CHINOOK — Diane Marshall, chairman of the Water Music Festival, is excited.
“It’s gonna be a dandy,” she said.
That “dandy” is a Christmas show 3 p.m. Dec. 4 featuring a jazz quintet with world-traveled musicians.
It will take place at the Chinook School, 810 State Route 101 in Chinook. Tickets are $15, online at Watermusicfestival.com or at the door.
The concert will showcase the George Mitchell Quintet with vocalist Marilyn Keller. Mitchell was the touring pianist for Diana Ross.
“Marilyn Keller is a dynamo,” said Marshall.
The quintet includes Charlie Porter on trumpet, Dave Averre on drums and Tim Gilson on bass.
Gift to the area
Marshall calls the society’s final event of 2022 as “our gift to the community.” The group works year-round to raise funds to bring professional musicians to the Peninsula. Its major fund-raisers are garden tours. This year the group hosted the Jazz and Oysters event in late summer and a fall weekend of three classical music performances in Oysterville and Chinook.
The afternoon begins with a social hour at 2 p.m. featuring sweet and savory treats, beverages including sparkling cider, and a no-host champagne and wine bar. Tony and Ann Kischner, who retired as owners of the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria, will serve wine. Ann Kischner was one of the original board members when the Water Music Society was formed in 1985.
A portion of the proceeds goes toward supporting music education programs in Ocean Beach and Naselle school districts. Ilwaco music students, led by director Rachel Lake, will be among those assisting at the event.
Mitchell has played for Diana Ross for 40 years, touring around the world and once performing together through a drenching thunderstorm in New York’s Central Park. He has given concerts for Presidents Clinton and Obama, as well as South African leader Nelson Mandela, and performed at a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. His TV appearances include Letterman and Oprah. As well as Ross, he has played with Donny Osmond, Smokie Robinson, Mariah Carey and Stevie Wonder.
Closer to his home base in Portland, where he teaches music, he has been a regular for jazz services at the Augustana Lutheran Church and played keyboards for the visit of the touring musical “Wicked.”
Season’s top event
Organizers are hoping for a good turnout and mention that the parking at the Chinook School is handicap-accessible.
“It is my feeling that this concert is the ‘holiday event of the month,’” said Marshall., whose helpers are lining up seasonal appetizers, both in content and color. “We will have tons of fabulous cookies, all homemade with love by board members,” she added.
Visitors will count five Christmas trees amid the holiday decor on the audience tables and stage. “It is a concert for all ages and for lovers of all genres of music,” Marshall said.