Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival Goes Virtual for 2020

THE GOODS FROM TOURISM LANGLEY

Langley, BC | Necessity is the mother of invention, and so the annual Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival has found a fun, safe way to return for Summer 2020 — and, in the process, reach more people than ever before!

On Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5, the 3rd annual summer festival will be an exclusively virtual event, streaming on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and the festival’s website (and available to stream anytime afterward on YouTube). In addition to more than a dozen live-streamed and pre-recorded concert performances of world-class jazz, blues, gospel and soul acts, this year’s festival includes a strolling Mardi Gras-style parade, a virtual art walk, a salsa dance party, live interactive hosting, and more.

Here are the highlights:

ALL-STAR BLUES SHOW
Host Jim Byrnes welcomes blues-rocker Taylor James, Dalannah Gail Bowen and Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues, who will be performing a live-streamed ticketed concert on Friday, September 4 at 7 pm. Tickets are $19.50, and a limited number of in-person tickets for $64.50 are available here.

MIMOSA & SIOBHAN WALSH: TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN
Vancouver quintet Mimosa — widely renowned for their stunning blend of jazz, Brazilian samba, cabaret and French ’60s pop — open the show followed by powerhouse R&B vocalist Siobhan Walsh, who will perform A Tribute to the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. This concert live-streams Saturday, September 5 at 7 pm. Tickets are $19.50, and a limited number of in-person tickets for $49.50 are available here.

A DAY OF MUSIC
As well as the two ticketed concerts, this year’s festival features 11 performances featuring world-class jazz, blues, gospel and soul — all of them free to view. The Fort Langley Virtual Jazz & Arts Festival line-up includes:

– Sister Jazz Orchestra: an 18-woman jazz ensemble showcasing Vancouver’s most accomplished female musicians
– Roma Jazz Ensemble: playing a mix of traditional Eastern European Folk, Classical, Swing and Contemporary Jazz
– Up Close: a jazz fusion ensemble made up of graduate students of the Langley Fine Arts School
– TLC Trio: the Turner-Lachance-Coon Trio creates music that is both adventurous and sublimely melodic
– Christian Alexandrov Quartet: all about soul and R&B
– Mike Allen Quartet in a Tribute to John Coltrane: featuring acclaimed Vancouver tenor saxophonist, Mike Allen, and pianist and composer, Miles Black
– Alvin Brandon Trio: Festival’s Rising Star recipient
– Rooster Davis & Brad Shigeta Band: featuring New Orleans boogie woogie style piano
– Jennifer Scott Trio: one of the finest jazz vocal improvisers in Canada
– Laila Biali Trio: Juno award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist
– Mazacote: a hard-hitting world Latin party band playing brass-soaked tropical dance beats.

MARDI GRAS STROLLING PARADE
On Saturday, August 15, the sights and sounds of New Orleans will be recreated in a joyous celebration of music, colours and community, as Township of Langley Councillor Petrina Arnason and the six-piece RazzMaJazz Ensemble lead a socially distanced procession of revellers along the sidewalks of Fort Langley, all of them dressed in their best Mardi Gras-style finery. (Registration to participate in the parade is limited to 50 people. Sign up here.) The parade will be shown on Saturday, September 5 to officially open the virtual festival.

INTERACTIVE SALSA DANCE PARTY
Beginning Friday, August 14, visit any of the festival’s social channels to view a free salsa dance lesson led by Roger Chen of Vancouver’s Salsastudio. Then, on Saturday, September 5, during a performance by acclaimed world/Latin band Mazacote, everyone will be invited to join in with the salsa dancing, and share in a “moment of joy” to be heard and seen across the continent.

VIRTUAL ART WALK
Discover the many fascinating galleries and artist studios of Fort Langley from the comfort of your own home. Scroll through the list of Art Walk participants and click through to discover more about them and their work. See something you like? Contact the gallery or artist to inquire about a purchase. For more details, visit the festival’s website or social channels.

HOST YOUR OWN BACKYARD FESTIVAL
This year’s virtual festival is the next best thing to “being there.” But why not make it even better by inviting friends over and having your own festival gathering at home? The festival will be offering tips for at-home hosting, so you and your friends can celebrate safely. Better still, you’ll have the opportunity to nominate yourself on the festival’s social channels for your chance to win a Backyard Festival prize pack, including:

– rental of a huge outdoor screen (including professional set-up)
– a fully stocked beverage cooler
– everything you need to create an unforgettable barbecue feast for you and your guests, including locally sourced ingredients and chef-designed recipes
– backyard decorations
– special swag from festival sponsors, and more!

Follow @FortLangleyJazzFest on Instagram and FortLangleyJazzandArtsFestival on Facebook to be the first to know when prizes are announced.

SPECIAL “VIRTUAL” HOST
In addition to onstage MCs, this year the fest welcomes its first-ever “virtual” host — Colombia-born, New York-raised actor, musician and journalist Daniela Carmona. Daniela (alongside special surprise guests) will be introducing viewers to each performance, plus additional attractions.

“The ongoing importance of social distancing has given the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival the unique opportunity to reimagine itself in a way that not only isn’t a compromise; it opens up the festival to more people than ever before,” says festival artistic director Dave Quinn. “We look forward to bringing the joy of incredible music and art not only to residents of our community and the surrounding region, but to anyone around the world who needs something to lift their spirits during these unusual times. We say we’re ‘bringing home the joy of jazz’ — and fortunately, this year it doesn’t matter where you call home!”

The Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is funded by corporate and government supporters, including: the Government of Canada; Province of BC; title sponsor, Odlum Brown Limited; and corporate sponsors, ConWest Group of Companies, Kane Shannon Weiler LLP, and Save-On Foods Langley.

About the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival | Established in 2018, the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is a not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to enrich cultural life in the Fraser Valley by bringing emerging and established jazz acts and visual artists to Fort Langley. 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.

Visit the official website — fortlangleyjazzfest.com — for tickets and the complete schedule, and check back regularly for new developments leading up to the festival dates.

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