JUNE 16th-19th, 2016


                                                  Press Release
                                                        617 KB PDF

The 16th annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival
will again be held over the longest weekend of the year. We celebrate a wide cast of accomplished performers who are excited to experience the unique town we call home!

The midnight sun beckons you to hike our meandering as well as challenging trails, explore the tide pools for sea urchins, sea stars, and sea glass, or just stroll through the town, harbor, and boardwalk, enjoying the sights of the boats coming and going.  Listen to the sounds of the gulls and eagles dancing for their food against the magnificent mountains that provide a backdrop for Seldovia.

Our logo is “You Otter Be Here”, so if you are lucky, you might just see a few of these furry critters playing near the beaches or in the harbor. Get ready to have an unforgettable time with us as we introduce you to our 2 Headliners who will be performing Friday and Saturday nights and to the other 12 groups who will be performing either Friday or Saturday evening.

“En Plein Air” is in its third year as an event that invites artists from within and out of Seldovia to spend the weekend depicting impressions of our beautiful town and its  surroundings through their favorite medium. Many of the renditions will be for sale at our silent auction. More at bottom of page.


Tomoka Raften started to play classical piano at three years of age and started taking flute lessons when she was eight years old. She has received a Master of Music in flute performance from the University of Music ( Hochschule fuer Musik) "Franz Liszt" Weimarin Germany, and a Bachelor of Arts in flute performance (with honors) from Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan. She was a finalist and a semi-finalist at several international flute competitions in Europe and Asia, and was awarded a two year full scholarship for her graduate studies in Germany by the Rotary Club International. She has worked in several professional orchestras in Japan and Germany including the National Theater Orchestra in Weimar. She has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in Europe and Japan. Her recording includes a CD released from Naxos and Deutsche Shallplatten. She moved to Soldotna with her family at the end of 2013 and will have Armin Abdihodžic as her accompanist.

Armin Abdihodžić began playing classical guitar at age 8 which led him to a successful career and performances all over the world (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, USA, etc.). Dr. Abdihodžić graduated Summa cum Laude from William Carey University, received his Master’s degree from East Carolina University, and completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas.
Dr. Abdihodžić received top prizes in many international competitions: Columbus State Guitar Symposium, Appalachian State International Guitar Competition, Allegro Guitar Competition, Rosario International Guitar Competition, North Carolina Academy of Music Guitar Competition, Mississippi Guitar Competition, Pine Belt Guitar Symposium, Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs; and many other awards.
Recently, he has appeared as a guest soloist with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra and the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra performing Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”; as well as with the Anchorage Opera in the production of “Maria de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla.
Besides being a full-time professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Dr. Abdihodžić is a frequent collaborator at the Karlovac Summer Guitar School (Croatia) and one of the founders of Bihać Summer Guitar Workshop (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He is also a member of Borealis Guitar Quartet (Anchorage, Alaska), Duo Alisio (with the Brazilian guitarist Josinaldo Costa), and commonly performs with the UAA Early Music Ensemble and other local ensembles.

Nervis Rex is Alaska's resident AlaSKA band which has going strong since 1996 at festivals, fairs, and on local stages.  Nervis Rex fills a unique niche with their dependably energetic style. At a Nervis Rex show, expect loyal fans and new converts to dance, dance, dance to the band's high-tempo tunes, motored by hard-hitting drums and trilling, speedy horns. With a blend of original songs and covers, a Nervis Rex show sets the stage for a fun night with a mixed-age, feel-good crowd. Members include: Scott Emery (drums, vocals),  Carlos Martinez  (guitar, vocals),  Justin Somaduroff  (trombone, vocals),  Dan Whitfield  (trumpet,vocals,  Cody Keim (electric bass) and Ted Stearns  (trumpet, vocals).  Hometown is none other than: Anchorage, Alaska.


“Codes of Avalon” Community Mother Drum: Join White Eagle Medicine Woman and the Grandmother Drum Ensemble on their newest Community Mother Drum, “ Codes of Avalon” as they perform global chants and world music from their newest double CD, “ HOLY GROUND”. The group has toured in over 20 countries promoting unity, peace and earth sustainability. “ “Codes of Avalon” is one of hundreds of Community Mother Drums in The Whirling Rainbow Foundation’s Drum For Change Global Network, uniting communities on all solstices and equinoxes in drumming vigils for peace. The Grandmother Drum Ensemble brings together cultures, tribes, faiths and hearts and are known to rock you gently in peaceful meditation, then ROCK YOU passionately in joy and celebration.  The group includes: White Eagle Medicine Woman (Suraj Holzwarth), Michaela Baumgartner (Native American flute), Shawn Zuke (guitar, didgereedu, flute) and Berkeley Davis (guitar).

