🎶 Meet Seattle’s fountain DJ

🎶 Meet Seattle’s fountain DJ

(📸: Pete Rush)


Things can get pretty sweaty in the Seattle heat, especially if you’re checking out some of our city’s big summer festivals, like Northwest Folklife, Bumbershoot, and Festál. One of the best — and most fun — ways to beat the heat, especially if you have a little one in tow? Cooling off by the International Fountain in Seattle Center.

Ever notice how the water from the fountain spurts and sways to the rhythm of music magically drifting from its center? That’s all thanks to James Whetzel, the born-and-raised Seattleite who curates the fountain’s funky tunes.

We caught up with James to learn a little more about what he loves about living in Seattle.  

Tell us what you do in 10 words or less.
I’m a musician and music programmer for Seattle Center’s fountain.

What do you love most about making and curating music in Seattle?
There’s a great community of music makers here, and I love how people appreciate different styles of music.

Where are the two places you’d take an out-of-town guest?
The Crumpet Shop [in downtown] for fine tea and tasty crumpets and Island Soul [in Columbia City] for great Caribbean food and vibes.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in our city?
Volunteer Park Conservatory [in Capitol Hill].

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard or given about living in Seattle?
The challenge for me is adapting to how the city continues to change over time. If someone were to ask me for my advice, it would be to appreciate and support the places, things, and venues that you find here that you love. They may not last, so love them while you can, and if you do support them they may endure. Also be grateful for the cool places, things, and venues that survive.

If you could change anything about Seattle, what would it be?
I’d love it if there were more affordable housing, and more public transportation.

What are five Seattle people or orgs everyone should know about?

  • Yaw Amponsah: “One of the best drummers in Seattle.”
  • Seattle Parks Buskers Program and its creator, Adrienne Caver-Hall: The program is “an innovative city of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation program, which has been imitated locally and nationally.”
  • Levi Fuller: “Musician, and creator/curator of Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly, which releases a new compilation of music from Seattle and beyond every month.”
  • Pasquale Santos: “Legendary violin playing busker.”

Want to hear what’s playing at the International Fountain these days? Check out James’ music mixes here. Know someone else we should introduce folks to in The Evergrey? Hit reply and let us know.

Dig this newsletter?

Refer your friends

Want to support your local newsletter and help your friends be in-the-know? Share your unique referral link, and get great swag when they sign up. Sign in to grab your unique link.

CoCA speaks to the intersection of artistic expression, community and inclusivity. Join us! Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.


$29.40 an hour… or about $61,000 a year — that’s how much you’d need to make to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle right now, according to a new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. That number’s skyrocketed by 67 percent since 2014. And if you have kids and want to rent a two-bedroom spot? You’d need to make at least $36 an hour, or more than $75,000 annually. Although our city’s population is booming, “rent increases in Seattle have slowed slightly in recent months and in some cases even dipped as new apartments become available,” reporter Josh Cohen writes for Crosscut. “But a one-bedroom apartment in South Lake Union renting for $2,000 instead of $2,200 offers little solace for someone earning $15 an hour.” (KUOW, Crosscut)

The world’s better with you in it. In the last two weeks, two high-profile celebs, TV show host Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade, took their lives — and a recent report for the Center for Disease Control shows suicide is on the rise across the country. Washington’s suicide rate was 15.1 deaths per 100,000 people from 2014 to 2016 — a 19 percent increase from a previous report conducted from 1999 to 2001. During that time, Seattle’s suicide rate went up by 15 percent (about 13.7 deaths per 100,000 people). That’s the lowest rate in Washington, but still too high. If you or a loved one is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). ❤ (The Seattle Times)

‘Like nowhere else in the country.’ Green, orange, and yellow bikeshare bikes are covering our city — and they’re getting the most love, a.k.a. three times more usage, than anywhere else in the U.S. More than 350,000 Seattleites have used Lime, Ofo, and Spin bikes and have ridden more than a million miles on them in their first five months. But a former bikeshare employee and transit leaders aren’t so enthused. (WIRED)

That’s reel big. Over the weekend, Ahmed Majeed found something surprising in Green Lake: a 45-pound, four-and-a-half-foot catfish. He reeled it in after betting coworkers that he’d be able to catch the giant he suspected was lurking in the murky waters. The fish “probably was a state record,” according to Bruce Bolding of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, easily beating the current champ, a 36-pound Chinook catfish caught — er, weighed — in 1996. But because Ahmed’s fish wasn’t officially weighed before it was gutted, it won’t go in the record books. 😔 (The Seattle Times)

Selfie not included. Ellen DeGeneres is coming to Seattle August 22-23 for her first stand-up show in 15 years. Want tickets? Register for a chance to get some by 10 p.m. Sunday night. –> (Ticketmaster)

Things to do


💃  TONIGHT: Watch amazing Northwest dancers do their thing at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN performance and party (Queen Anne)

💪  Wednesday, June 20: When do you keep pushing, and when do you call it a day? Learn how to tell the difference at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🍻  Tuesday, June 26: Join fellow readers of The Evergrey and Seattle magazine for a night of craft brews, good conversation, and hoppy-go-lucky beer trivia (SoDo)

Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.



🎟  Cheer on Rocky Horror-themed roller derby (White Center)
👋  Test your Seattle knowledge at Crosscut’s trivia night (Ballard)
🎟  Party with dancers at this Evergrey partner event (Queen Anne)
🍿  See the Seattle International Film Festival’s best flicks (All over)


🎈  Watch The Goonies under the stars (South Lake Union)
🏞  Explore some of North Seattle’s secret gardens (Lake Forest Park)
🎈  See some live music and handmade art — through June 17 (Edmonds)
🎈  Kick -off summer with the Solstice Festival’s naked bike riders (


🎈  Take a drive to gorge on strawberries (Marysville)
🎈  Celebrate black art, fashion, and culture with live music (Queen Anne)
🍺  Crack open a beer with dad at the Washington Brewers Festival (Redmond)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.


Yup. The Fremont Solstice Parade — Seattle’s officialish kickoff to summer — starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. New to the city or never been? Solstice expert Ennie Brosius has some advice…

“Parade participation is 100% open to the public. You will be seeing your new friends and neighbors taking a chance at wild self-expression,” Ennie told us. “Marching, Rock & Samba bands, a contingent of trees, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, giant puppets, line dancers, painted cyclists, bubble fairies… Everyone can be an artist, including you!”

And speaking of art, today’s community ad (the one with the * up above 👆) was placed by reader and artist Sara Everett. Sara won a free Evergrey promo spot last week to shout out whatever great local thing she wanted. She’s on CoCA’s board of directors and digs its experimental programming, “often with under-represented groups.”

Keep it colorful out there. — The Evergrey 

Subscribe to The Evergrey

Get the latest Seattle news and events, plus giveaways and special access to fun things around the city delivered fresh to your inbox every morning.

Archived Newsletters