The American Roots Music Series is returning to Deception Pass State Park after a pandemic-induced hiatus for its 15th year.
The free concerts will take place at 7 p.m. at the park’s North Beach Amphitheater every Saturday from July 10 through Aug. 28.
This year’s lineup is celebrating the sounds of a vast array of musical traditions. According to Washington State Parks communications consultant Meryl Lassen, past series have primarily featured what people consider to be traditional American genres, such as blues, country and Appalachian.
This year, however, the lineup is designed to represent a culturally diverse American landscape.
It includes “styles brought over by immigrants from around the world that, blended with local traditional music, has become uniquely American,” according to a Washington State Parks news release on the series.
Irish, Brazilian, French-Canadian, Middle Eastern and Japanese-Latin fusion music will all be performed alongside the usual styles.
“It begs the question, what are ‘American roots’?” Lassen said. “It stretches the definition a little bit. I think it gives people pause and begs them to reflect on what is ‘American’ and what is ‘American music.’”
Artists in this year’s lineup include Trío Guadalevín, Gallowglass, Briar, Miho & Diego, Gretchen Yanover, La Familie Léger, En Canto and Coty Hogue Trio.
Though Washington reopened on June 30, music series organizers are still asking concert-goers to limit their groups to 15 people or fewer from no more than two households and maintain at least six feet of distance from other groups.
Lassen also encouraged attendees to bring warm clothing, picnic food, friends and family, and a Discover Pass to park in the park. She said she and others at Washington State Parks are thrilled to be organizing live music events again after such a long period of isolation.
Arts, she said, are more than just the “icing on the cake” of a community. Rather, “arts are what distinguishes a civil society from a society that is in survival mode.”