The excitement is mounting as the highly anticipated 2023 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is set to take place July 20th to July 23rd – with a weekend filled with vibrant music, art, and culture activities, featuring over 230 talented performers.
Kicking off the festivities, will be a free but ticketed big band community concert that is now FULLY SUBSCRIBED, on July 20th from 1-3pm at the Fort Langley Community Hall Ballroom. Swing jazz and big band enthusiasts will enjoy Echoes of the Big Band Era, featuring the renowned Dal Richards Orchestra.
The opening night jazz concert on July 20th at Chief Sepass Theatre will showcase Phil Dwyer’s Connections Quartet, with JUNO-award winning jazz legends, Phil Dwyer (saxophonist, pianist, and composer) and Brad Turner (trumpeter and pianist). The pair will be joined by renowned international drummer, Alan Jones and Phil’s talented son, Ben Dwyer on double bass. The opening act will feature the talented Ethan Lawrence Quartet, winner of this year’s Rising Star Award in the post-secondary school category. Tickets for this event can be found here.
Excitement will continue with the 2023 Cool Blues Show taking over Fort Langley Park on July 21st and July 22nd from 4:30-10pm. The two evenings will deliver non-stop blue performances on two outdoor stages, an artisan vendor market, art installations, a games area, a beer garden sponsored by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Brewing and Brewery Operations, delicious food trucks, and more. Ticket holders will experience performances by renowned artists including, Ruther Foster, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, My Son the Hurricane, Cousin Harley, and Emmett Jerome & Hollywood Alberta on Friday. Saturday’s lineup will feature Five Alarm Funk, Crystal Shawanda, Silent Partners, David Gogo Band, and the Marcus Trummer Band. Tickets are available here.
The free part of the festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23 will feature 30 free concerts on five outdoor stages –
The impressive roster of artists includes:
|Caity Gyorgy Quartet
Oliver Gannon & Bill Coon
Alvin Brendan Organ Trio
Colin Sankey Trio
Wild River Singers
The Perpetual Jazz Trio
Jake Kostuchuk Quartet
Noxious Obs Society Band
|Gabriel Palatchi Trio
Curtis Clear Sky & the Constellationz
Marois Vocal Project
Jaya Bremer Quintet
Monty Biggins – The Little Bigs Band
The Carnival Band
Be sure to also check out Secondary School category winner of the Rising Jazz Star Award, Milan Stanga, as he takes on the festival’s Community Hall Stage on July 22nd from 10:30-11am. The line-up schedule can be found here.
In addition to the musical line-up, the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival offers a diverse range of art and culture activities for all age groups and interests. Festival goers can experience the Indigenous Art & Culture Exhibition featuring workshops, a vendor market, Pow Wow singers, drummers and dancers and Indigenous-led bands. Kids can enjoy creating a harmonica, water colour painting and participating in a drum circle workshop at the Kid Zone, while the Art Zone provides opportunities for art workshops, an art vendor market, and fun activities.
Festival go-ers are encouraged to come join the weekend kick-off Mardi Gras themed parade, a crowd favourite, on Saturday morning from 9:30-10am. The RazzMaJazz Ensemble and Noxious Obs Society Band will lead participants from the Fort Langley Farmers Market to the Fort Langley Community Hall for the official opening of the festival.
The final day of this year’s event – July 23rd, will be marked by the truly unique Jazz AWE (Alternative Worship Experience). The musical twist to the Sunday church going experience at the United Churches of Langley will be hosted by Reverend Sophia Ducey. The Circle of Voices Gospel Group with incredible vocals by BC Entertainment Hall of Fame StarMeritus Inductee, Candus Churchill will be featured – alongside other renowned artists such as Leora Cashe, Joseph Chappel and Will Sanders with Jaye Krebs on the piano. Circle Of Voices incorporates contemporary and traditional gospel into fresh innovative arrangements that touch the heart and raise the roof. Limited seating is available, so be sure to register in advance here.
Attendees have the opportunity to visit four different vendor markets. The Indigenous Vendor Market, located at the Indigenous Art & Cultural Exhibition at Bedford Landing on July 22nd and 23rd from 10-4pm. The Visual Art Market located at the Art Zone on July 22nd and 23rd from 10-4pm. The Artisan Vendor Market and Non-profit Exhibit will be exclusive to ticketholders of the Cool Blues Show and will operate from 4:30pm to 10pm on July 21 and 22.
To satisfy hunger and thirst, festival goers can head over to the Community Hall Stage for the Lions Club BBQ, and the KPU Beer Gardens (operating from 11-4pm) on Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, various food trucks will be available at the Cool Blues Show and cafes, bistros, pubs, ice-cream shops and more throughout the Village of Fort Langley.
For those driving to the festival, free street parking is available throughout the Village during the festival, while general parking is available beside the Fort Langley National Historic Site on Mavis Street for $5/day on Saturday & Sunday from 10-5pm. For those who decide to bike, the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival has partnered with the Bicycle valet located at the Kidz Zone on Mary/Church Streets July 22nd & 23rd from 10-4pm. Bikes, strollers, e-bikes, scooters, carts, or anything else on wheels will all be accepted.
Whether you are pursuing free concerts, exhibitions, and activities, gearing up for the ticketed Opening Night Jazz Concert and Cool Blues Show, or simply taking a stroll through the Village, the festival is sure to have something for everyone.
ABOUT THE FORT LANGLEY JAZZ & ARTS FESTIVAL:
The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is a not-for-profit cultural organization that makes accessible the highest caliber 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 – 23, 2023.