KIRO Radio's Josh Kerns talks local music
Seattle Sounds

Live music to continue at Sea-Tac Airport

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Guitarist Alice Stuart sings the blues in Sea-Tac's central terminal. (Rachel Belle/KIRO Radio photo) | Zoom
You don't have to go to a club to catch some of the Seattle area's best musicians in action. You can hear them at Sea-Tac Airport. After a successful three-month trial, the live music performances will continue at least through the end of the year.

Musicians have been performing around the airport as part of Sea-Tac's Experience The City of Music program since March. And passenger response has been overwhelmingly positive, according to program manager Tami Kuiken.

"They think it's a really great thing. We get all kinds of comments that come in that actually say it is a joy to come into the terminal, it reduces stress," she says.

The musicians perform at various locations throughout the airport twice a day Monday through Friday.

"A lot of people are saying that they're pleasantly surprised when they come in that they're hearing something. Kids are entertained by it," Kuiken says.

The musical offerings vary from rock to jazz, but Kuiken says the goal is to make sure they're entertaining without being obnoxious. That means no metal bands.

"What we have generally said is that we'll take single and duo acts. We'll do anything from violinists to keyboardists to, of course, guitar players. But we're staying away from the horns and the drums and that kind of thing because what we're trying to do is to create a pleasant experience for everybody. So we don't want it to be overbearing."

Along with the live performances, The Sea-Tac Airport City of Music program also features the music of Northwest artists playing overhead. The playlist has grown to 600 songs from 160 artists.

"It's one of these things where we want to take the established artists and we want to put them next to the emerging artists," Kuiken says. "So you can hear somebody that's really well known and the next track that comes on is some local artist that can get exposure to our 32 million travelers that we have coming through here."

Travelers also hear safety and public information announcements from several dozen notable local artists including Quincy Jones, Macklemore, Ann Wilson of Heart, and many more.

The program continues expanding. The airport will soon unveil a new exhibit of Jimi Hendrix photographs and memorabilia from the Seattle legend.

While the live performances will run through at least the end of the year, Kuiken says the hope is they can be extended indefinitely.

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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