Fort Langley — When the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival returns for two full days of live music in July, an up and coming jazz musician will be featured as the festival’s Rising Star award winner.
Festival organizers established the annual award in 2019 “to recognize an outstanding jazz student who demonstrates a high level of performance ability and is pursuing a professional career in jazz music.”
The Rising Star award winner will be given an opportunity to perform with a main stage artist in September.
Originally the plan was for a performance on Saturday, July 25 during the festival and in their own featured paid performance on Sunday, July 26.
Due to COVID-19, the entire festival will now shift to September.
They will also receive a scholarship of $1,000.
“We are thrilled to offer a unique opportunity for an emerging jazz student to become our Rising Star,” said Dave Quinn, artistic director for the festival. “One of our key mandates is to support youth and emerging artists and the award is a wonderful opportunity for an up and coming jazz student to perform with and be mentored by established artists, while also receiving financial support for their education.”
Last year’s inaugural award winner, Julian Borkowski, a Surrey resident and second-year music student at Capilano University at the time, said the recognition “is a great opportunity for me to expose myself musically.”
Award submissions are open to all secondary and post-secondary music students from the Metro Vancouver area until March 31, 2020 on the festival website.
For 2020, Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival will be held from July 24 to 26, offering free concerts on two outdoor stages with world-renowned jazz acts on the Saturday and Sunday, along with four nighttime concerts for ticketholders. Featured genres include straight-ahead jazz, R&B, big band, New Orleans, funk and latin jazz.
One of the festival’s four ticketed events, an opening-night concert, on Friday, July 24, inside Fort Langley National Historic Site will feature an all-star blues show. A Roaring 20’s gala dance event will recreate the Cotton Club with a big band and Cab Calloway singer on Saturday, July 25 at the Fort Langley Community Hall. A new jazz concert with a headliner act at Chief Sepass Theatre is also scheduled for Saturday night.
Closing the festival will be a gospel/soul show at Chief Sepass Theatre on Sunday, July 26.
The festival is also adding a new ticketed concert series called the “Art of Jazz” that will feature innovative and creative jazz acts in an intimate concert setting.
Tickets for all nighttime shows will go on sale in April at fortlangleyjazzfest.com/tickets
“There will be something for every jazz fan,” Quinn stated. “We’ll also have four pop-up performance stages around the community featuring youth and emerging jazz acts, Jazz Around Town performances at restaurants and a Kidz Zone area and stage.”
Organizers are also expanding the art side of the festival with an Outdoor Painting Challenge, a student art exhibit, artist vendor areas and Indigenous artist workshops and demonstrations.
The band lineup and all other festival activities will be announced in April. You can view highlights of the 2019 festival here.