Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Vait's music appeals to attentive audience


Fans of Cat Stevens and James Taylor, take note: Seattle-based – and Alaska-born – musician Andrew Vait is bringing his folksy, jazzy, and psychedelic tunes to the Chilkat Center lobby Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Though Vait has been told his acoustic sound is reminiscent of Stevens and Taylor, the singer-songwriter identifies strongly with Peter Gabriel, Steven Winwood and Jeff Buckley. And though Vait is just 29, he said the majority of his audiences are his parents’ age.

“I’ve spent enough time listening to their generation’s music, it makes sense to me that they would identify with my songs.  I tend to attract attentive audiences, which can be problematic at bars where there is a mix of noisy bar-goers and those who are trying to hear what I’m doing,” Vait said.

Haines Arts Council president Tom Heywood said the group usually doesn’t put on shows during summer months, but after watching Vait’s YouTube videos and listening to some recordings, he decided to make an exception.

“I was expecting a simpler sound, but it was quite complex and meaningful,” Heywood said.

Vait spent the last two weeks in Homer teaching a music camp intended to help children develop a better understanding of music theory, performance, voice and songwriting techniques, as well as how to collaborate creatively with other musicians.

“I’m hoping to integrate relatable points from these camps into my performance in Haines.  For the performance itself, I use a looping pedal to recreate some of the songs from my record in interesting ways, and I receive a lot of comments about the vocal harmonizer that I use, which tracks my guitar chords to intuitively provide correct vocal harmonies in real time,” Vait said.

Vait has played with his band Eternal Fair in Homer and Anchorage.Tickets are $12.

The arts council will also present an original production from the Juneau-based Strange Attractor Theatre Company on July 12 in the Chilkat Center lobby.