‘HONK! Fest West’ bands descend on Whidbey’s Greenbank Farm to delight hundreds

Posted in Community, Festivals, More Stories, Music, Photo essay

Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
July 1, 2015

It wasn’t just Whidbey’s resident Canada geese “honking” at Greenbank Farm on Monday, June 22.

Madisum Clark-Stern, Events coordinator at Greenbank Farm, watches one of the performing bands.

Madisun Clark-Stern, Events coordinator at Greenbank Farm, enjoys the D20 Brass Band from Seattle. .

Nine brass bands from around the U.S., plus one from Perth, Australia, gathered on that afternoon to play at two stages at Greenbank Farm during the “HONK! Fest West Coast Tour: International Brass Band Madness!” global music exchange and picnic that followed an entire weekend of Seattle’s HONK! Fest West.


sambAmore band from Arcata, CA included a retinue of dancers.

Even the Geese Enjoyed HONK!

Even Greenbank Farms’ Canada Geese enjoy HONK! as the D20 Brass Band plays on.

Bands included Junkadelic Brass Band from Perth, the New Creations Brass Band from New Orleans, Environmental Encroachment from Chicago and the Extraordinary Rendition Band from Providence, R.I. Several bands ventured over from Seattle, while areas of California, Texas and Minnesota were also represented. Although all the ensembles are considered “brass bands” and were only a small representation of the number of bands who performed in Seattle, the styles of music they played varied from Dixieland to blues to jazz and samba, and no two were alike. Perth’s “Junkadelic” even included an electric guitarist and a rap singer.


Ken, (right) with the Junkadelic Brass Band (Perth, Australia) plays drums hand-made from “junk.” The band makes many (but clearly not all) of their instruments from” junk.”


The exuberance of the Brass Messengers, from Minneapolis, encouraged this little girl to join in the fun.



Greenbank Farm partnered with Click Music and sponsor Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, which provided transportation for band members, to host this Brass Band Picnic, bringing the bands to the heart of Whidbey Island. Presenting a global music exchange of community street band culture for the first time on Whidbey Island, the musical groups drew several hundred picnicking music fans to the farm for this first free, family-friendly music explosion.


Extraordinary Rendition Band


Environmental Encroachment from Chicago gets ready to hit the “Whidbey Pies Café stage”


A trombonist with D20 Brass Band utilizes special effects to enhance the crowd’s experience.

Following four hours of non-stop performances, all band members merged together near the Tractor Barn, forming one huge processional; then they meandered together, as the sun set—up the trails and into the hills to the ridge top viewpoint, all the while improvising on old blues favorites.

It was surely a different experience from their weekend parades in Seattle.


sambAmore on the move!

Extraordinary Rendition Band members add choreography to their performance

Extraordinary Rendition Band members add choreography to their performance


Clark-Stern leads the way into the hills as the bands close out the day’s festivities.

The massed band reaches the ridge top viewpoint as the sun slips below.  (photo by Judy Feldman)

The massed bands reach the ridge top viewpoint as the sun slips below. (photo by Judy Feldman)

 Click on HONKfestwest.com  to learn more about HONK! Fest West events.


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  1. 3 cheers to Judy Feldman for the stunning last photo, the crowd silhouetted with the pink umbrella in the setting sunlight. Fabulous shot!!!!

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