Jamie Laval, Zac Leger concert to raise money for Enumclaw’s Magic Strings program

"One of the hottest fiddlers out there, this act has been turning heads wherever it plays," a review in Asheville Citizen-Times notes about Jamie Laval. Plateau fans can decide when the Scottish fiddler and guitarist Zac Leger headline the Music Factor Project's fundraising concert at 7:30 p.m. June 4 at the Enumclaw Expo Center field house.

“One of the hottest fiddlers out there, this act has been turning heads wherever it plays,” a review in Asheville Citizen-Times notes about Jamie Laval.

Plateau fans can decide when the Scottish fiddler and guitarist Zac Leger headline the Music Factor Project’s fundraising concert at 7:30 p.m. June 4 at the Enumclaw Expo Center field house. They are also brining in piper Rod Weeks for a few tunes.

“I’m looking forward to traveling back to my old stompin’ grounds this month for a brief tour of concerts,” Laval said in an e-mail to friends in the Seattle area.

Originally a Northwest resident, Laval now resides in Asheville, N.C., and tours nationally with more than 120 engagements per year. In 2002, Laval won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship and performs throughout the United States and Scotland.

Laval has performed for the Queen of England, on NBC’s Today Show, and at numerous Highland Games. His critically acclaimed debut compact disk, “Shades of Green,” airs regularly on NPR radio, while “Zephyr In The Confetti Factory,” his duo album with Ashley Broder, won Best World Traditional Song in the 2007 Independent Music Awards Vox Populi.

Leger resides in Los Angeles and tours with the Eileen Ivers Band and Celtic Crossroads. He is equally respected for his stunning playing of Uillean pipes, whistle, and the Irish bouzouki. He won the All-Ireland Championship for piping.

Weeks is a Northwest native and has lead numerous competitive pipe bands, including Elliot Bay Pipe Band and Victoria Police Pipe Band. He is also a teacher and a prolific composer of bagpipe music.

Lavel and Leger debuted together during last year’s Magic Strings’ fundraiser and have been touring together since.

“The thing about these guys are they are infectious,” organizer Celia Bender said. “They are two of the best in the world, and that’s not from me, that’s reviews.”

This year’s performance will raise money strictly for the Enumclaw School District’s elementary school Magic Strings program. Started with a vision to integrate music into the curriculum and a VH1 Save the Music grant, Magic Strings celebrates its 10th anniversary. The program is expanding in the fall to include first-grade students, so all profits will buy instruments for the start-up program. Enumclaw Music will have instruments available for patrons to look at and purchase for the program.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, T-shirts and tote bags will also be available. Arts Alive! will also have a display of local artists’ work.

Bender is also hoping to bring back a number of Magic Strings alumni for the concert and is encouraging them to can contact her at celia@musicfactor.org.

This year’s presentation is straight concert. The Enumclaw School District’s fiddle club, hot off its Folklife Festival performance in Seattle, will play before the concert. Last year, Laval spent time working with students and built bonds with them, making his family-friendly concert a much anticipated event, Bender said.

“It’s as much about the experience, about seeing things, hearing things, meeting the artists,” Bender said. “It’s going to be great.”

Magic Strings students are free with a ticketed adult. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, but can be purchased in advance at Enumclaw’s Arts Alive! Gallery, City Perk and Enumclaw Music, for $10 and $8, or by calling 360-802-6787 or visiting www.MusicFactor.org.

“Aside from the fact it’s an amazing concert and a great cause, the tickets themselves are paid for with the coupon on the back,” Bender said, of the discounts from Rainier Bar and Grill and Skynet. The concert and its expenses are also covered so all proceeds go to the Magic Strings program.

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