VIDEO: A local music mosaic

How a mixture of Canadian artists came together for the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival

The theme for most spectator’s visiting Fort Langley this weekend would have unanimously been jazz – but seemingly, the theme for the wide array of jazz musicians performing in Fort Langley was community.

The 2nd annual Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival welcomed painters, singers, musicians, and most importantly, music lovers for the final performances on Sunday.

Ice cream treats were in just about every hand hoping to beat the heat. But crowded lawns and sidewalks made it evident that what guests truly came for was a good musical beat.

Singers, songwriters, and jazz musicians from far and wide made up the 57 different acts performing on indoor and outdoor stages as well as local restaurants – each with their own story that led them to the village.

The Sandy Geddes Trio came from Edmonton, Alberta to record an album and discovered they were just in time for the festival.

“It’s so great,” Geddes said of the atmosphere. “You can stand anywhere and just hear the beauty… it’s gorgeous.”

Though sharing her music was an important aspect, Geddes said being in Fort Langley was the real treat for her.

“I’m a community person – relationships and family that draw us closer to each other; that’s what I’m about. It appeals to me being from small town Saskatchewan. It’s [Fort Langley] close to everything yet away from it all.”

Geddes specifically took the time to commend a local shops lavender lemonade.

Deanna Knight came out from Gibsons to perform 20’s and 30’s swing.

“Any kind of jazz festival is welcome,” Knight said, attending with her band of 19 years, The Hot Club of Mars, to simply keep alive the culture and style of jazz.

Read More: Jazz is in the air… and everywhere else in Fort Langley

The Julian Borkowski Quintet was led by this years rising star award winner – the Cloverdale resident and second-year music student at Capilano University earned a $1,000 scholarship and festival spot.

“It’s just surreal,” Borkowski explained after learning he had won the “rising star” title. “I don’t like to toot my own horn. I’m just grateful – I’ve never been in such a big festival like this.”

Borkowski’s quintet featured Cap classmates from Burnaby, Richmond, Kelowna, and Victoria.

For its second year of music, festival organizers established the award “to recognize an outstanding jazz student who demonstrates a high level of performance ability and is pursuing a professional career in jazz music.”

“To have my name alongside people like Maya Rae…” Borkowski added, “I’m super thankful for this.”

Borkowski plans to finish up his jazz degree and movie to the United States to earn a masters and teach music for a living.

Speaking of Maya Rae, who was finishing up her set on the stage across from Borkowski, the 16-year-old Vancouver artist currently rising through the ranks of the local jazz scene said she was surprised by the village’s atmosphere.

“It’s so lovely and welcoming. I’ve never been out here to Fort Langley, but it has such a sense of community.”

Rae said she was asked by organizer Dave Quinn to perform, a common thread for many of the out-of-town artists that played the festival.

For bandleader Steve Clements and the 12 peice Noxious Obs Society from New Westminster Secondary, it was a social media call out that brought them to Fort Langley.

“The band is sort of in a state of flux, but it’s a great opportunity to get together and play through the summer. We have a few alumni that even came back to play.”

Clements, carrying a giant white sousaphone, suggested his crew take a dip in the Fraser River after during performance on the Bedford Plaza Stage. The music continued as the band dangled their feet in the water from a nearby dock.

Whichever stage a spectator went to, the commonalities at each seemed to be a light-hearted mood and a love for Fort Langley.

All of the musicians that spoke with the Langley Advance Times said they would happily come back to the festival next year, which organizers say is already being planned.

An extensive kids zone, Lions Club pancake breakfast, history presentation by musicologist Douglas Fraser, and sidewalk painters finding inspiration from the live music were just some of the highlights found on the festival’s final day.

The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival wraps up with a ticketed Gospel Show at the Chief Sepass Theatre at 7 p.m., Sunday night.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Fort Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

‘The public has spoken’: Alder Inn to be demolished at $250,000 cost

Township council votes to use $250,000 to demolish the 71-year-old building in downtown Aldergrove

Pink flags on Langley church grounds raise awareness about sex-selective abortion

On Saturday, 1,000 pink flags were placed on the lawn of Christ Covenant Church

Fort Gallery showcases isolation with new exhibition of works created during COVID

Together Alone runs from Friday, July 17, until August 16

New community market debuts in Langley

Marketplace aims to support local crafters and farmers

A man of many, many cars

Langley’s David Turner has owned a ‘couple hundred’ vehicles, most of them just long enough to fix

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

Most Read