Arts and Entertainment

‘Strawberry Jam’ moves to Fridays on Jan. 24

MARYSVILLE — This month’s “Strawberry City Jam” is changing things up a bit with its scheduling, but still aims to provide the same great sounds at the same familiar location.

“My wife is teaching a class on Thursdays this quarter, so I thought we’d try Friday this month,” said event organizer Jim Strickland, who invited aspiring musicians and audience members alike to swing by between 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Marysville Alfy’s Pizza on State Avenue. “Just stop by after school or work, to eat a bite and share some great music.”

The series of open-mic nights began at the same Alfy’s location on Aug. 22 of last year, because the Marysville Alfy’s had been so accommodating in hosting the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Life Skills Program’s monthly open-mic pizza parties that Strickland, the Life Skills teacher at M-PHS, decided that he wanted to offer an evening of participatory musical entertainment for everyone there.

Strickland praised Kayla Jamieson, manager of the Marysville Alfy’s, for being willing to host another community event for him, and credited Deric Dobesh and Ryan Laffin, co-owners of Bigfoot Music in Smokey Point, with helping him spread the word about this event to fellow local musicians.

“I love the arts for allowing us to express who we are and what’s important to us,” said Strickland, who noted that Marysville Arts Coalition President Beckye Randall has also been supportive of the “Strawberry City Jam.” “Music gets a response out of people. If an event is music-related, people will think it’s worth their time.”

As always, Strickland hopes to see plenty of people there, whether they’re bringing musical instruments to share songs, or they’re just hanging out to listen to other performers.

“The idea is to give people an outlet for their musical talents, and to help build the arts community in Marysville,” Strickland said of the monthly event, which has remained free of charge to both musicians and audience members. “Alfy’s Pizza is one of the few places in town that has the space for this, so I’m just happy that they’re such a community-minded organization.”

Previous months have drawn packed crowds, with musical artists ranging from 4 to 70 years old, playing everything from acoustic covers of Tom Petty and Van Morrison, to a wide variety of folk, rock, country, alternative and pop songs.

“I was surprised by the diversity of participants, in age and musical talents,” Strickland said. “That diversity was one of the things that made the event so special.”

Those interested in learning more about the “Strawberry City Jam” can call Strickland at 425-870-1631.

“Marysville is in the middle of an arts explosion, and everyone has the ability to express themselves artistically in one way or another,” Strickland said. “What I’d say to the community is, let’s keep expanding opportunities for people to participate in the arts, not just as spectators, but as creators as well.”

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