The inaugural Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a parade.
Sight and sounds of live jazz and visual art will take over the streets of Fort Langley on Saturday, during the first ever Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival.
From a diverse lineup of jazz acts on two outdoor stages, talented jazz buskers performing throughout the community, an art walk, art auction, and a hands-on art event, there is something for everyone to enjoy, said Karen Zukas, executive director of the festival.
Festivities kick off with a Mardis Gras-style strolling parade at 9:30 a.m. from the Fort Langley Farmers’ Market to the Fort Langley Community Hall, followed by opening remarks emceed by retired radio host and Fort Langley historian Mark Forsythe.
“Everyone is welcome to join us as we stroll with the New Orleans-style band, the RazzMaJazz Ensemble,” Zukas said.
Musical acts set to perform at the festival throughout the day include RazzMaJazz Ensemble, Van Django, Rumba Calzada, Miles Black Quartet with 17-year old rising vocalist Julia Copeman-Haynes, the Wow Jazz Orchestra, City Soul Choir, Louie Quinn Band, Q5, and the Murray Porter Blues Band. CLICK for full lineup with times.
“Wherever you go in the village during the festival, people will hear live jazz,” said Dave Quinn, artistic director for the festival.
“From blues to big band, traditional to modern jazz and gypsy to latin jazz, we have a diverse line-up that will appeal to any jazz fan.”
One of the mandates of the festival is to provide performance venues for youth talent and emerging artists, and Quinn said the organizing team is excited to have a variety of talented duos, trios, and quartet busker groups for people to enjoy.
Fort Langley will also become a hub of busking talent during the festival with youth musicians and emerging talent playing at six busker locations throughout the community.
“We have confirmed 11 busker groups, including Langley’s own Rachel ButtonTrio,” Zukas added.
Button will be performing along with some of what Zukas claims are world-class jazz acts on two outdoor stages.
Originally from Birmingham, U.K., Button now lives in Walnut Grove and teaches at the Langley Community Music School.
She will be performing with her trio that features fellow music school teachers Tim and Jean-Mark Stacey. The father-son duo Tim on bass and 27-year-old son on piano, will be performing from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Flatiron busker location and in Gasoline Alley from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Button is a singer-songwriter influenced by blues, country, and folk music.
As she tells it, her songs fall between the lines of specific genres, having grown up with folk music, gospel and studied jazz and popular music at London College of Music, her music strives to have soul at the heart of each song.
She has performed at the Great British Folk Festival, Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, and more recently in Nashville where she wrote and recorded her second EP, Long Way Round. Her next single, Always Gonna Haunt Me, is due out in the next month.
Looking over the line-up, Zukas said, “It’s going to be quite a day of live jazz music!”
An arts component
Alongside the music, the free festival will feature a self-guided art walk of 13 local art galleries and studios, clay sculpture demonstrations and a clay station where people can help build Fort Langley Jazz Town.
Art studios and galleries to tour on the art walk include: Elaine Brewer-White Ceramic Studio, Judy Nygren Studio, Susan Gallick Fine Art Studio, Fort Finery, Number 52 Studio and Gallery, Brandon Gabriel at Lelem Art & Cultural Cafe, Janice Robertson and Alan Wylie Studios, F.L.A.G., the Fort Gallery, Linda Muttit Studio, The Kube Gallery, and Kizmit Gallery.
Selected pieces of art from the studios and galleries will be featured in an exhibition tent by the Fort Langley Community Hall. Pieces on view will be part of an art auction in the evening at the Motown community dance.
“While people dance the night away, they can also bid on one-of-a-kind pieces of art – from pottery and jewelry to paintings and sculptures,” said Elaine Brewer-White, art director of the festival and contributor to the auction.
Each piece is displayed online at fortlangleyjazzfest.com, with proceeds from the auction going to support arts education for the 2019 Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival.
While the general music and arts festival runs only on Saturday, organizers are also host a free jazz education workshop and jam session for youth and rising talent on Sunday, July 29, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Fort Langley Community Hall.
Pre-registration is required. CLICK HERE.
Information on this initiative, as well as other festival details such as a schedule and lineup of music, dance details, and art exhibitions are also available online at www.fortlangleyjazzfest.com.