Dan "dirty d" Pascucci has been entertaining and educating Alaska since 2001.  Hailing from Soldotna, he combines a love of natural things with high energy performances that include puppets, mandolins, and the world famous (in Dan's world, at least) Big Bam Boom.  Whether he's singing about salmon, love, loving salmon, or sea stars, you're sure to be entertained, and you just might learn a thing or two.  Dan is joined in Seldovia by his beautiful wife Amy Lou and his darling daughter Elena who turned 1 last month.

Amy Lou Hettinger was born and raised in a log cabin her parents built in the knobs of Kentucky. She is a singer-songwriter that grew up surrounded by an amazing family of musicians. Years ago, she migrated north and promptly fell in love with the Alaskan mountains and people. These and other bits of the world’s goodness inspire her songs.Amy Lou's love for the natural world is evident in her music. Throughout the year, she gets to sing about trees and other beautiful things with kids as a teaching artist for local camps and public art programs, and spends time sharing the wonders of the world with her beautiful daughter, Elena, and husband, Dan.

Brian Slover’s beautiful Native American Flute Music can often be heard in the morning and evening as it winds its way up the slough and into the wind. He has taken several eager Seldovia students under his wing to teach this wonderful instrument whose music comes straight from the heart and breath of its player. He grew up in Eagle River Alaska and after serving 20 years in the Navy as a corpsman moved back to Alaska to pursue his art. Moving to Seldovia has given Brian the solitude to explore both his flute and painting. He has published work in the Alaska Magazine and has an oil painting in the G. Bush Sr. Presidential Library, which was given to G. Bush Sr. while on deployment for Desert Storm of the 1st Gulf War at Thanksgiving on board USS NASSAU LHA-4.

Betsy Scott, our very own Seldovian songster, is back by public outcry! Betsy has been known, in performances, to go off with Brer Rabbit, a Whale tale, a European folk tale, or Shakespeare. Her musical influences draw from numerous wells: Folk, Opera, Jazz, Blues, Traditional, Spoken Word, World Music, Musical Theater, and Vaudeville. Whether singing acapella or with folks flowing and popping the beat, she fetches up laughter, tears, and everything in-between. Her first CD (Cold Country) was released in 2015.

Mark and Jeni Davis live in Soldotna with their three kids. The duo met while playing music at a record studio party, and have been inseparable ever since.  Mark grew up inspired by the funk of the commodores and the smooth jazz of Grover Washington, but began to get into blues as he learned to play the guitar.  Jeni learned bass by playing rock and alternative, and their shows contain a mesh of these styles with a mix of covers and originals.  They enjoy playing music wherever there’s good atmosphere and good friends

Food for the Soul is an acoustic folk group offering a mix of original music that bridges a wide span of topics from organ and tissue donation in “New Beginning” to activist songs written to protect Bristol Bay like “Little Pebble” or “Not Here” to thoughtful introspective songs about life, like “Life is a Journey”. You will delight in their harmonies and the subjects they choose to write about. Members of the group include: Bonnie Nichols, Suzanne Little, Vickie Tinker, Jack Will and Sue Biggs.

Bonnie Nichols and Jim Kimball: Bonnie a sing/songwriter who is published on two Grammy finalist children’s albums. She began a professional recording relationship with Jim Kimball, who produced a children’s album with Nichols and co-writer Katherine Dines and a country gospel CD for Nichols. They have maintained a long distance recording relationship periodically releasing new singles and special projects together. In April this year Kimball worked with Nichols to release a single, “We Are the Ones” with gospel/R&B artist Theresa Thomason as the vocalist.  A free download is available on CD Baby.
Producer/guitarist Jim Kimball, best known for his long standing association with country music superstar Reba McEntire, has toured and recorded with an extensive roster of artists that includes Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Martine McBride, Dolly Parton, Tricia Yearwood, Shelby Lynn and Carol King.  Born and raised in western Massachusetts, he left New England for Southern California where he founded and operated the Santa Monica base company, Soundscape Productions, a full service music production facility that specialized in music for film and television. Having relocated to Nashville, TN, Jim now makes his living producing and engineering records, writing, playing on recording sessions and performing live.

