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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:

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).

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.)

Katherine Grefner & Mighty Fraser Band
K. Grefner & the Mighty Fraser Big Band

January 6, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s WesleyMaria Ho performs at 4 pm at the United Church at 1022 Nelson Street (on Burrard) in Vancouver.
  • St. Stephen’s Anglican – with Ada Lee at the church at 885 – 22nd Street in West Vancouver at 4 pm. (She’s originally from Springfield Ohio, now lives in Vancouver, has performed with Jazz greats like Duke Ellington and is now 91 years old!)
Ada Lee at St. Stephen's Jazz Vespers
Ada Lee at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church

January 20, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s WesleySiobhan Walsh performs at 4 pm at the United Church at 1022 Nelson Street (on Burrard) in Vancouver.

January 27, 2019

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

February 3, 2019

  • St. Stephen’s Anglican – with the Don Stewart Quartet at the church at 885 – 22nd Street in West Vancouver at 4 pm. (The concert is a tribute to Black History Month in Vancouver.)
  • St. Andrew’s WesleyJillian Lebeck Noriega performs at 4 pm at the United Church at 1022 Nelson Street (on Burrard) in Vancouver.

February 10, 2019

  • Northwood United Church – at 4 pm at the United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey. Today’s performance is with the Don Stewart Quartet.

February 24, 2019

March 3, 2019

March 10, 2019

  • Northwood United Church – at 4 pm at the United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey. Today’s performance is with Laura Crema and the Artie Devlin Quintet.
  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

March 24, 2019

  • Northwood United Church – at 4 pm at the United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey. Today’s performance is with Trevor Whitridge on trumpet.
  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

March 31, 2019

April 7, 2019

April 14, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

April 21, 2019

April 28, 2019

May 5, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

May 12, 2019

May 19, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

May 26, 2019

June 2, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

June 9, 2019

June 16, 2019

  • St. Andrew’s Wesley – at 4 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in Vancouver. (Performer details to be confirmed.)

June 23, 2019

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 February 10, 2019, the Jazz Vespers events at St. Andrew’s Wesley are moving across the street to First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard 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.

See the Northwood United Church calendar to see when the concerts are taking place.

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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