Kat Moore of The Forest That Never Sleeps plays for a live audience. She’ll be joined by Seattle-based musician Ollella for new concert series Underground Connection’s first show on Friday and Saturday. (Courtesy Photo / Taylor Vidic)

Kat Moore of The Forest That Never Sleeps plays for a live audience. She’ll be joined by Seattle-based musician Ollella for new concert series Underground Connection’s first show on Friday and Saturday. (Courtesy Photo / Taylor Vidic)

Making a new Connection: Concert series links Alaska and Lower 48 scenes

New concert series brings talent to town for two nights.

Local musicians Taylor Vidic and Zac Pease are applying the sharing is caring philosophy to their latest collaborative music project, the Underground Connection.

According to Vidic and Pease, the mission of the Underground Connection is to create a link between the underground arts, music and cultures scenes of Alaska and the Lower 48 by utilizing partnerships between local businesses and patrons of the arts to nurture and grow connections between artists across the west.

“It’s been fun to find Zac and have him toss his idea at me because I’ve thought very similar things, for instance figuring out a way to bring traveling artists to Juneau and beyond and if it’s even feasible,” Vidic said. “Alaska, and Southeast in particular, has unique challenges when it comes to the financial viability of bringing outside art in and sharing inside art out.”

For their first event, Underground Connection is hosting two nights of concerts with Seattle-based indie-folk cellist, vocalist and songwriter Ollella performing with Anchorage artist Kat Moore as The Forest That Never Sleeps. The first show is all-ages at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Rookery and then 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Crystal Saloon for a 21-and-up show.

Seattle indie-folk musician Ollella, seen here, will be performing with Kat Moore for two nights of concerts Friday and Saturday with Juneau’s latest concert series Underground Connection. (Courtesy Photo / Kendall Rock Photography)

Seattle indie-folk musician Ollella, seen here, will be performing with Kat Moore for two nights of concerts Friday and Saturday with Juneau’s latest concert series Underground Connection. (Courtesy Photo / Kendall Rock Photography)

With monthly shows taking place on the second Saturday, Underground Connection will be bringing artists from the outside to the Capital City from the Lower 48 and other cities in Alaska to share bills with local performers. These shows will be hosted at the Crystal Saloon through the spring, with the goal of expanding to more found-spaces as the months go on.

“We’re excited to explore different venues around town and find outdoor spaces,” Pease said. “Taylor and I have had many conversations where we’ve talked about how excited we are for the summer shows and exploring the interesting places that Juneau has to offer.”

Pease, who was born and raised in Juneau, said he spent the last nine years working in production and from those vast experiences with festivals, venues, and connecting with musicians and artists all over the West Coast, he started thinking of ways he could share those experiences with Juneau.

“It was time for me to come home and take what I’d learned and bring it back here,” Pease said. “I’ve been all over the world doing production work and that’s what’s really given me the gift of making a lot of connections with a lot of lesser known artists that are super talented. I think it would just be so wonderful to bring them to town and expose Juneau to new art.”

Underground Connection is partnering this month with Mountainside Open Mic, produced by Marian Call at the Rookery, and Alaska Independent Musicians Initiative. Vidic said the long-term goal of the project is to bring various stakeholders together with the common goal of helping to finance more local art in town. Call said having been a touring musician herself, she knows all too well the challenges of costs associated. She said she’s excited to be a part of collaborative efforts to ease tensions for traveling artists.

“I’m really excited when visiting artists can come to town and Juneau can hear something from outside live and in person,” Call said. “And I’m really excited when there’s an all-ages opportunity included. So, I hope some of our families and teens who enjoy music can come out because we do not have many offerings of all ages music right now.”

Aside from the goal of including out of town acts on the lineup, Vidic said another piece of what Underground Connection is trying to do is to avoid being genre specific within its choices. As Vidic and Pease continue booking their programming for the next few months, Vidic said they’ll be bringing hip-hop artists, as well as discussing a classical show, so that the focus remains on diverse quality as opposed to being restricted by any one particular style.

“It’s fun but it’s also a little scary because not every show is going to be for everyone, it’s not going to be the same audience every month. We hope people will be able to follow along and keep an eye out for which shows they are interested in and maybe feel inspired to spend the night taking in a style of music that they otherwise wouldn’t because they will trust that what we are bringing to town and what we’re putting on stage is of a certain calibur,” Vidic said.

Vidic and Pease said they’ve “metaphorically” shook hands on running their new concert series for the entire year, and they’ll reevaluate after 12 months. For now, Vidic said they’re just focusing on one show at a time and are thrilled for the collaborative help they’ve already received.

“It’s really nice because one of the partnerships for this show is AKIMI and we are sharing the cost of bringing Kat (Moore) to town because she’s going to participate in the music summit they’re hosting on Saturday,” Vidic said. “It’s just a great example of partnering with other organizations to help share in the cost of getting artists to town.”

Know & Go

What: Underground Connection with Ollella and Kat Moore

When: 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 13. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14

Where: The Rookery, 111 Seward St., on Friday and the Crystal Saloon, 218 Front St., on Saturday

Admission: $15-50, mountainsidepresents.brownpapertickets.com/

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

Bill Thomas, a former Republican state representative from Haines, announced Friday he is dropping out of the race for the District 3 House seat this fall. (U.S. Sustainability Alliance photo)
Bill Thomas drops out of District 3 House race, says there isn’t time for fishing and campaigning

Haines Republican cites rough start to commercial season; incumbent Andi Story now unopposed.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks at the Alaska Democratic Party’s state convention on May 18 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Peltola among few Democrats to vote for annual defense bill loaded with GOP ‘culture war’ amendments

Alaska congresswoman expresses confidence “poison pills” will be removed from final legislation.

A celebratory sign stands outside Goldbelt Inc.’s new building during the Alaska Native Regional Corporation’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Jan. 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Medical company sues Goldbelt for at least $30M in contract dispute involving COVID-19 vaccine needles

Company says it was stuck with massive stock of useless needles due to improper specs from Goldbelt.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A yearling black bear waits for its mother to return. Most likely she won’t. This time of year juvenile bears are separated, sometimes forcibly, by their mothers as families break up during mating season. (Photo courtesy K. McGuire)
Bearing witness: Young bears get the boot from mom

With mating season for adults underway, juveniles seek out easy food sources in neighborhoods.

A chart shows COVID-19 pathogen levels at the Mendenhall wastewater treatment plant during the past three months. (Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Wastewater Surveillance System)
Juneau seeing another increase in COVID-19 cases, but a scarcity of self-test kits

SEARHC, Juneau Drug have limited kits; other locations expect more by Saturday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to reporters during a news conference Feb. 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy picks second ex-talk radio host for lucrative fish job after first rejected

Rick Green will serve at least through Legislature’s next confirmation votes in the spring of 2025.

A used gondola being installed at Eaglecrest Ski Area may not begin operating until 2027, according to Goldbelt Inc. President and CEO McHugh Pierre, whose company is providing $10 million for installation costs. (Eaglecrest Ski Area photo)
Eaglecrest Ski Area gondola may not open until 2027 due to CBJ delays, Goldbelt CEO says

Agreement with city allows Goldbelt to nix $10M deal if gondola doesn’t open by May 31, 2028.

Most Read