Andrea Pearson may not yet be a household name, but she is on the brink of changing all
of that. Over the past few years, she has opened shows and toured with some of the biggest names in country music including Brooks and Dunn, Wynonna, Vince Gill, The Band Perry, Sherrie Austin, Lee Ann Womack and Tanya Tucker.  Industry insiders and her growing following of dedicated fans already know her as a captivating live performer with a voice that is unrivaled in Nashville.
In addition to her talents as an artist, Andrea is a very prolific and in demand songwriter, and has written more than 500 songs since she first came to Nashville from British Columbia.  Her music has caught the attention of Celine Dion, Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and LeAnn Rimes to name a few.
A finalist on CMT's Next Superstar series, Andrea also made a guest appearance on 'Private Lives of Nashville Wives', had guest starring roles in other artists' music videos, runs her own home studio, and recently made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry.
This is shaping up to be a banner year for Andrea.  She is currently hard at work on a new album set for release in late summer/early fall of 2016 and she'll be performing at state and country fairs, festivals and clubs across the country, affording her fans a chance to see her from coast to coast.  
All things point to the likelihood that Andrea Pearson will not remain 'under the radar' for long.

Glen Simpson is an exceptional representative of what mountain music is all about.  He is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and self-made historian.  He is a keeper of the old ways and storyteller of the lives and hardships experienced by generations of working folks who have always figured out how to survive in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and southwest West Virginia.  His latest release, “13 Stories High” is a delightful and poignant collection of stories and songs from home. 

Robert Pepper is influenced by Chicago style,  Electric Blues from 1950 - 1970. His first “paid” gig was on the Southside of Chicago. He has played the Blues in Chicago, Boston and locally in Kenai, Alaska.  He strives to be an ambassador for this wonderful genre of American music.

2016  Program Schedule
Thursday, June 16- The festivities begin with the performers boarding the Seldovia Bay Ferry in Homer at 11:00 am for an hour ride of greeting and mixing it up with a jam session of favorite tunes to get everyone warmed up and in the spirit ! Any festival attendees are welcome to ride for a sneak preview of what’s to come and to enjoy the breathtaking view!

The performers will be greeted by the Seldovia Arts Council members and host families, who will take them to their housing before the fun begins! There will be time to stroll around to find the school and to check out the town before the “Meet and Greet” held at the Linwood Bar and Grill starting at 5 pm where you can catch an early dinner before attending the very popular Open Mic' at the Susan B. English School. Community members and visitors alike are encouraged to sign up between 7:30 and 8 pm to share a song, poem, story, or tune with everyone. This is always a fun, and often surprising opportunity to have a moment of stardom!

Friday, June 17- For the second year we are bringing back the very popular “busking” event where the community can enjoy short samples from many of the performers of what’s to come for the Friday and Saturday evening concerts! There will be several places throughout town that will host the performers during the day. Depending on the weather, they may find themselves on a sunny deck in a restaurant, or playing in our new harbor pavilion. The schedule will be posted for all to enjoy.

The concerts begin at 6:15pm at the school on Friday and Saturday evenings with the headliners performing each evening and the other groups playing one night or the other.

Saturday, June 18- Our very popular YOGA hour at 8:30am at the Sea Otter Community Center will pep up your Saturday followed by the favorite SONG CIRCLE with our musicians jamming and sharing tunes over coffee and breakfast at the Boardwalk Hotel deck at 10am. All are welcome to come and listen.

Saturday afternoon from 1-4 pm is a favorite with the performers holding WORKSHOPS for all ages and is open to community members as well as festival attendees. There will be several choices offered each hour including many how-to compose, teach, play, tune,
drum or sing. Pick and choose whatever looks fun and see how the artists inspire the love of their talents!

In between all the happenings, there will be a chance to browse the shops, watch the boats come and go, or take a short walk or hike along our beaches or Otterbahn Trail which is accessed next to the school. Don’t forget to periodically checkout how our visiting artists with “En Plein Air” are doing creating their masterpieces throughout the town!

At 4:00 pm there will be a dinner for the performers in the school’s cafeteria with just enough time to get ready for the final concert starting at 6:15pm.  There will be an intermission each eve where you can support the Fine Arts Camp by purchasing a yummy dessert or scooping up a CD of your favorite performer!

Sunday, June 19- Sadly, Sunday brings a close to a very busy weekend but not before you get to enjoy the “En Plein Air” artists’ paintings and other works. There will be a silent auction of their work from 1 PM until 3PM at the Pavilion at the harbor.

There is just enough time to grab your personal belongings and an ice cream cone before saying good-bye to new and old friends and a memorable weekend of fun, song, and fond memories from a very special place by the sea!
Thanks for coming and see you next year!!

Visit us on Facebook: Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival.
Tickets at the door:
Festival Pass- $49.00
Teens-              $16.00
12 and under- Free
Single night performance- $25.00
Single night -Teen-            $8.00
For more information call: 907-399-7379

                                                       Open Mic' Show
                                Thursday, June 16
                                        8:00 P.M.

