Saxophonist Andrew Swanson wrote a piece in today’s Seattle Times about the continuation of Cafe Racer.

The artistic community at Cafe Racer is a rare and fine gemstone; an object of endless beauty and complexity.

The cafe is a constellation of characters — glassy-eyed university students, scooter enthusiasts, curious out-of-towners, salty ultra-regulars, friendly neighbors and other hyphenated demographics. I relocated to the neighborhood just to be near it. It’s Roosevelt’s living room.

Last Wednesday, a disturbed man named Ian Stawicki entered that living room and mercilessly executed our friends where they sat and stood.

This brutality could be reason for us Seattleites to live in fear. But if we trembled now at every turn, forgetting why the victims were there in the first place, we would be doing a tremendous injustice to the five killed on that terrible day.

They, and all of us, were drawn to Cafe Racer for the openness of its environment and the character of its constituents. Amid its collection of terrible paintings and billows of bacon-scented air, I’ve found some of the finest human treasure Seattle has to offer. It was there that I met an affable sword swallower named Drew Keriakedes, better known as circus performer and musician Shmootzi The Clod.

I ask this of everyone: Please, do not waver in the face of this tragedy. Don’t waste a moment thinking that it could have been you on that bar stool. Cafe Racer will reopen.

Develop your talents, be they coding or calligraphy, and proceed with conviction and compassion. You are alive, and you should act accordingly.

Take to heart one of Drew’s most inspiring lyrics: Follow your dreams, and don’t be discouraged.

Read the full piece at The Seattle Times.

Also. via the Racer Sessions website:

In light of Cafe Racer’s temporary closure due to last week’s tragic incident, tonight’s session will take place a block away at Luke’s house. Please e-mail [email protected] for directions.

Performing this Sunday will be The Westerlies featuring Riley Mulherkar, Zubin Hensler, Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch with guests from New York, pianist Sam Yulsman and drummer Jason Burger.



Seattle Jazz