The show must go on: Lynnwood City councilmember and musician Jim Smith hosts mini concerts throughout the city

The show must go on: Lynnwood City councilmember and musician Jim Smith hosts mini concerts throughout the city
By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff

Outside of his role working through COVID-19 induced impacts on the city of Lynnwood, councilmember Jim Smith is using his talent as a musician to bring the power of music to the community.

On May 10, the guitarist and singer played two consecutive shows on Mother’s Day for the residents of local senior living community Fairwinds- Brighton Court.

Previously booked to play inside before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brighton Court staff assembled a canopy outside for one of Smith’s performances, who toted extra speakers with his equipment to ensure that sound wasn’t compromised by the outdoor elements.

For just an hour a crowd of residents, sitting six feet apart and wearing face-coverings, weren’t stuck inside their rooms but were instead front row at their own special concert.

“These centers are trying to find alternative events for the people in there,” explained Jim Smith. “The seniors are locked up in their one-bedroom apartment and that’s got to be tough. It’s almost worse than anything else.”

Brighton Court Staff and Smith proceeded to transport his equipment to the backside of the building, so that he could play adjacent to the windows of residents unable to leave their rooms.

“One of them was sitting in her windowsill watching and listening,” recounted Smith. “It was fun, I enjoyed doing that. It’s very rewarding.”

Smith began playing at senior living facilities almost ten years ago after he watched a performer at Brighton Court during a visit with his mother. Since then, he has been performing an average of 175 shows a year across Snohomish County and the surrounding region.

While some of his upcoming indoor concerts have been canceled and/or postponed, Smith says that many of the other facilities he frequents, including those in Redmond and Oak Harbor, have asked him to play outside.

Smith is also a part of the band GenRAShun who, for the past three years, has been voluntarily performing for the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. While the May 3 fundraising event took place virtually this year, the band received a request to submit a video recording of them covering Bill Wither’s song “Lean on Me” and was shared with participants.

“It was fun doing that, as well as feeling good that we’re able to do something that represents the normalcy that we usually get to do”, said Smith.

To learn more about, and listen to, GenRAShun visit http://www.genrashun.com/.

Erin Freeman

I graduated from Washington State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in rhetoric and professional writing. I also received a minor in political science. I joined the Lynnwood Times in February of 2020. To me, community newspapers affirm a sense of community by connecting people through the coverage of local stories and current events.

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