Culture Fix

Weekend What to Do July 12–14

A blues chanteuse, Costa Rica's best coffee beans, and a West African quintet that marries tradition and funk.

By Sam Jones and Jonathan Olsen-Koziol July 12, 2019

Mali quintet BKO brings their modernized, yet customary music to the Volunteer Park Amphitheater this weekend. 

Fri, July 12
Costa Rica’s Best Coffee Cupping
Fulcrum Coffee wants cultish java fans to taste Costa Rica’s most highly regarded beans without having to take out a second mortgage (really, some go for $300 per pound). The Alliance of Coffee Excellence finds the world’s best sustainable coffee through its Cup of Excellence program, which involves a rigorous cupping process and multiple panels filled with industry experts. You’ll be tasting the top 15 Costa Rican roasts, which hail from some the country’s most prestigious cultivation regions, like Tarrazú. Fulcrum Coffee, Free

Fri, July 12
Nora Michaels: Blues Chanteuse

For over 50 years, Nora Michales has slung sweet ballads and snappy jazz performances. On Friday, Geo’s intimate Cuban joint will take on the persona of a blues lounge, offering saxophone-heavy originals alongside yuca fritas and cocktails. Geo’s Cuban Bar and Grill, Free

Fri, July 12
World Music Series: BKO Quintet
In their music, BKO Quintet’s vocalists, percussionists, and string players have found a way to fuse the oral tradition of the Gambia with their native Mali’s lingua franca, Bambara. Electric meets acoustic and tradition meets contemporary as they introduce instruments like the dejmbe goblet drum and djeli ngoni string instrument, bringing West African charisma to the Pacific Northwest. Volunteer Park Amphitheater, Free

Sat, July 13
Polish Festival Seattle
Poland’s unique style of Eastern European comfort food fills the soul as much as the stomach. Pierogis and kielbasa might be the most recognizable dishes, but Saturday’s festival lets diners expand their horizons with lesser-known delicacies. A quick crash course: Bigos is a meat-based hunter’s stew and pączkis are doughnuts filled with preserved fruit. One of Seattle’s most popular Polish delis, Sebi’s Bistro, will be on hand to serve up other national favorites, like zapiekanka—an open-faced sandwich served on half a baguette, topped with sauteed white mushrooms and covered with melted cheese. It’s no wonder this national cuisine is synonymous with rich, hearty portions. And with no entry fees, you’ll have plenty of cash to sample the flavors of Poland. Seattle Center Armory and Mural Amphitheater, Free

Sat, July 13
Matt-enee’s Four Friend Flavors Vol. 4
Improv duo Matt Hatfield and Renee Lynch are mixing up their witty, relationship-based comedy by bringing their friends into the conversation—a new pal (and sketch) every 15 minutes, to be exact. Expect ridiculous voices masking dark humor, and satirical scenarios that are a bit too close to home. The Pocket Theater, $10

All Weekend (thru July 27)
Amjad Faur and Paula Rebsom: In Our Absence
This exhibit plays with the age-old question, If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? These co-op artists and photographers used motion-sensor cameras to capture their favorite places—Scatter Creek hunting reserve and a Greenwood backyard—when they weren’t there to experience it themselves. Time-lapse shots of these nooks in nature will accompany experimental video projections, field recordings, and sculptural pieces intended to capture the sublime. SOIL Gallery, Free 

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