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Jazz Vespers in Metro Vancouver in 2019

Mighty Fraser Big Band at Jazz Vespers

A number of churches in Vancouver, Surrey and other communities offer special Jazz vespers services featuring live music and concerts by local musicians.

The events are usually free (or by donation), open to the public, of a fairly “light” religious nature, and highly recommended.


This article includes the following topics:

Upcoming Concerts | Jazz at St. Andrew’s Wesley | Jazz Vespers in Surrey | Other Jazz Vespers Venues | Tips & Advice | Other Information


Jazz Vespers Concerts and Services

A number of Lower Mainland churches of various denominations offer Jazz vespers services. They are usually held regularly in the late afternoon or early evening once a week, or once or twice a month, and they are part “church service” and part “Jazz concert”. There is sometimes a religious message, and usually a prayer, but mostly it’s just a nice concert in a church setting.

If you like Jazz, free things and spiritual settings, Jazz vespers are great events to check out. You don’t generally have to be religious to enjoy them (although you do need to like music).


JAZZ AT THE MUSEUM

In addition to the various church venues listed below, Jazz concerts also take place once a month at Vancouver’s Roedde House Museum. They aren’t free, but they are very good.


Upcoming Jazz Vespers Concerts

As the name suggests, Jazz vespers typically involve some kind of Jazz. The music can vary quite a lot though, from quiet and fairly solemn tunes to lively Soul and Gospel, to big band Jazz, to Motown.

Below are some upcoming Jazz vespers concerts at various Lower Mainland church locations. (Note: Concert performers and other details are subject to change.)

Don Stewart at First Baptist Vespers
Don Stewart at First Baptist Church

September 8, 2019

September 15, 2019

September 22, 2019

September 29, 2019

October 6, 2019

October 13, 2019

  • St. Andrews-Wesley United Church – at 4pm at the salons in the church at 1018 Nelson Street. The live music today is with the Jamie Croil Group.
  • Northwood United Church – at 4pm at 8856-156th Street in Surrey. The live music today is “Brentwood Musickers” Dan & Ben.
Jamie Croil & Karen Graves at Jazz Vespers
Jamie Croil at St. Andrews-Wesley

October 20, 2019

October 27, 2019

November 3, 2019

November 10 2019

November 17, 2019

November 24, 2019

Katherine Grefner & Mighty Fraser Band
Mighty Fraser Band

December 1, 2019

December 8, 2019

December 15, 2019

December 22, 2019

December 29, 2019

St. Andrew's Wesley
St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church

Jazz Vespers Locations

Jazz vespers services take place at a number of churches around Metro Vancouver including at St. Andrew’s Wesley in Vancouver and Northwood United Church in Surrey.

Jazz Vespers at St. Andrew’s Wesley

Some of the most impressive and best known Jazz vespers services are the ones at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church at 1022 Nelson Street in downtown Vancouver. They take place in a beautiful cathedral-like church between 4:00 and 5:00 pm most Sundays throughout the year. The concerts feature some of the city’s finest Jazz musicians and admission is by donation.

Click St. Andrew’s Jazz Vespers for more information


Important Note: As of September, 2019, the Jazz Vespers events at St. Andrew’s Wesley have moved to the salons at the church at 1018 Nelson Street. That’s because St. Andrew’s United Church is undergoing a heritage restoration and seismic upgrade between early 2019 and sometime in 2021 (or at least that’s the plan).


Jamie Croil & Karen Graves at Jazz Vespers
Jazz Vespers with Jamie Croil & Karen Graves

Jazz Vespers at Northwood United in Surrey

Jazz Vespers also take place about twice a month at Northwood United Church which is located at 8855 156th Street in Surrey. The concerts there start at 4 o’clock, run for about an hour and are usually followed by an optional time of tea and refreshments. Admission is by donation.

The Jazz Vespers services at Northwood United usually have a brief and very “light” spiritual message with a primary focus on the music (which might be Gospel or some other kind of Jazz that’s totally unrelated to the church and religion). Similar to the concerts at St. Andrew’s Wesley (or First Baptist) in Vancouver, some of the region’s top Jazz musicians sometimes participate.

In June 2019, the concerts at Northwood United take place on June 9th and 23rd at 4 pm.

See the Northwood United Church‘s website calendar for more information.

Jazz Vespers at Northwood United
Jazz Vespers at Northwood United Church

Other Jazz Vespers Venues

We at Vancouver’s Best Places have attended (and really enjoyed) the Jazz Vespers concerts at both St. Andrew’s Wesley and Northwood United. There are other churches in the Lower Mainland that offer similar services including those listed below. In most cases the Jazz musicians featured are excellent and the extent of religious content varies by week and venue.

  • St. Stephen’s Anglican – once a month services at 885 – 22nd Street in West Vancouver at 4 pm on a Sunday. (We’ve attended Jazz Vespers here too and loved it!) Starting in 2019 the services usually take place on the first Sunday of the month (whereas previously they were on the last Sunday).
  • St. Andrew’s United Church – at 4 pm on the last Sunday of the month at 1044 St. George’s Avenue in North Vancouver (as opposed to St. Andrew’s Wesley in Vancouver).
  • Brentwood Presbyterian Church – Jazz Evensong takes place on Wednesdays at 8 pm at 1600 Delta Avenue in Burnaby.

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips and advice to help you make the most out of your Jazz Vespers experience.

TIP #1: Combine your attendance at a Jazz vespers event with a visit to other places in the area. Unless you live right close to the venue, go out for dinner afterwards, or go for a walk and explore the area beforehand.

TIP #2: If you’re broke and don’t have any money, you don’t have to pay anything. Go, enjoy the experience, don’t pay anything and don’t feel guilty. All are welcome.

TIP #3: If you can afford it, and the venue has a collection plate and provides an opportunity for donations, give generously if you can. You’ll pay for a comparable concert elsewhere, so why not support the folk who put on the event. Also, in some cases, the church provides its venue for free and donations go to the musicians (who likely trekked from across town to entertain you).

TIP #4: If you enjoy the experience, go again, try other Jazz vespers venues, and tell your friends.

Other Information

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