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Seattle’s Newest Live Music Venue: Sea-Tac Airport

Alice Stuart singing the blues in Sea-Tac's central terminal. (Rachel Belle photo)

Sea-Tac Airport thinks local music is important. They play the music of local artists throughout the airport and all the messaging is voiced by Seattle musicians, from Macklemore and Sir-Mix-A-Lot to Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains. Now they’ve taken it a step further with live performances in the terminals. They are conducting a 12 week pilot program, where local musicians will be playing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., five days a week.

“We’re going to bring in different genres,” says Sea-Tac’s Music Program Coordinator Tami Kuiken. “We’re going to have people playing mostly acoustic type instruments. We’ll be doing anything from jazz to blues to folk, even some pop. We’ll have guitars, violin, maybe some a cappella.”

She says they want to recruit everyone from teenagers to 70 year olds, like Alice Stuart – who was singing the blues in central terminal on Tuesday. Alice has been on the scene for decades.

“I played at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. That was really my first professional gig.”

There will be emerging artists, local favorites, and perhaps even a few super famous acts, to surprise people killing time before a flight.

“You never know who might come through here. It’s kind of one of those things where you’re going to have to keep your eyes and ears peeled. We might have some connections and you might actually see somebody somewhere out there playing and go, ‘Hey, that’s so and so.'”

This week, travelers were treated to the music of Shelby Earl and Michael Gray from the band Pearl Django. They have also booked violinist Geoffrey Castle, among many others.

Alice was set up in the middle of the central food court, in front of the big, glass window wall, and people looked on, smiled and tapped their feet while they ate lunch.

“I love it,” said Sherry, a traveler waiting for her flight back home to California. “It really reminds me of Seattle flair. I grew up here so I really miss the live corner music and everything. Takes me back and it’s a nice change of pace in the airport where you can sit and relax and get away from the craziness.”

If you’re a musician who would like a shot at playing an airport gig, they do pay and let you sell your CDs and merchandise in the terminal. Click here to apply.

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