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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Features

Spotlight: First Night picks up new events, venues

For the 10th year in a row, First Night Spokane will fill downtown streets on New Year’s Eve.

Most people already know what to expect from this well-established institution:

• An arts-and-music party spread out over 40-plus downtown venues.

• A fireworks celebration at midnight at Riverfront Park.

• An afternoon Kid’s Night Out celebration at the Spokane Convention Center.

• About 26,000 people roaming from venue to venue, if last year’s attendance is any guide.

This year you can expect a few new wrinkles, including a five-kilometer fun run titled “The Resolution Run” and some new venues (Merlyn’s, Main Market and other east-side-of-downtown spots).

As usual, First Night buttons cost $12 for adults. Children 10 and under, accompanied by an adult, are free.

The buttons are on sale at all Cenex-Zip Trip stores, the River Park Square concierge, Sterling Savings Bank and Windermere Real Estate offices.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get a button. The price goes up to $15 on Dec. 31.

For a full schedule go online to

A Sterling save

You may have already heard: Last week, Sterling Savings Bank came to the rescue of the Spokane Symphony’s Comstock Park Labor Day Concert.

Sterling committed to sponsor this free concert for the next three years.

The Labor Day concert had been a Spokane tradition for 25 years – until this year. The concert was canceled because of lack of sponsorship.

‘Funkified New Year’

If you want to transition into the New Year in a funkified state, you might want to check out the “Funkified New Year’s Eve Bash” at the Ichiban Sushi Lounge, 202 W. Third Ave.

Soul Proprietor, a popular nine-piece funk band, will provide “groove-oriented dance music” in the style of Tower of Power and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

The evening will include an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet and midnight champagne. Tickets are $39 each or $75 per couple, through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

A fund for Fly

A benefit concert for longtime Spokane rocker Cary Fly is scheduled today at 6 p.m. at Bluz at the Bend, 2721 N. Market St., featuring Voodoo Church, The Nerve, Big Mumbo, the Perones, Kosmic Dreams, the Fat Tones and Don and Nancy Emerson.

Why does Fly need a benefit? Because he and his band were returning from a gig last month when his van caught fire near the Fishtrap exit on I-90. He lost the van and a lot of equipment.

Fly has been generous about playing benefits for others in need, so it’s fitting that the local music community is rallying around him.

A new Hampson CD

Spokane’s international opera star, Thomas Hampson, is releasing a new CD, just in time for the Gustav Mahler fans on your Christmas list (hey, you might have some).

“Des Knaben Wunderhorn,” coming Tuesday on the Deutsche Grammophon label, continues a long line of Mahler recordings by Hampson.

In case you were wondering, the title means, literally, “The Youth’s Magic Horn.”

Hampton Jazz lineup

Manhattan Transfer will headline the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Feb. 23-26 at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

This venerable vocal group will perform Feb. 25 along with the innovative Victor Wooten Band, led by one of the most creative bass players in jazz.

The Feb. 26 concert will feature the Lionel Hampton Big Band, with vocalist Carmen Bradford, drummer Ed Shaughnessy and tenor sax man Pete Christlieb. Other guest stars will be announced soon.

The festival will have a slightly different format this year. The Feb. 24 (Thursday) concert will feature shows at three different on-campus locations, and ticketholders can move from venue to venue and catch multiple sets. It should provide a more intimate experience.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 4. For more information visit

It’s Yanni time

The Acropolis, the Taj Mahal, the Forbidden City – and now, the INB Performing Arts Center?

It may not be as grand as some of Yanni’s previous venues, but the INB will be filled with his New Age piano sounds on May 3.

He will be, according to his publicity, “returning to his roots” with a performance that will deliver “the very best of Yanni to old and new fans.”

If that sounds good to you, tickets are $35, $50 and $65, through TicketsWest.

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