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Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival

Fort Langley Jazz Festival

The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is a music festival in the summer each year. Some of its events are free and others are ticketed.

In 2021 the festival is scheduled to run on the weekend of July 23rd to 25th.

Related to the event in the summer, the festival also offers a number of live music events at wineries at other times of the year. For details see our article about the Jazz in the Vine.


In November of 2020 Jazz Festivals from across Canada are working together to present a series of online Jazz performances. Participating in the endeavor are the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

The Canadian Online Jazz Festival is a series of virtual events showcasing musicians from each of Canada’s major jazz festival regions. A couple of presentations take place each night between November 8th and 15th in 2020.

Concerts during this online event are free to watch, although donations are greatly appreciated.

To learn more about this collaborative program see the Canadian Online Jazz Festival website (although full details won’t be available until late October or early November).

Jazz Musicians Outside Fort Langley Train Station
Mardi Gras Strolling Parade outside the Station Museum

Fort Langley Jazz Festival

Back for its second year, the event in 2019 was even bigger and better than ever. In its first year it was just a one-day event. In 2019 it ran for three days, featured multiple stages and showcased over two dozen performances.

In 2020, the event wasn’t cancelled due to COVID-19, which was great news! Because of the pandemic, however, the festival was one day shorter than the year before, and most of its events took place online.

Jazz at Home in 2020

This past year the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival was a primarily online event. The main performances took place on the first weekend in September, and most were free and online. Also, on Saturday, August 15th, there was a free, live and in-person Mardi Gras Strolling Parade in downtown Fort Langley starting at 10:00 am.

During the main part of the festival on the Friday and Saturday of the Labour Day Long Weekend in 2020, the festival featured seventeen acts and as well as a couple of headliner live-streamed shows.

Headliner concerts took place live at Chief Sepass Theatre. They could be watched live-streamed online. Tickets were $22.79 including taxes and fees. Performing on the Friday night were Taylor James, Dalannah Gail Bowen, and Tom Lavalin & the Legendary Powder Blues. On stage on the Saturday evening were Mimosa and Laila Biali, as well as Siobahn Walsh in a tribute to Aretha Franklin.

To learn more about the festival, including about both its free and ticketed events, see our article about the 2020 Jazz at Home event.

Where and When (in typical years)

In years where there isn’t a pandemic, the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival takes place at a number of venues in Fort Langley. The main venue is at the Community Hall which is located at 9167 Glover Road in the heart of the village. Other stages are scattered around the town. See further below for details.

The community of Fort Langley itself is located on the Fraser River in the northern part of the Township of Langley on the opposite side of the river from Maple Ridge.

In 2020 the festival was originally scheduled to take place on the weekend of July 24th to 26th. It then got postponed due to COVID-19 concerns until the Labour Day Long Weekend.

Fort Langley's Jazz at Home

Jazz in the Fort

In years when there isn’t COVID-19, concerts at the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival take place on a couple of outdoor stages in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall as well as on a number of smaller stages at various locations throughout the village.

In addition to the live music performances, in 2019 there was also a Community Dance, a Kidz Zone and an “All That Jazz” art exhibit. In 2020 the festival takes place both online and at the Chief Sepass Theatre at 9096 Trattle Street in the Township of Langley.

Most of the festival’s activities are free. Ticketed events in 2019 included the Blues Concert on the evening of July 26th, the Community Dance on the evening of July 27th and the Gospel & Soul Choir Concert on the 28th.

Click Fort Langley Jazz for the festival’s official website.

Jazz Festival Video

To give you an idea of what to expect, check out the following video that features the sights and sounds of the festival from its second year. As you’ll see, a wide range of artists perform at different venues.

Featured in the video are James Danderfer’s Hummingbird Brigade, Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band, the Jodi Proznick Quintet, Sue Malcolm, Ashley Pater, the Noxious Obs Society Band and the Doc Fingers Band.

Concerts and Venues

Live music performances take place at various venues around town during the festival most years. In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, there is a ticketed event each evening and concerts on the lawn in front of the Community Hall on the Saturday and Sunday.

