Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival at the Chief Sepass Theatre. (Aldergrove Star files)

Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival at the Chief Sepass Theatre. (Aldergrove Star files)

Headliners announced for September’s Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival

Festival to host in-person audiences for free outdoor shows on Sept 4 among other themed concerts

The Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival officially has headliners set to take the stage in September.

Held from Thursday, Sept. to Sunday, Sept. 5, organizers Karen Zukas and Dave Quinn said they’re excited to be able to host the event in person after a virtual livestreamed festival in 2020.

The four-day festival will include free outdoor performances on Saturday, Sept. 4 in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall and live-streamed and in-person ticketed shows each evening.

The Hip-Hop Jazz Show will kick everything off on Thursday, Sept. 2 with Red Haven, Kyprios, and XL The Band.

Friday, Sept. 3 will see the blues show return with Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, Brandon Isaak, and Jim Byrnes with special guest, Candus Churchill.

Jazz takes over Fort Langley on Saturday, Sept. 4 with David Restivo Trio, Vince Mai Band, Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra while an R&B dance party will happen that evening with Big City Soul.

Concluding the festival on Sunday, Sept. 5, with be the soul and gospel show – co-presented with Music Heals – and featuring Dawn Pemberton and Dee Daniels.

“We’re excited to bring our jazz music fans a combination of online and live performances featuring local musicians and musicians from across BC.” said Quinn. “When the COVID-19 pandemic forced live music events to shut down last year, the festival carried on with our first live-streamed format.”

The annual festival is typically held over the last weekend of July and draws thousands of residents and visitors to the streets of the community.

Earlier this year, organizers moved the festival forward from July to the September long weekend due to ongoing province-wide COVID-19 restrictions.

“After navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic for the past year, it will come as no surprise that our theme for the 2021 festival is the power of music and how music heals,” Quinn added.

Music Heals – a charitable foundation that supports a wide range of music therapy services in communities in BC and across Canada – joins the festival as a charity partner this year.

Tickets to the Soul Gospel show will be by donation to support Music Heals’ mission to raise awareness and funds for the healing power of music and the festival’s youth initiatives.

Taryn Stephenson, Music Heals director of brand partnerships and sponsorships, said prolonged social isolation due to the pandemic has caused a major spike in mental health related issues such as depression and anxiety.

“Despite all odds, the world found a way to keep the music alive. From live streams, to outdoor concerts, to mobile stages on the back of pick-up trucks, musicians continued to bring people together through innovative ways,” Stephenson explained. “We have seen first hand how music brings people together – even while apart. And now as the world begins to open up we are looking forward to celebrating the resilient, unifying, healing power of music in person.”

Multiple facets that make up the jazz festival include the winner of the Rising Star Jazz Musician Award, which is Amber Tsang – a fifth-year music student from Capilano University.

As a recipient of the award, she will be performing with her trio at this year’s festival.

READ MORE: Full-day workshop for students concludes this year’s jazz fest

The Kwantlen First Nations group, Stomi:x Shweli (Warrior Spirit) and jazz trio, Triology will perform in a commissioned, unique Indigenous jazz-fusion concert that will be streamed to viewers around the world on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m.

The concert will feature the performance and interviews with Warrior Spirit and Triology artists on the making of this video by former CBC radio host, Mark Forsythe.

Finally, a full day in-person jazz education workshop for BC high school and college musicians will occur on Sept. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. High school and college musicians will get the chance to enhance their skills, industry knowledge and relationships to thrive in the music industry.

Quinn said more additions to the festival will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Ticket packages and more information can be found at fortlangleyjazzfest.com.


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