Organizers of the first annual jazz festival in Fort Langley have unveiled a diverse line-up for the July 28 weekend event.
“You can expect a day filled with all sorts of type of music — mostly jazz, but a little bit of everything,” Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival artistic director Dave Quinn said at the Saturday kick-off at the historic community hall, main site of the event.
“You’ll basically be able to roll into town (and) catch a lot of jazz,” Quinn said.
“Its going be a great weekend.”
Quinn said the event was a response to a survey by the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society that found people wanted more live music
“(We thought) it might be good timing to have a jazz festival for 2018 and start building a legacy for Fort Langley in the future,” he said.
Quinn, a Fort Langley resident who has been playing tenor sax and clarinet professionally for more than 40 years, delivered a preview outside the community hall Saturday, performing with singer Dutch Robinson and Doug Louie on piano.
All will be appearing at the festival as the “Louie Quinn Band with Dutch Robinson” with Sam Shoichet on bass and Rob Neumann on drums.
Robinson is a three-time Grammy winner and R&B Hall of Fame inductee.
The original lead singer of the famed Ohio Players, Robinson has worked with artists ranging from Cirque Du Soliel, Tommy Motolla, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Melba Moore, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and Curtis Mayfield.
Robinson has also starred in a musical based on the Life and Times of Marvin Gaye and performed at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival will launch with a Mardi Gras parasol parade on Saturday, July 28 at 9:30 a.m. from the Fort Langley Farmers Market on Glover Road to the main festival stage in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall.
Bands will perform on two outdoor stages at the Fort Langley Community Hall on Glover Road and the Bedford Plaza boardwalk on Billy Brown Road.
There will also be busker performance stages located throughout Fort Langley.
The festival closes on July 29 with a free jazz workshop and jam for young artists and emerging talent.
The line-up includes:
WOW Jazz Orchestra
The 10-member orchestra includes musicians in Vancouver who have played thousands of concerts and shows including performances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, concerts with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Ray Charles, Paul Horn, Kenny Wheeler and Fraser MacPherson and shows such as Miss Saigon, 42ndStreet and the Sound of Music.
The acoustic string ensemble plays music rooted in the gypsy jazz of 1930’s Paris France, along with original compositions and arrangements.
Since the Van Django was formed in 1998, they have toured extensively and have released 4 CDs.
The modern jazz ensemble plays original compositions and is known for “tight ensemble work, a diverse repertoire, fierce, imaginative soloing and intuitive interaction” the festival website notes.
The band performs traditional jazz creole, dixieland and blues style music.
They got their start performing on a riverboat on the Fraser River in 1998.
City Soul Choir
The well-known Vancouver choir performs soul, gospel, and world music.
For the festival, local pianist, Bill Sample will be the accompanist.
The Miles Black Quartet
The Miles Black Quartet features Oliver Gannon (guitar), bassist Jodi Proznick, and drummer Craig Scott.
They have performed together for over 30 years, beginning with sax legend Fraser MacPherson, then continuing with the Oliver Gannon Quartet (formed in 1991). Their Langley performance will feature up and coming star Julia Copeman-Haynes.
Called “Canada’s tightest Latin band” the musicians have racked up countless tours, festivals and sold out shows across Canada, the US, Malaysia and Philippines .
The festival will also feature ArtWalk, a self-guided tour of local art studios and galleries.
Some artwork from the studios and galleries will be on display in an exhibition tent by the Fort Langley Community Hall.
Pieces on view will be up for auction that evening.
There will be a hands-on art event called “Jazz Town – Clay Creative” that invites participants to “help build Jazz Town out of clay” under a tent by the Fort Langley Community Hall.
All ages are welcome.
Local artist, Elaine Brewer-White will also be on hand doing clay sculpture demonstrations.
More information can be found online at www.fortlangleyjazzfest.com.