Arts and Entertainment

Care to Jazz Festival comes to Silverdale Beach Hotel

A doctor of the jazz guitar — Michael Powers. - Courtesy photo
A doctor of the jazz guitar — Michael Powers.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Favorites Michael Powers and Karen Shivers to headline

For many, music is considered the great healer.

Sentimentally, listening to a comfortable collection of tunes can be a great stress reliever while breaking into song can sometimes even help to stave off depression. Experts suggest it’s the rhythm and beat which give music its soothing power.

But sometimes it’s even more literal. Like the case of veteran journeyman jazz/fusion guitarist Michael Powers who’s coming to Silverdale for the Care to Jazz Festival this weekend.

Powers picked up the guitar as a sort of form of physical therapy as a teenager.

“The only reason I’m playing music today is because I fell off a skateboard and broke my wrist when I was just out of high school,” Powers said. “I had it in a cast for so long that the muscle in my forearm had atrophied.”

Around that same time, he was introduced to Jimi Hendrix through a film documentary and, like many teenagers do when they first hear Hendrix, he wished he could play guitar like that.

“I talked to the doctor and he said that would be the best thing I could do to build up the muscle in my arm,” Powers said.

Thus began the healing process for Powers’ broken wrist and the start of his new career.

The Hendrix influence led to Santana, which led to George Benson and eventually Powers’ physical therapy spawned into a decades-long adventure which would find him sharing the stage with the prestige of Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, Ray Charles and even the infamous Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Powers fetes his journey thus far with his newest album “20 Songs for 20 Years.” He’ll play songs from that record while celebrating the connection between music and healing as he headlines this year’s Care to Jazz Festival, hosted by Peninsula Community Health Services July 11-12 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel.

It’s Powers’ third time playing the seven-years-and-running Kitsap jazz festival. He’ll be playing a special cabaret-style evening concert in the hotel ballroom at 8:30 p.m. July 12, while seven other local and regional jazz masters will be performing throughout the day starting at 11 a.m., counting it off for affordable health care.

“With the health care crisis in the country, anybody who’s trying to help out that situation and make the system work better, I’m happy to help out,” Powers said.

What started as a banquet fundraiser for PCHS has turned into a festival — “two days of great jazz for a great cause” — that serves as a fundraiser for the Dr. Edwin Tegenfeldt Patient Care Fund, helping provide ancillary services for patients who have trouble footing the bill.

“All dollars raised in the event proceeds benefit that patient care fund, but at the same time it’s also growing a wonderful venue for jazz lovers in our community, in our own backyard,” PCHS organizer Deborah Horn said.

This year’s event, in a change of location, will feature an esteemed lineup of local talent on the back lawn of the Silverdale Beach Hotel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 12, including local stalwarts the No Inhibitions Jazz Band, a jam session with Olympic College jazz faculty, Bill Ramsay and friends and pianist Deems Tsutakawa.

Later that evening, the sultry Karen Shivers will give a wine and cheese show at 6:30 p.m., followed by Powers at 8:30 p.m.

There are different costs for each concert, “something for everyone,” Horn said — $15 for the back lawn, $25 for Shivers and $30 for Powers.

The night before, there’ll be a $50 a plate dinner and auction featuring comedian emcee The Great Cris Larsen and music from the Don Alverson Trio and the Jazz Ambassadors.

For tickets, or more info on Care to Jazz, visit www.pchsweb.org or call (360) 478-2366.

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