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Jazz Fest announces headliners for blues show

Fort Langley’s annual summer arts festival share part of the July lineup, selling advance tickets
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The Ruthie Foster band will be the first one of 10 bands on stage during the two-night Cool Blues Show this coming July – as part of the Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival. (Ruthie Foster/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Organizers of the annual jazz fest in Fort Langley are trumpeting a large lineup of headliners coming to perform in and around the village this summer.

This list of acts, released Wednesday, focuses on performers for the Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival’s 2023 blues event, the Cool Blues Show, announced festival co-founder and artistic director Dave Quinn.

Topping the list is the Grammy-nominated Ruthie Foster Band, Juno winner Crystal Shawanda, Five Alarm Funk, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, My Son The Hurricane, and Silent Partners.

“The 2023 Cool Blues Show offers two nights of non-stop unforgetable blues performances on two outdoor stages at our brand-new venue, the Fort Langley Park,” said Quinn.

“We will have five bands each night – one up-and-coming emerging opening act and four incredible headlining acts – for a total of 10 bands over the weekend.”

The Cool Blues Show has one of the biggest blues show lineups in festival history, claimed Quinn, noting early-bird weekend passes will be available March 15 to April 30.

“We are beyond excited about the diverse line up of outstanding blues musicians who will be performing at our blues show from across BC, Canada, and internationally,” he added.

“There will be something for every blues fan.”

The full list of 2023 Cool Blues Show headlining acts are:

Friday, July 21:

Ruthie Foster Band – One of the most honoured blues and gospel singers of our time, the multiple Grammy nominee is a true veteran in the industry and brings a Texas blues-Americana sound in gospel, jazz, folk, soul, and blues.

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer – Delivering good vibes, rock, groove and soul, this Juno-nominated band based out of Vancouver is known as one of the best live blues performers. The pair have combined their decades of musical know-how to create a unique take on rock ‘n’ roll swagger and deep blues style.

My Son the Hurricane – A hurricane of instruments and positive vibes, they will be coming in hot with their multi-horn, multi-singer and multi-drummer “brass funk beast.” Featuring trumpets, saxophones, trombones, guitars, drums, and other percussion instruments.

Cousin Harley – With high-energy rockabilly and western swing at its finest, Cousin Harley will be exploding onto the stage with an “all-out” approach to rock ‘n’ roll that has entertained international audiences for more than 20 years.

Emmett Jerome & Hollywood Alberta – The bar-rockin’, foot-stompin’ passion project from Emmett Jerome will explore his love for all things blues, roots, and rock ‘n’ roll, while featuring a funky rhythm section, blazing steel guitars, and heartfelt original music.

Saturday, July 22:

Five Alarm Funk – With epic arrangements, heavy groove, and a unique fusion of jazz, funk, and rock, the Vancouver-based band is renowned for hyping up the dance floor with amped-up horn, percussion and guitar sections that are sure to get you moving.

Crystal Shawanda – Get ready to be blown away by the Juno winner’s unmistakable powerhouse voice which led to a Grammy nomination for best contemporary blues album of the year 2022.

Silent Partners – Legendary bassist Russell Jackson, talented percussionist Tony Coleman, and guitarist Jonathan Ellison pull from more than half a century of combined experience to shine a light on the soul of the blues and bring a refreshing take on modern blues music.

David Gogo Band – Led by West Coast blues guitarist David Gogo, the band offers a great blend of soulful ballads to high-energy rockers that will have you tapping your toes. Gogo is a six-time Juno Award nominee and won the Great Canadian blues award for his lifetime contribution to the blues in Canada.

Marcus Trummer Band – An illustrious emerging Canadian artist, Marcus Trummer’s unique sound weaves southern soul, blues, and roots rock into a modern sound steeped in tradition, “rock and soul.”

The early-bird weekend passes are $100, and after May 1 ticket pricing for the Cool Blues Show go up to $120 for the weekend or $65 per night. Kids 12 years and younger get in free (accompanied by and adult), youth (ages 13 to 18) pay $30/night, and six-pack single tickets are $340.

Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is a not-for-profit cultural organization that offers a high calibre of jazz music and arts programming to a wide variety of audiences through the presentation of year-round concerts and events and an annual music and arts festival.

The 2023 festival will be held July 20 to 23.

More information is available on their website at: www.fortlangleyjazzfest.com.

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