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May 2014

James Manuele, classical guitaristJames Manuele, classical guitarist
Saturday, May 3 @ 1 p.m.
Olympic Room, Main Library
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Tacoma Public Library welcomes classical guitarist James Manuele for a concert of Spanish, Mexican and Latin American music from three centuries.

James Manuele earned his Masters of Music in Guitar Performance at Portland State University, Oregon, under composer and guitarist Bryan Johanson. As a soloist and ensemble performer, James has performed in concert series, music festivals, and concertos with local orchestras throughout the United States,
He presently teaches at both Clark College Vancouver, Washington and at Concordia in Portland, Oregon.
James Manuele's repertoire ranges from Baroque music, such as Bach's Cello Suites, to contemporary composers, such as Bryan Johanson and Enrique Granados. The Portland Guitar Society reviewed his debut recording entitled "A James Manuele Concert" as a "reflective and immediately appealing performance."Learn more at http://jamesmanuele.com/

Struck by Genius Book CoverFree booktalk and signing 
Jason Padgett, author of 
Struck by Genius How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel
Tuesday, May 13 @ 7 pm.
Olympic Room, Main Library

No one else sees the world the way Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the leaves and branches of trees, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.

Amazingly, Jason wasn't born this way. Twelve years ago, he was a party-loving jock and a college dropout who'd never made it past pre-algebra. But a violent mugging permanently and profoundly altered the way his brain works, giving him unique gifts. His ability to understand math and physics skyrocketed. He's now a devoted student and an award-winning artist, hand-drawing the stunning geometric patterns he sees everywhere.

The first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, Jason is a medical marvel. Some researchers see his transformation as proof that every brain possesses stunning abilities only some people are able to consciously access. Struck by Genius is the remarkable tale of Jason's determined journey to overcome psychological and neurological trauma and embrace his new mind.

Jason describes his inner life and perception of the world before and after the attack with astonishing insight and infectious warmth. His is a story of joy, of falling in love, finding a passion for numbers, and, above all, discovering a deep sense of wonder for the beautiful order in our seemingly chaotic world.
Jason Padgett is an aspiring number theorist and mathematician with acquired savant syndrome and synesthesia. He is currently the manager of three futon stores in Tacoma, Washington. His art, drawings of the grids and fractals he sees synesthetically, won Best International Newcomer at the Artoconecto A-B(o)MB show at the Bakehouse Art Complex in 2008. Struck by Genius is his first book. 


Claude BourbonClaude Bourbon
Medieval and Spanish blues guitarist
Wednesday, May 21 @ 7 p.m.
Olympic Room, Main Library
Born in France in the early 60's, Claude Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained for many years. This finger picking guitarist has performed and studied all over the world; he has crafted an unbelievable fusion of classical and jazz, with ethereal Eastern influences, Spanish and Latin elements with strains of Western folk.

Bourbon may have his roots in the blues, but he is inspired by music and song from all around the world, taking these sounds and weaving them into a performance of blues, rock, jazz, songs and melodies that defy a label.

"...This accomplished artist offers tender, compelling performance through highly developed precision. His sound instantly creates ambience - from haunting Spanish moods to lyrical, romantic jazz, Claude Bourbon provides both a rich evening of music for lovers, and a real treat for music lovers...", BBC, UK

Free booktalk and signing
Clair Gebben,
author of 
The Last of the Blacksmiths: A Novel
Wednesday, May 28 @ 7 pm.
Wheelock Library

The Last of the BlacksmithsLike many generations before her, author Claire Gebben had kept in contact with her German side of her family via letter writing. A few years ago, she received a fantastic surprise when her family in Freinsheim, Germany discovered old letters in their attic - letters, the earliest written in 1841, from German immigrants to Cleveland, OH. Who wrote these letters? Claire embarked on a quest to find out more, and in the process she became fascinated with the German immigrant experience.

Now, in THE LAST OF THE BLACKSMITHS: A Novel,Claire Gebben brings to life the moving story of Michael Harm a 19th Century blacksmith from the Bavarian Rhineland, who dares to follow his dreams of freedom and prosperity and travels from Germany to Cleveland, Ohio to pursue an artisan way of life.

Michael arrives in an America he can barely comprehend, confronting riots in New York, anti-immigrant bigotry in Cleveland, and his uncle, a cruel blacksmith master. Michael struggles through his indenture, inspired by rags-to-riches stories such as that of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. He receives his freedom dues just as war threatens to destroy the country he now calls home.

It is not the Civil War, but Cleveland's post-war Gilded Age, that forces Michael to face his greatest challenge-an accelerating machine age destined to wipe out his livelihood forever. Populated by characters both historical and invented, THE LAST OF THE BLACKSMITHS is a tale of the disruption and dispersal of an immigrant family, the twilight of the artisan crafts, and the efforts of each generation to shape its destiny. A consummate storyteller, Claire Gebben demonstrates a brilliant ability to imagine and recreate the past with historical vigor and beauty. 

Claire Gebben was born and raised on the southeast side of Cleveland. After earning her BA in Psychology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, she eventually settled with her husband in Seattle. She's worked as a newspaper columnist, newsletter editor, and ghostwriter, all the while raising a family and pursuing her first love of writing. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing through the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island, WA. Her writing has appeared in Shark Reef, The Speculative Edge, Soundings Review, The Fine Line, and ColumbiaKIDS e-zine


Last Updated 21.04.2014
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