Voice for art

On the heels of performing at the highly successful Sylvan Lake Jazz Festival, local singer Cheryl Fisher has become the “poster child” for a new Alberta arts festival.

Sylvan Lake jazz singer Cheryl Fisher: she’s honoured to open Calgary’s three-day festival.

Sylvan Lake jazz singer Cheryl Fisher: she’s honoured to open Calgary’s three-day festival.

On the heels of performing at the highly successful Sylvan Lake Jazz Festival, local singer Cheryl Fisher has become the “poster child” for a new Alberta arts festival.

Fisher will kick off Alberta Arts Days in Calgary with a Sept. 18 performance at the Epcor Centre when she will sing selections from her newest CD, Moments Like This. The recording of standard jazz tunes, including Autumn in New York, I Concentrate on You and Jordu, features collaborations with pianist Oliver Jones, Ira Sullivan, and Fisher’s husband, Eric Allison.

Fisher, a Sylvan Lake resident who’s been part of the Alberta arts scene since the late 1980s, said she’s honoured to have been asked to open Calgary’s three-day festival. She’s also thrilled because the choice indicates her once “specialty” musical form is now appealing to a broad audience.

The government-sponsored Alberta Arts Days will actually run across the province from Sept. 18-20, with various communities planning different local events. (See Red Deer’s events below).

Whether jazz is being embraced by a larger audience because artists such as Diana Krall are being played on adult contemporary radio, it’s clear there’s a growing appreciation for the musical form. Fisher added this is allowing many jazz artists to “come into their own.”

For instance, the Juno Award-winning Jones helped break attendance records at the Sylvan Lake festival last weekend. Festival organizer Allison said some 200 people filled the Stephenson Performing Arts Centre for concerts by Fisher and Jones. There was also a capacity crowd for the Swing Dance at the local golf club, and fans had to be turned away at the Blues Bash at the Lion’s Hall.

Allison attributes good word-of-mouth for the festival’s growing popularity. This year’s event not only drew people from Edmonton and Calgary, but also B.C. and the U.S. “Some people have told us they plan their holidays around it.”

Fisher loved singing with internationally recognized Jones, whom she described as being a wonderful, “percussive” pianist. “For a vocalist, it was an interesting opportunity. You have to alternate your phrasing and delivery to match what he’s doing.”

Having trained at the University of Miami School of Music, Fisher believes jazz is still very much an American art form, so it speaks well that so many Canadian performers are becoming known on the international scene.

Meanwhile, few events are already being planned locally for Alberta Art Days in Red Deer, including a city-wide “chase” on Friday, Sept. 18, organized by the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery. It will involve people taking “passports” around the city to a number of visual, performing and literary arts events, for the chance to win prizes.

The Alexander Way Festival will also be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, put on by the Downtown Business Association, featuring artist demonstration, performances and vendor tables.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The interchange at Highway 2 and McKenzie Road at the south end of Gasoline Alley is being redesigned with two roundabouts. Detours will be in place at either end of the overpass during construction, which is expected to begin this month and finish in October. (Graphic from Red Deer County)
Roudabouts coming to McKenzie Road overpass at Gasoline Alley

Project expected to improve traffic flow at busy intersections

A federal strategy to preserve threatened trout could conflict with provincial coal leases in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. (Contributed photo by Jeff Lund).
Federal regulations could save Alberta’s bull trout by shutting down mining plans, says biologist

Ottawa’s new strategy identifies a 30-metre protected area along rivers and streams

(Contributed image)
Wolf Creek Public Schools will not participate in curriculum pilot

Central Alberta school jurisdiction joins others across Alberta

A Surete du Quebec police car is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Quebec man charged in partner’s death as domestic violence advocate sounds alarm

Quebec man charged in partner’s death as domestic violence advocate sounds alarm

The Canadian Forces flag flies outside office buildings in Ottawa, Tuesday March 9, 2021. The commander of Canada’s military police found himself under the microscope this afternoon as members of a parliamentary committee grilled him over how his officers deal with cases of sexual misconduct.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Top military police officer defends unit’s handling of sex misconduct cases

Top military police officer defends unit’s handling of sex misconduct cases

Children's backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Liberals set to dive deeply into child care in April 19 federal budget

Liberals set to dive deeply into child care in April 19 federal budget

Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is seen during a news conference on Parliament hill in Ottawa, Tuesday April 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Opposition parties lay out priorities ahead of Liberal government budget next week

Opposition parties lay out priorities ahead of Liberal government budget next week

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. A second COVID-19 vaccine is being investigated for possible links to blood clots, though the syndrome appears to be extremely rare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rogelio V. Solis
Vaccine-induced blood clots under more scrutiny as Canada reports first case

Vaccine-induced blood clots under more scrutiny as Canada reports first case

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez take a selfie as they arrive at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2020. VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will showcase Lopez. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Selena Gomez and J.Lo headline vax concert for poor nations

NEW YORK — Backed by an international concert hosted by Selena Gomez… Continue reading

A vial of the vaccine by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Federal health officials in the U.S. said early Tuesday they were urging a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six serious blood clots, and officials in Washington state and around the country quickly complied. (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media)
How J&J and AstraZeneca differ from the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has hit a stumbling block in… Continue reading

Most Read