Lesly Verduin, long-time SE resident, began taking gypsy jazz guitar classes at Artichoke Music in 2014. She grew up listening to swing music, big bands and jazz, These days she is one of hundreds of students who enjoy the 20+ group music classes offered six times per year in seven-week sessions at Artichoke Music, the SE neighborhood’s venerable non-profit music organization.

“I love taking classes there,: she says. “The repertoire is wonderful and we all have such a great time.”

Guitarist and instructor Tracy Kim teaches Gypsy Jazz classes at Artichoke Music for guitarists and other instruments and Verduin is appreciative. “Being a novice guitarist, I learn more in each class of his I take, and I find it inspiring to learn with other students who are more experienced than me.”

Tracy Kim (left) and Lesly Verduin (right) at Artichoke’s Gypsy Jazz class

Tracy Kim (left) and Lesly Verduin (right) at Artichoke’s Gypsy Jazz class

Regular Artichokian offerings include instruction in acoustic stringed instruments (guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and dulcimer), singing and songwriting classes all in beginning,through advanced classes in various styles of music. Ukulele and guitar instruction is offered for children seven and older.

Up front, the charming storefront of Artichoke Music features new and used acoustic stringed instruments tended to by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.  In the back, Café Artichoke offers live music three nights a week. Last year, more than 5,000 people visited its Thursday open mic performances, Friday Coffeehouse artist showcase and featured concerts on Saturday evenings.

The organization’s musical mission brings it all into the community as well.  Kathi Osborne, Executive Director, states “Artichoke Music works to bring people together through music education and appreciation. We believe music improves lives and is a crucial form of communication.  We work with disadvantaged children, helping them learn the benefit of perseverance, new playing skills and improved communication skills.”

Registration is now open for the next round of Artichoke’s music classes for adults and children that begin April 25 at artichokemusic.org/classes. The store is at 3130 SE Hawthorne Blvd. and is open Tuesdays – Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. 503.232.8845.