Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival at the Chief Sepass Theatre in 2021. (Langley Advance Times files)

Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival at the Chief Sepass Theatre in 2021. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley’s annual cultural festival to feature a wide variety of artists this year

Organizers say, it is the most extensive lineup ever announced

Organizers of Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival announce what they call “the most extensive free stage lineup in the history of the event.”

Scheduled July 21 to 24, the event will feature a wide array of artists presenting multiple genres of music, said Dave Quinn, festival co-founder and artistic director.

“Our goal in organizing this year’s festival was to make it as inclusive and diverse as possible, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy a wide array of events and perform Tances,” explained Quinn.

With more than 60 bands and 300 musicians performing across eight indoor and outdoor stages, the four-night jazz festival will offer a mix of free and ticketed events.

Kicking off the festival on Thursday (July 21) afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. is a free community concert at the Fort Langley Community Hall. It will feature the Rugcutter Dance Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble specializing in original arrangements in the style of the great dance orchestras of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s.

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The same group will also perform at the festival’s Thursday evening gala event, which will start with a Great Gatsby/art deco-themed outdoor cocktail reception with the Grand Slam Jazz Band playing traditional New Orleans on the lawn of the historic hall.

Friday, July 22 will feature jazz vocalist and Juno-Award winner Molly Johnson and The Shuffle Demons, a jazz music band.

Opening the day on Saturday, July 23 will be the popular Mardi Gras strolling parade sponsored by Telus and featuring the RazzMaJazz Ensemble. The organizers are encouraging visitors to come dressed up in Mardi-Gras attire and join the traditional New Orleans strolling parade that will make its way from the Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market to Fort Langley Community Hall, where the festival’s official opening ceremony will take place.

A Jazz Vespers event at St. Andrew’s United Churches of Langley will open the festivities on Sunday, July 24. This special service will include two sets of jazz with the Blue Heron duo and Marcus Mosely, who has brought his “infectious gospel sound” to concerts around the globe, said Quinn.

The range of performers will also include:

• Six-time Juno nominee John Stretch

• Accomplished trombonist Nick La Riviere and his band

• Internationally renowned composer and jazz guitarist Itamar Erez Quartet

• Paul Perry Orchestra featuring PJ Perry & Brad Shigeta

• Rockin’ blues Laurie Morvan Band

• Award-winning jazz pianist Attila Fias

• Western swing band Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers

• R&B emerging artists Maya and ben

• Award-winning instrumental guitarist John Gilliat Trio

• Funky Hip-Hop Soul band The New Groovement

• The “soulful and powerful” 60-piece choir The Universal Gospel Choir

• IndigiFunk, Hip-hop, Latin Funk and Blues performer

• Curtis Clear Sky & the Constellations

• The Wild River Pow Wow Group

READ MORE: Langley musicians organize jazz workshop for all ages and skill levels

“We hope that people of all ages, individuals and families, music lovers and those who want to take part in a celebration of music and art will mark July 21 to 24 on their calendars,” said Karen Zukas, festival co-founder and executive director.

For a younger audience, the organizers have invited four-time Juno nominee (best children’s album) Norm Foote, and local children entertainer Penny Pom Pom.

With many more performances scheduled, people are encouraged to visit the festival website, fortlangleyjazzfest.com, for the details on the full lineup.

The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is a not-for-profit cultural organization which makes jazz music and arts programming accessible to a wide variety of audiences through the presentation of year-round concerts and events and an annual music and arts festival.

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