Songwriters will sing and share stories at a live music event in Langley – Aldergrove Star

Live music returns and Langley seems all set for it.

In a one-of-a-kind “Nashville in the Round Style” show on Friday, March 11, four veteran songwriters will share their songs and their stories about the songs performed. The style involves a group of songwriters in a circle who take turns singing their songs.

Each of the four performers will present five songs – three before intermission and two after – for the event, dubbed Songstage.

The event, which took place every six weeks before the pandemic, returns to the city after a two-year hiatus from the Bez Arts Hub.

Although live events are returning, getting audiences back hasn’t been easy, said Russ Rosen, artistic director and concert curator at Bez.

“We’re pushing ads and sales, but it takes time for people to feel comfortable going back to a live show,” he said.

The facility is now allowed to operate at 100% capacity and Rosen hopes to fill at least 60%.

Russ and his wife, Sandy, created Bez. Cloverdale residents say the community needs more outlets for arts and entertainment.

Russ said Langley residents have to drive all the way to Vancouver to enjoy these types of arts events.

“Art is very valuable in making a city livable and sustainable,” Russ commented. “If you don’t have a space where people can engage in creativity, your city just becomes a room for other cities.”

The couple hope to see Langley become more of an arts and culture hub for South Fraser residents.

He added that people who have visited Bez in the past have shared positive feedback with his team.

The art center invites artists of all levels – from the best known to the most promising, from global to local. The four artists who will perform at this weekend’s event are:

  • Ivan Boudreau – SongStage Host: Professional musician/composer for over 45 years, with deep roots in Nova Scotia.
  • Suzie Ungerleider: American-born, Canadian-raised artist, formerly known as Oh Susanna.
  • Matt Kennedy: He has been singing and playing guitar, mandolin and bass for decades on stages in Western Canada.
  • Gary Comeau: Born and raised in Nova Scotia, he plays several instruments including guitar, mandolin, violin, accordion and piano.

Russ, himself a musician, grew up in a music-loving family in Burnaby. He and his wife moved to Langley after traveling around the world and opened a dance school in the community. In 2017, the couple launched Bez Arts Hub.

“Come back and be surprised again,” he said. “We’ve seen it online, but getting into the room with real music and other people is a human experience. In the midst of trauma and hardship, art will bring us relief and lift us out of those hardships and give us a better perspective on our neighborhood and our world.

The two-hour event begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 11 at the Bez Arts Hub, located at #102 20230 64th Ave. Tickets for the live show are $35. There is also the online streaming option for $15.10.

To purchase tickets, people can visit the Bez website.


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Arts & EntertainmentClassical musicCowichan–Malahat–LangfordLive music

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