Seattle Chantey Sing

Seattle Chantey Sing is a landing page to direct folks interested in Sea Chanteys (Shanties)
and other maritime music in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest


Upcoming  Seattle and Northwest Events

Updated April 13, 2024

There's lots of  events that include singing sea chanteys in the greater Seattle area.  Here's what we know for now:

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May 10th Friday,  Northwest Seaport Chantey Sing 

7:00-9:00 pm  Aboard the Historic Steamer Virginia V at Lake Union Park.

Free! Donations gladly accepted.  The sing along is for all ages and singing abilities.  Sea chanteys and sea songs are easy to sing and touch the rich traditions of past and modern maritime lore and culture.

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April 16th  Tavern Shanty Sing (3rd Tuesdays of the month)

8:00 – 10:00 pm. Jules Maes Saloon in the Georgetown neighborhood.  Come and sing your favorite sea shanties and sea songs!  5919 Airport Way S., Seattle.

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April 18th  Seattle Pub Sing  (3rd Thursdays of the month)

7:00 - 9:00 pm.  Come and sing folk, pub, and sea songs at St. Andrews Pub at 7406 Aurora Ave N, in Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood.

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April 27th Olympia Oral Tradition Pub Sing and fourth Saturdays of the month

2:00 - 5:00 pm at the Three Magnets Brewing (600 Franklin St SE, Olympia). Sing folk, pub, and sea songs at this event!


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April 28th Budd Bay Sea Shanty Singers- Monthly Shanty Sing

2:00 - 4:00 pm at Mercato Ristorante  (111 Market St. NE) in downtown Olympia, Washington

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April 14th Matthew Moeller (Cat'n Matt) presents an afternoon of new sea songs and songs that have never been performed.

2:00 - 4:00 pm  Sumner Pierce County Library  1116 Fryar Ave, Sumner, WA

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May 11, 2024 (Sat) / 7:30 pm    Hank Cramer  In Concert

Presented by the Seattle Folklore Society  at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, The Brick Building 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103 

Buy Tickets here: Tickets on sale March 11

Hank Cramer is one of the best-loved folksingers in the American West. He is widely known for his booming bass voice, smooth picking on a vintage flat-top guitar, and his wry sense of humor. He has a repertoire of over a thousand modern and traditional songs, spanning the genres of celtic, Appalachian, maritime, cowboy, and plain old folk music.

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And:



What's a Sea Chantey?

Sea Chanteys were work songs sung during the Great Age of Sail, roughly the 1800s, when ships were powered by the wind and it took human power to lift the yards, set the sails, winch up the anchor, and pump the bilges.  A call-and-response song led by a chanteyman coordinated this labor so the crew acted as one to get the work done.  Other songs were sung aboard ships too.  Forebitters were the songs of leisure sung by sailors who usually hung out at the forward part of the ship.  Forebitters were were the  songs of home, love, or happier times ashore and are often sung duirng Chantey Sings.  Note, Chantey is also spelled Shanty.

Why Sing Sea Chanteys?

Where to Sing Chanteys in Seattle

Northwest Seaport hosts a monthly Chantey Sing, usually on the second Friday of the month at Lake Union Park.  The sing-along is hosted by experienced chantey singers, and members of the audience are encouraged to lead chanteys.  Don't worry,  at least some members of the audience are bound to know at least the chorus of the song.  Sign up to be notified of the location date for each month.  The Chantey Sing is also streamed via Zoom, so get on the mailing list to get the link each month.

Where else can you sing or hear chanteys in the Pacific Northwest?

How to Get Started Singing Chanteys

There are many books, videos, and on-line sources for learning sea chanteys and music.  A great introduction, Chantey Pathfinder,  guides you to learn more about sea chanteys.  Live chantey sings are very popular at the San Francisco National Martime Historic Park and on-line chantey sings are presented by the San Francisco National Maritime Park Association.

Seattle and Northwest Maritime Performers

The Northwest has many muscians and performing groups who sing sea chanteys and sea songs.  This is not an exhaustive list but here are a few:

William Pint & Felicia Dale are known across the US and Europe as an exciting and engaging duo who weaves traditional and modern music with the central maritime theme.  Harmonized voices blend with a variety of instruments and even a hurdy gurdy.  They perform on-line and at regular concerts at the Couth Buzzard in Seattle's Greenwood District and have an extensive CD list.

The Whateverly Brothers  are the eclectic duo of Dan Roberts and Chris Glannister who bombard the audience with super harmonies and an arsenal of instruments presenting folk and maritime songs and tunes.  

Hank Cramer with a voice as big as the outdoors performs songs from many different genres: cowboy, Celtic, and chanteys.  Check out his performing schedule and diverse discography.

Strikes A Bell is an acappella group that arose to perform at local festivals and special events.  They are exclusively maritime with the mission of singing singable sea chanties!  Contact strikesabell@gmail.com for more information.

Matthew Moeller  Captain Matt writes and performs original maritime and other folk songs as well as traditional sea songs.  

Shanghaiied on the Willamette perform songs plundered from land and sea. Shanghaied On the Willamette is based in Portland, Oregon.

The Shifty Sailors are homeported on Whidbey Island but make their way to local maritime festivals and events.  They have an extensive repertoire and have recored six CDs.

Seastar is a blend of both the old and the new, the tranquil and passionate, the dramatic and playful. They master songs and stories that are Celtic in nature but also include a few songs of the sea.

Time & Tide has been playing a wide variety of maritime music at Puget Sound festivals,  clubs, and other venues for over 15 years.  Time & Tide also performs traditional and favorite songs and ballads from Americana, folk, gospel, and British Isles sources, featuring male and female leads and harmonies, both a capella and backed by guitar, English concertina, fiddle and bass. Audience participation is encouraged.   Contact: Simon ffitch sffitch@msn.com 

Alex Sturbaum is a traditional musician based in Olympia, Washington. Alex is a singer, songwriter, dance musician, and multi-instrumentalist, and performs folk music from  Celtic, American, English, Canadian, and martime music to create something at once old and new. 

Contact

Have information to add?  Send an email to nwseaport@gmail.com.