    Concert Performance Schedule

                                                                  Friday, June 17
6:15 Opening
6:30 Brian Slover
7:00 Food For The Soul
7:30 Mark and Jeni Davis
8:00 Nervis Rex
8:45 Robert Pepper
9:15 Tomoka Raften & Armin Abdihodzic
10:15 Andrea Pearson

                                                               Saturday, June 18

6:15 The Flying Scribanzos
6:30 Dan Pascucci
7:00 Bonnie Nichols & Jim Kimball
7:30 Amy Hettinger
8:00 Tomoka Raften &Armin Abdihodzic
8:45 Codes Of Avalon
Community Mother Drum
9:15 Nervis Rex
10:15 Betsy Scott
10:45 Glen Simpson

All  evening  performances  will  be  in  the  Susan  B.  English  School  Commons.
The  gate  opens  for  seating  at  6:00  pm;  admission  is  by  ticket  only.  Proceeds
from  t-shirt  sales  benefit  the  Seldovia  Arts  Council  and  help  fund  the  solstice
festival;  sale  of  CDs  benefits  the  artists  and  performers. Food sales benefit the
Fine Arts Camp (July).

Restrooms  for  festival  attendees  are  in  hallways  adjacent  to  the  school  Commons; 
ask  at the  gate  for  directions.  Food  and  drink  are  not  permitted  in  the
Commons  or  classrooms. The  school  is  a  non-smoking  area.  Lost  &  Found  is  at
the  gate  during  the  festival;  after  the  festival  lost  items  may  be  retrieved  from
the  Seldovia  City  Office  (907-234-7643).

                                               En Plein Air 2016

The Seldovia Arts Council wishes to invite “En Plein Air” artists to discover our gorgeous corner of Alaska. We would love to have artists of every talent, both hobbyists and professionals, join the fine arts portion of our Solstice celebrations which will occur June 16th – June 19th, 2015.

This is our 15th annual Summer Solstice Musical Festival starting with the participating musicians performing aboard the MV Tustemena during the trip from Homer to Seldovia on Thursday, June 16th. The Seldovia Art Council will sponsor workshops during the days of Friday, June 17th, and Saturday, June 19th with wonderful evening performances to follow on each of those dates. When the participating painters are not busy creating their own works of art, they can come and enjoy the music.

“En Plein Air” artists will be surprised and inspired at every turn in and around Seldovia. Our sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, whether viewed across the bay, over the surrounding mountains, or from the beaches. There are fascinating vistas of the small boat harbor, the old boardwalk, the bridge and slough, Main Street, and Inside and Outside Beaches, all within easy walking distance. Locations for joyful work are endless.

All artists are asked to bring their own supplies and easels.

There will be a brief welcoming meeting between 9:00AM and 9:30AM on Friday June 17th with maps available of town and surrounds for your assistance. We will end the fine arts portion of the celebration with a silent auction on Sunday, June 19th starting at 11:30AM and finishing at 1:30PM with snacks and coffee available. The public viewing space at Seldovia’s new pavilion, located adjacent to the boat harbor, will be the place where all can view each artist’s work and where the auction will take place. In preparation for the auction, each artist will be provided a numbered page on which to place the title of their work and the minimum bid they will require.

We hope all artists will consider this an open invitation, not only for the time during our Solstice celebration, but also for the entire summer. At other times when artists might visit, the natural beauty will remain the same, and the artists will be able to sell their work in Seldovia as they see fit.

Seldovia has a nice RV park and beautiful camping sites on Outside Beach, each with lavatory facilities. For your planning and comfort, please reference the following regarding lodging, availability of food and the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival:
Seldovia Chamber of Commerce, and
Please note that most of the businesses listed will be open for the entire summer as well as our local grocery store, The Crabpot Grocery.

If you decide to participate in Seldovia’s En Plen Air 2016 please contact Tania Spurkland at 907-399-7379 or by email at  or Jenifer Cameron…………….. ……………………….
Thank  you!

Sound Checks on Friday, June 17th

10:00    Tomoka Raften and Armin Abdihodzic
10:45    Nervis Rex
11:30    Food For the Soul
12:00    Codes of Avalon
12:30    The Flying Scribanzos
  1:00    Bonnie Nichols and Jim Kimball
  1:15    Andrea Pearson
  1:30    Brian Slover
  1:45    Robert Pepper
  2:00    Mark and Jeni Davis
  2:30    Betsy Scott
  3:00    Glenn Simpson

Dan Pascucci and Amy Hettinger (arriving late on Friday, sometime on Sat)

                                                    How it's been previously,             
                                                 Last year's festival page link


                                                                             updated 2016, June 7