Award includes $1,000 scholarship and performance at the Jazz Festival
Fort Langley, BC – The festival has deliberated, and the results are in. The Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival has selected two talented and up and coming jazz students as recipients of the festival’s 2023 Rising Jazz Star Awards.
The festival expanded the Rising Jazz Star Award this year to offer two award categories: Secondary School and Post-Secondary. The award supports the development of emerging young jazz artists by providing a performance opportunity at the festival and a $1,000.00 scholarship sponsored by Coast Capital and the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society.
The two Rising Star Awards are going to multi-instrumentalist Milan Stanga, a grade 11 student from Lord Byng Secondary School in Vancouver for the Secondary School award, and 3rd year Capilano University Jazz Music Program student, trumpet player and Langley resident, Ethan Lawrence for the Post-Secondary award.
“We want to thank the many jazz students who took the time to submit such impressive applications, underlining the level of young talent on the west coast,” says Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival Co-Founder and Artistic Director, David Quinn. “I want to congratulate Milan and Ethan on receiving their awards. Both demonstrate a very high level of performance ability, and we will be watching both pursue their dreams of professional careers in jazz music.”
Secondary School winner, Milan Stanga has been playing professionally since the age of 11 and is currently in the 11th grade at Lord Byng Secondary in the Byng Arts Band Program. He is a multi-instrumentalist playing the drums, bass, hand percussions, and symphonic percussions as well as singing. For five years Milan studied Cuban, Brazilian, and West African music at the School of Groove. He has formed three different bands, all of which perform professionally. Milan’s band will perform on the festival’s Community Hall Stage on Saturday, July 22nd from 10:30-11am.
“My dream is to become a professional musician and composer, but for the near future, I want to keep learning and studying as much as I can,” says Milan Stanga. “This is such an amazing opportunity, and I am so grateful to be selected as one of the recipients of the 2023 Rising Star Jazz Award. I’m very excited to be a part of this fantastic event! I look forward to being able to perform for so many lovers of jazz, and for people who are just first finding it. I cannot wait.”
The winner of the post-secondary category, Ethan Lawrence is approaching his fourth and final year at Capilano University in the Jazz Music Program. Ethan often performs around the Fort Langley community and writes film music at a professional level for numerous teams and directors in and around Vancouver. He intends to continue bridging the gap between film music and jazz. Ethan and his band, the Ethan Lawrence Quartet, is the opening act at the ticketed jazz concert on the first night of the Jazz Fest, Thursday, July 20th at Chief Sepass Theatre.
“I’m so grateful to be chosen as the recipient of the Rising Star Award,” Ethan states. “It means a lot to have the opportunity to share my music alongside this lineup of great musicians and mentors who I have so much respect for. The festival has been incredibly significant in terms of inspiring my love for this music, and I look forward to being a part of that this year.”
The Festival’s Opening Night Jazz Concert on Thursday July 20th at Chief Sepass Theatre that will feature Phil Dwyer’s Connections Quartet will open with a performance by the Ethan Lawrence Quartet.
The “Connections Quartet” brings together West Coast’s premier musicians for the Opening Night Jazz Concert including jazz legend and JUNO award winner, saxophonist, pianist, and composer Phil Dwyer, Juno- Award winner Brad Turner on trumpet and piano, renowned international drummer Alan Jones and Phil’s son, Byron Dwyer on bass. Tickets to this one-of-a-kind show are available here.
While you’re at the concert, make sure to stop at the art exhibit by Lizete Dureault in the theatre lobby before the concert begins. Lizete is a local Langley artist whose art piece was selected for this year’s Fort Langley’s Jazz and Arts Festival Image.
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.