Home Entertainment in Vancouver Jazz Vespers in Metro Vancouver

Jazz Vespers in Metro Vancouver

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:

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).


Don Stewart at Jazzt Vespers
Don Stewart


Jazz Vespers Locations

Jazz vespers services usually 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.

See the St. Andrew’s Events Page for more information.


Jazz Vespers at Northwood United in Surrey

In normal years, 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 3:30 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.

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 – normally 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 typically happens on Wednesdays at 8 pm at 1600 Delta Avenue in Burnaby.
  • United Churches of Langley – Jazz AWE (Alternative Worship Experience) performances take place once a month at the 9025 Glover Road location in Fort Langley.


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

Other articles that you might be interested in include the following: