The Confluence Music in the Park event will happen on Sunday, Aug 25., and in its second year, the festival will feature a wider variety of music, according to Julie Martin, executive director of the Downtown Issaquah Association.
The festival started in 2018 as a strictly jazz gathering. After the event, citizen feedback came in indicating that people wanted different types of music included in the park happening. Similar to last year, booking was done by Tony Frederickson of the Washington Blues Society.
The original intent of the event was drawing more people to Confluence Park, Martin said. While it is a beautiful park, it was also underutilized, she said. The event would be a full day of music for Issaquah, adding to other music attraction including Gas Station Blues hosted at the Historic Shell Station thursday nights in July and August and the wine and art walks during the year.
This year the Confluence Park event has been expanded by an hour and more art and food has been added to give it more of a festival vibe, Martin said.
But of all of the event’s attractions, Martin said she’s most excited by Lee Oskar — composer, producer, performer and harmonica virtuoso.
His artistic contributions include the creation of songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. One of the most recognizable is the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends” performed by the funk band War. He’ll be sharing his music with new arrangements and performed with musicians. Together they’re known as Lee Oskar & Friends.
Cytrus is also performing. The band is a combination of two Seattle-based groups (HopSol and Bunk Foss) coming together to form one. Their music is described as “funk-driven” with “psychedelic sounds and synth textures.”
The family-friendly event will run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Confluence Park, adjacent to the Issaquah Creek. Rogue Issaquah Brewhouse provided the beer and wine for the garden. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.
“I think it’s going to be a fabulous day full of music, friends and dancing,” Martin said. “It’s a great day out in the park.”