Other smaller venues featuring live music over the course of the weekend include the Bedford Plaza Stage, Fort Park Stage, CNR Stage and River Stage.

In 2020, instead of live performances, the event features 17 online acts and 2 headliner live-streamed shows.

2019 Ticketed Events

The three ticketed events in 2019 were the following (and 2021 will likely be comparable):

  • All-Stars Blues Show – a night of Blues music hosted by Jim Byrnes and featuring the Mud Bay Blues Band, Steve Kozak Blues Band and a variety of other musicians including Harpdog Brown and Murray Porter. The show took place at the Fort Langley National Historic Site from 7 until 10 pm on Friday, July 26th.
  • Frank Sinatra Big Band Swing Dance – a night of music for folk ages 19+ featuring Steve Maddock and the 10-member band Swing Aggregation indoors at the Fort Langley community Hall. Other vocalists at the event included Tom Arntzen and Theresa Riley. Dance lessons ran from 7 until 8 pm and the dance went from 8 until 11 pm on Saturday, July 27th.
  • Gospel Show – an evening of Gospel music with The Sojourners and the Marcus Mosely Chorale at Chief Sepass Theatre at 9096 Trattle Street from 7 until 10 pm on Sunday, July 28th.
Harpdog Brown in Concert
Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band

Community Hall Outdoor Concerts

Free concerts took place on a couple of stages outside the Fort Langley Community Hall on the Saturday and Sunday in 2019. Performances included the following:

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

  • 10:30 amRazzMaJazz Ensemble
  • 11:00 amVSO Jazz Faculty Ensemble
  • 12:00 pmWild Blue Herons
  • 1:00 pmCoco Jafro
  • 2:00 pmDeanna Knight & the Hot Club of Mars
  • 3:00 pmMike Van Eyes Big Band
  • 4:00 pmHarpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band
  • 5:00 pmJodi Proznick Quintet with Christine Jensen

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

  • 10:00 amCelso Machado
  • 11:00 amJames Danderfer’s The Hummingbird Brigade
  • 12:00 pmDoc Fingers Band
  • 1:00 pmMaya Rae Band
  • 2:00 pmJulian Borkowski Quintet
  • 3:00 pmR&B Allstars
  • 4:00 pmJen Hodge All Stars
  • 5:00 pmJill Townsend Jazz Orchestra
Fort Langley Jazz with Christine Jensen
Christine Jensen in Fort Langley

Pop-Up Stages

Live music also took place on a number of smaller stages around the village in 2019. Crowds at these venues were generally small, but the music was all very good.

Bedford Plaza Stage

The Bedford Plaza Stage was located by the Lelem Cafe beside the river at 23285 Billy Brown Road. This venue seemed to attract the smallest crowds (at least when we were there). It was also the venue with the least shade (so fairly warm in the sun).

Performances on the Bedford Plaza Stage in 2019 included the following:

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

  • 10:30 amAshley Pater Duo
  • 1:30 pmTony Tavares & Ricky Escueta
  • 3:30 pmLisa Dunn Trio

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

  • 10:30 amMax Holmes
  • 1:30 pmNoxious Obs Society Band
  • 3:30 pmGibson & Gretch
Fort Langley's Bedford Plaza
Bedford Plaza Stage

Fort Park Stage

The Fort Park Stage was on the lawn by the Fort Langley National Historic Site‘s parking lot across the street from the Langley Centennial Museum. It was a pretty setting with shade under the trees.

Performances on this stage in 2019 included the following:

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

  • 10:30 amPedro Moto
  • 1:00 pmJazz Links
  • 3:00 pmNoxious Obs Society
  • 3:30 pmRuss Rosen

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

  • 10:30 amAshley Pater Band
  • 1:00 pmSandy Geddes Trio
  • 3:30 pmWill Clement Quartet
Ashley Pater Trio
Ashley Pater Band on Fort Park Stage

CNR Station Stage

The CNR Station Stage was in front of Fort Langley’s CNR Heritage Station located at 23240 Mavis Avenue.

