I think we need to have worked out too.”

Johnson also provides an explanation of the process by which the arena will be chosen (16:29).

As far as the timeline for an arena to be built? “Even if we were to sign on the dotted line with a Key Arena proposal before the end of the year, we are still several years away from actually being ready for the building to start construction. Whereas if were to sign on the dotted line with SoDo before the end of the year, they could start construction immediately after we sign on the dotted line.”

If the SODO proposal is approved, it appears from episode 8 of Seattle Growth Podcast that the mayor’s office believes the city can accommodate only one sports and entertainment complex. This means the city might need to find another use for its public asset. To stimulate creative thinking about alternative futures for Seattle’ Center’s Key Arena, I reached out to a Seattle Growth Podcast guest from Season 1, artist-turned-developer Sam Farrazaino.

Sam Farrazaino envisions an “arts enclave in the spirit of a Pike Place Market. Local people who are creating stuff on site.” Keeping the existing structure intact, he would “break the central part of the arena down into four different performance venues.” Using the service stations and suites, he would create spaces for photographers, painters, sculptors, and other artists. This would allow visitors to “experience the arts in the place they are made.” He argues, “we need more space for local arts to thrive.”  

Farrazaino shares what inspired the idea (32:15). He provides a rough estimate of what it would cost (37:35) and describes how the project could earn back the investment (38:10) with more specifics on how to possibly make the numbers work at 48:42.   

What could does he believe this mean to Seattle Center (42:58) and to the city (52:05)? Listen to find out.