Alvin Brendan earned the Fort Langley Jazz Festival’s Rising Star Award. (Alvin Brendan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Capilano music student Alvin Brendan named rising jazz star

Fort Langley Jazz & Arts fest to return with virtual programming, Friday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 6

When the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival returns as a virtual festival this September, Richmond-based jazz guitar player, Alvin Brendan will be featured as the event’s rising star jazz award winner.

Brendan, a 22-year-old fourth year music student at Capilano University, earned a $1,000 scholarship and performance slots at the festival with his band and as a soloist at the jazz education faculty concert.

The caliber of submissions was outstanding,” said Dave Quinn, festival artistic director. “It was a challenge to select just one Rising Star as they were all so talented.”

The award was established “to recognize an outstanding jazz student who demonstrates a high level of performance ability and is pursuing a professional career in jazz music.”

“Sharing art and music is more important than ever and I am looking forward to coming out of this pandemic with an added appreciation for that opportunity to do so,” Brendan said.

He has shared the stage and recording studio with Peter Bernstein, Jodi Proznick, Steve Holy, Dylan Cramer, and Bill Coon among others.

Brendan was also a teacher’s assistant at the VSO School of Music summer jazz workshop, working under guitarist Bill Coon, and was executive director of the non-profit organization “Healing Using Music” for three years.

“One of our festival key mandates is to support the development of youth and emerging artists and this award does just that,” said Quinn. “Brendan’s high level of creativity, musicianship, achievement in jazz studies and his contributions to music and the community is exactly the reason why we established the award.”

READ MORE: New B.C. music festival collective collaborates for the future

People looking to take in the festival can expect three nights and two days of virtual programming from Friday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 6.

Organizers had announced in April that due to COVID-19 restrictions, a physical festival would not be possible.

Karen Zukas, executive director for the festival, said organizers will create an innovative and interactive experience that makes jazz and arts available to the same, or more people, in a way that provides the same values that the festival has been built on.

“Following the postponement of the 2020 festival due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and restrictions on public gatherings, we were determined and committed to finding a way to continue to celebrate and support jazz music, art, community, and the Village of Fort Langley,” Zukas added.

Streaming on the festival’s website and social media channels, the weekend will feature live and pre-recorded performances, conversations, access to the artists, community profiles, interactive art activities, intimate in-person concerts and previously unavailable interactivity and participatory programming.

A complete schedule including performers and activities will be published in the coming weeks at


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