Colin Tolman, drums

Colin Tolman, drums

Shorebird Festival concert celebrates water and wildlife

Take six musicians who have played everything from Cajun to classical to blues, add original compositions by Homer’s boogie-woogie piano guy Johnny B, and mix with Alaska videos by Daniel Zatz and you have “Wild Mountains Bright Water.”

Featuring the Devils Club Orchestra, the show is one of two music events for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. “Wild Mountains Bright Water” starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Homer Theatre is “On the Wing,” an evening of music, poetry and film celebrating birds.

A fundraiser for Cook Inletkeeper and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, “Wild Mountains Bright Water” supports Cook Inletkeeper’s mission of protecting the Cook Inlet watershed and advocating for action on climate change. Johnny B said he sees the event as helping to raise awareness of climate change.

“Through awareness on climate change, maybe action will come out,” he said.

The Devils Club Orchestra came about last fall when Johnny B — the stage name of John Bushell — put together an ensemble of string musicians for the Pratt Museum’s annual Ritz gala fundraiser. Known for his piano compositions, Johnny B expanded his tunes with orchestrations for violin, cello and bass, and added the percussion of Colin Tolman.

Daniel Perry and Trina Uvaas play violin, with Gabriela Husmann on cello and Jennifer King on bass. Musical styles include jazz, blues, classical and rock ’n’ roll.

“Wild Mountains Bright Water” includes new songs Johnny B wrote over the winter, when he had the luxury of staying home and focusing on his art.

“I just wrote and arranged music the whole time,” he said. “It’s just tough sometimes to get to the piano, but this year it worked.”

Johnny B starts out by composing on an acoustic piano and then starts adding lines for string parts. One song was composed for a new Daniel Zatz video that shows Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay.

“It’s going to blow residents of our area away when they see it,” Johnny B said. “It’s a little travelogue, a celebration of Homer. It’s really cool.”

The playlist also includes four compositions Johnny B wrote for Zatz’s film, “Alaska’s Coolest Animals,” originally composed on a computer but rearranged for a string orchestra.

“The evening will be a celebration of our whole area, the Cook Inlet watershed, wildlife, water itself,” Johnny B said. “And of course there will be a couple of boogies thrown in there. Wait until classical music lovers hear Dan Perry on a boogie-woogie. It’s going to be fun.”

Showing both Friday and Saturday, “Wild Mountains Bright Water” opens at 6:30 p.m. with drinks and appetizers from Maura’s, included in the ticket price of $30. The concert itself starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the shorebird festival headquarters at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center or online through

Michael Armstrong can be reached at


Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival concerts

On the Wing

7:30 p.m. today, Homer Theatre

With the Seaside Singers, the Homer Ukulele Group, Michael Murray, Sam Smith, Lindianne Sarno, the Little Fiddlers, The Ann, Louise and Sunrise Trio, video by Nina Faust, and poetry by Maka and Mike Fairman, Jackie Stefano,

Milli Martin, Nancy Levinson, Jeanne Steele, Carol Dee, Shane Kilcher and Maureen Sullivan

Wild Mountains Bright Water

Devils Club Orchestra

With Johnny B, piano; Daniel Perry and Trina Uvaas, violins; Colin Tolman, drums; Jennifer King, bass; Gabriela Husmann, cello

6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday

7:30 p.m., concert starts

Bunnell Street Arts Center

$30, includes appetizers from Maura’s and drinks

on sale at the
Homer Chamber
of Commerce and Visitor Center
or online at


Daniel Perry, Piano

Daniel Perry, Piano

Gabriela Husmann

Gabriela Husmann

Jennifer King, Bass

Jennifer King, Bass

Johnny B, Piano

Johnny B, Piano

Trina Uvaas, violins

Trina Uvaas, violins

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