Few musicians turn an event into a party faster than Prince. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, the iconic singer songwriter wrote his first piece at 7 years old and started his first band at 13. Even today, echoes of Prince’s timeless legacy are all around. On June 29, party like it’s 1999 when Marshall Charloff & Purple Xperience, the world’s premier tribute act, bring His Royal Badness to life to benefit the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets to the concert start at just $25.

Party Like It’s 1999 with Marshall Charloff & Purple Xperience’s Prince Tribute

What better way to raise money for the Washington Center than making it rain? Purple Rain, that is. As part of this year’s Gala celebrations, the Center is hosting Marshall Charloff & Purple Xperience. Charloff himself was raised in Minneapolis and has said, “Growing up in Minneapolis during the time where the city was making itself known to the world, I was privileged to have a front row seat to this music movement.” With Purple Xperience, they’ve toured the world for more than a decade recreating the Prince of Funk. The group headlined Red Rocks Amphitheater, starred in a Las Vegas residency, and performed with symphonies and even Prince himself.

This world-traveling Prince tribute band is the cherry on top of a night that fosters the arts and arts education in Thurston County. Photo courtesy: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts

The concert takes place Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. Alternative Revolt reviewed Purple Xperience at Red Rocks Amphitheatre saying: “The resemblance between Charloff and Prince is striking. Both in looks and musical prowess. The high notes. The guitar chops. The moves. It’s all there in full supply. And the band, made up of accomplished musicians as well, rounded out the experience seamlessly.”

There will be an online auction running from June 24 to 29 and you can preview items on the website starting June 1. Make sure to bid on exciting donations from local businesses. Treat yourself to experiences, spa packages and goodies galore or stock up on gifts for upcoming birthdays, parties and graduations.

The Washington Center’s Dynamic Role in Olympia’s Cultural Landscape

Jill Barnes, executive director for the Washington Center, believes celebrating local art and artists is vitally important. “The arts are everywhere around us and infused in our daily lives, whether we recognize it or not, and they are present at most of our benchmark moments in life,” she says. “Through music, theater, dance, visual art and other forms of artistic expression, we can explore different perspectives and ways of thinking, and use that to interpret and understand the world around us. The arts also serve as a means of cultural expression, preserving and celebrating the diverse histories, traditions and stories of different communities. They provide a platform for underrepresented voices to be heard and for marginalized groups to tell their stories and express their identities.”

“The Center offers a diverse and high-quality program of performing arts featuring local, regional, national and international artists,” says Barnes. “This programming reflects the interests and tastes of the community and provides opportunities for audiences to engage with a wide range of artistic experiences and for local performers to have a first-class experience on stage. Our commitment to excellence in programming, community engagement, accessibility and professionalism makes it a vital and dynamic part of Olympia’s cultural landscape.”

Whether you prefer comedy, classical, or classic rock, Barnes urges concertgoers to consider making a donation to their programs at the Center’s box office.

Surprise Your Prince (or Princess) With Something Special Today

Jocelyn Wood, development director for the Washington Center, explains that the auction and Purple Xperience concert support equitable access to the arts, support local artistic and community partnerships, and brings diverse performances to the area. This year’s fund-a-need will enhance programming for local schoolkids. “Through our arts education and outreach program students get front and center access to the national and international artists we bring to the region,” says Wood. “They can explore music and the arts in depth and ask questions directly to professional musicians and artists. These performances invite deep engagement with students, spark conversation and connect to topics and objectives in the classroom.”

“Seeing a live performance,” says Wood, “allows children to experience the arts in a tangible, three-dimensional way, which can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subject matter. Live performances also expose children to new cultures and perspectives, expanding their worldview, cultural competency and language comprehension. Live performances can be emotionally powerful and have a profound impact on children’s emotional development. They inspire empathy, compassion and a sense of community, which can lead to better social and emotional skills.”

To donate something for the online auction contact the Center’s team before May 31 and they’ll add it to the website. Call Wood at 360.753.8585, extension 103 with questions. Or raid your closet for just the right shade and jump ahead to the Purple Xperience show prepared to rock and roll all night.


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