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Posted on: July 16, 2015

15-049 International Concert Series returns to Peace Arch State Park

Traditional music and dance throughout August

OLYMPIA – July 16, 2015 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program invites the public to the annual Peace Arch International Concert Series at Peace Arch State Park on the U.S.-Canadian border in Whatcom County.

The one-hour free concerts begin at 2 p.m. on the first four Sundays in August at Peace Arch State Park, 19 A Street in Blaine. (Directions: In celebration of the Pacific Northwest’s diverse cultures, the series features music and dance performances representing communities and traditions from throughout the state: Ecuadorean, West African, Hawaiian and a brass band. A  Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the concerts. Canadian residents entering on foot may attend the concerts without customs or border-crossing formalities.

Performance schedule:

Aug. 2: Quichua Mashis
The band members are Quichua Indians from the Andean mountains of northern Ecuador. Better known as the Inca Empire, the Quichua region of South America covers Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Their music has been passed down through the generations and reflects the struggle of the Quichua people, their connection to Pacha Mama (mother earth), and their spiritual journeys through history. Many of the instruments are handmade, using bamboo, sheep hooves, goat skins and armadillo shells. The group performs on zampoñas (panpipe flutes), quenas (endblown flutes), the bombo (drum), chakchas (rattle), and charango, which resembles a small guitar with 10 strings. Guitar, bandolin (a short-necked, 15-string lute) and violin accompany the traditional instruments.

Aug. 9: Gansango Music & Dance Company
Gansango Music & Dance draws on the talent of a multicultural group of international dancers and musicians presenting traditional and contemporary dance and music from West Africa. Etienne Cakpo directs the company. Cakpo, originally from Benin, is now a teacher and choreographer based in Seattle. Performances often feature traditional dance from Benin, including Vodoun ritualistic dances, regional social ceremony dances such as the Chenkoumé dance from Savalou, and royal historical dances such as the Zehli dance from the late 1800s. Live music on the kora (21-string harp), djembe (drum), djun-djun (drum) and percussion accompany modern dance arrangements based on traditional movement and rhythms, while costumes from West Africa provide color and cultural context.

August 16: Halau Hula O Napualani (Napualani Hawaiian Dance Troupe)
The Halau (school) was founded by Gloria Napualani Kalamalamakailialoha Fujii Nahalea, who has shared more than 40 years of teaching, performing and choreographing the Pacific dance arts locally and globally. The troupe  performs traditional Hawaiian hula, Tahitian dance and New Zealand Maori haka. Traditional musicians accompany the dancers.  

August 23: The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band
The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, Seattle’s own non-marching march band, plays the greatest hits of marching band music by John Philip Sousa, Henry Fillmore and more. This is not your run-of-the-mill concert band. The band includes Director and Raconteur Liz Dreisbach, who spins yarns and fun, a splendid collection of Vintage Band Uniforms, appearances by The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band Drill Team and Edith Farrar, the World’s Finest Sedentary Majorette, who performs thrilling feats of seated baton twirling. This year, the band celebrates 30 years of bringing their own party with them.

All concerts are accessible to persons with disabilities. For special accommodations, please call the park at (360) 332-8221 or the Washington Telecommunications Relay Service (800) 833-6388. Requests must be made in advance.

The Peace Arch International Concert Series is part of a broader series of events celebrating Washington’s diverse cultures and presented by the Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program. The program is a partnership between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Northwest Heritage Resources, with funding provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Parks Foundation. For a full schedule of Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program events, visit          

About Peace Arch State Park
Peace Arch State Park is a day-use park developed to commemorate the treaties and agreements that arose from the War of 1812. The park celebrates the unguarded United States-Canadian border that stretches from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Park features include horticultural exhibitions and the giant commemorative concrete arch that straddles the border of the two nations. The United States and Canada co-maintain the monument. More information about the park is here:


About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

Media contacts:
Debbie Fant (360) 902-8635 
Toni Droscher (360) 902-8604 
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388


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