In 2019 live music at this venue included the following:

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

  • 10:30 amJeep Jazz Band
  • 1:30 pmEdan Stasiuk Trio
  • 3:30 pmTony Tavares & Ricky Escueta

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

  • 10:30 amEdan Stasiuk Trio
  • 12:00 pmNoxious Obs Society
  • 1:00 pmTony Tavares & Ricky Escueta
  • 3:30 pmJessica Barbour
Noxious Obs Society Band at Fort Langley Station
Noxious Obs Society at the CNR Station

River Stage

The River Stage was by the water across the street from the Fort Pub & Grill. This last venue was set up as an outdoor patio beer garden which made it especially nice.

Performances here in 2019 included the following:

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

  • 11:00 amIlhan Saferali Trio
  • 1:00 pmMax Holmes
  • 5:30 pmAl Foreman Duo

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

  • 11:00 amNick Apivor’s Latin Flavours
  • 1:30 pmJu Trio + One

In addition to the above, live music also took place at various times at other venues including at area pubs and restaurants.

Sue Malcolm on River Stage
Sue Malcolm on the River Stage

Fort Langley Jazz Festival Activities

In addition to the various Jazz performances, other activities at the festival in 2019 included an All “That Jazz Art” Exhibit and a Kidz Zone area for children.

All “That Jazz Art” Exhibit

The All “That Jazz Art” exhibit featured a display of Jazz-themed paintings at the Fort Langley Community Hall between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm on the Saturday. Admission was free.

Note: If you missed the All “That Jazz Art” Exhibit at the festival you could see it later at the Aldergrove Kinsman Community Centre when the art was again on display between July 31st and September 17th.

The Festival Kidz Zone

As the name suggests, the Kidz Zone was an area with child-friendly activities. In the Kidz Zone there was a selection of workshops that involved music, crafts and other activities.

Some of the workshops in 2019 included the following:

  • Composers Corner (for preschoolers)
  • Make a Musical Instrument Workshops
  • Instrument Petting Zoo to Paint by Sound
  • Indigenous Drum Making Demonstrations.

In the Kidz Zone there was also live entertainment, face painting and other activities at various times. It was a nice area for young families to hang out.

Fort Langley Jazz Festival Crowds
On the lawn outside the Community Hall

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Fort Langley Jazz Festival experience when it takes place live and in the summer.

TIP #1 – You can park for free on various streets in the town of Fort Langley. Go early though to improve your chances of finding a spot that doesn’t require you to walk too far. Parking is also available at 8870 Glover Road (in the parking lot of the Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church) and at 9095 Glover Road (at Living Waters Church).

TIP #2 – Go early and be sure of finding a good place to park. Then kill time by going for a walk along the river and then find a cafe, enjoy a coffee and relax until show time.

TIP #3 – Take your own blanket or chair to sit on. Seating is available at the Saturday dance and Sunday’s Soul & Gospel Choir Concert, but not at the other events (or at least that was the case in 2019).

TIP #4 – If it’s a sunny day, don’t forget to take a hat, sunscreen and bottle of water.

TIP #5 – Don’t spend the whole time by the main stages in front of the Community Hall. Walk around and explore the area. Great bands play at the other venues too!

TIP #6 – So long as he or she is on a leash, dogs are permitted at the festival. You are also welcome to bring your own food. There are food trucks though, so you can buy your meals and snacks on site or around town too.

TIP #7 – The festival venue is a smoke-free environment. That includes vaping as well as other products recently legalized in Canada.

TIP #8 – If you like Jazz, be sure to also check out the Vancouver Jazz Festival (in late June). A few Metro Vancouver churches also offer free Jazz performances on Sunday afternoons. Click Vancouver Jazz Vespers for details.

Jazz Festival Crowds in Fort Langley

Other Information

For more information about the event see the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival website.

To learn more about the area, see our articles about Fort Langley and the Fraser Valley.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: