City of Renton to host virtual performance series to give platform to performers during pandemic

Tonight’s virtual event will feature local musicians exploring a short history of jazz.

Tonight, the City of Renton will host the virtual event Beyond the Stage: Abridged History of Jazz, part of a series intended to give a platform to creatives and performers out-of-work during the pandemic.

Tonight’s hour-long event begins at 7 pm and features local musician Mike Simpson and Lindbergh High School choral director Brain Hoskins as they explore tunes from throughout the different eras and styles of the genre.

Hoskins said the event will feature 10 different jazz tunes written by Black composers spanning from ragtime feel, to cool jazz, to funk fusion.

He said tunes will be played with Simpson playing brass horns and Hoskins on piano, with opportunities for questions to be asked in between.

Community Relations and Events at City of Renton, Sonja Mejlaender, said the Beyond the Stage series was born out of an “unfortunate set of circumstances,” during the pandemic in which venues, events, performances and much of the arts in general were hindered.

The program is the city’s way of featuring local artists and creatives.

Mejlaender said previous events spanning all the way back to December have featured magicians, Irish dancers, even indigenous storytellers.

She hopes the programs give a platform and an opportunity to performers who lost their platform and opportunity, as well as to bring entertainment and awareness to those who attend.

Register for free at with course number 9711.