Juno Award-winning singer Laila Biali will be back by popular demand to help kick off the 17th-annual Jazz at the Lake Festival this summer.
The Canadian pianist and vocalist, who just won a 2019 Juno for vocal jazz album of the year, will be performing Aug. 16 at the Gospel Chapel, 4290 50th St., in Sylvan Lake. Tickets are $30.
Festival co-ordinator Eric Allison said the Aug. 16 to 18 festival will be adding a Party in the Park event on the last day, as well as offering the usual series of pubs and clubs concerts, and a swing dance.
The good news for festival organizers is that their raffle licence did finally get approved by the province after initially being turned down. This will be an important fundraiser for the outdoor concert, allowing admissions to be kept affordable, added Allison.
The outdoor party will be held in Centennial Park on Sunday, Aug. 18, with entertainment from legendary Saskatchewan bluesman Jack Semple and Argentinian keyboard phenom Gabriel Palatchi and their trios.
Admission to the outdoor show will be $10 for adults and free for kids.
Along with headliner Biali, Johnny Summers will also be back at the festival. His Little Big Band will perform at a swing dance on Aug. 17 at the Sylvan Lake Legion.
Seven live jazz and jazz-oriented bands will perform at seven clubs and pubs around town. All of these venues will have free admission.
“It’s our mandate … to continue to provide a venue for jazz performers of the highest quality,” expanding on Sylvan Lake’s historic tradition of offering “live music, cultural awareness and family fun for Albertans of all ages,” say festival organizers.
Allison and festival co-ordinator Cheryl Fisher want to trumpet the talents of student and professional musicians and involved the local arts community.
“But above all, our mandate is to have fun.”
For more information and festival tickets, visit www.jazzatthelake.com.