The band Brass Camel performing at Massey Theatre during a recording session for the TD Uptown Live musical festival. (submitted photo)

Seven bands recorded at Massey Theatre for virtual Uptown Live concert

Surrey-area talent helps produce ‘virtual edition’ of New West’s annual fest

A “virtual edition” of New Westminster’s annual TD Uptown Live music festival features a roster of Surrey-area performers and production crew members.

Seven bands were this month filmed live over three days at Massey Theatre, including Ezra Kwizera, Krystle Dos Santos, Brass Camel, Fionn, Colleen Rennison, Mazacote and Warren Dean Flandez.

The TD Uptown Live showcase will involve a two-hour virtual broadcast on Saturday, Aug. 22, starting at 6 p.m. on the event website (uptownlive.ca) and Facebook page. Full performances by each artist will be released daily from Aug. 23-29 “for a full week of live music broadcast directly to fans and viewers” on the Uptown Live website.

Cloverdale-raised Fiona Forbes wore the Senior Creative Producer and Host hats simultaneously for Hubcast Media, which operates a studio in rural Port Kells and co-produced the concert with Alliance West Sports & Entertainment.

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“To say the past week has been a whirlwind is an understatement,” Forbes posted to her Facebook page on Aug. 9.

“With all COVID-19 filming protocols in place, our mighty team captured these amazing bands so we can bring Uptown Live to your living room,” she added.

The broadcast will feature behind-the-scenes interviews with all bands.

Forbes raves about “the soulful sounds of Ezra Kwizera, the modern alt-pop and stripped-down acoustic stylings of Fionn, Krystle Dos Santos with her commanding voice and mesmerizing blend of blues, jazz and soul, the hard-hitting and politically charged six-piece World/Latin band Mazacote Band, the country, folk and blues strains of Colleen Rennison, Brass Camel and their original blend of prog funk and blues rock, and two-time Juno-nominated and eight-time GMA winning R&B favourite Warren Dean Flandez.”

• RELATED STORY, from May 2019: High-tech Hubcast studio in rural Surrey brings intimate concerts to converted barn.

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• RELATED STORY, from 2017: Surrey’s ‘Rock and Roll Kid’ is all grown up, and he’s even more awesome on guitar.

Surrey-raised musician Daniel Sveinson plays guitar and sings with Brass Camel.

“After two and a half years of hard work and much thinking, we were able to execute a production that lives up to what my vision of what the Camel might look like given free reign over a big stage,” Sveinson posted to his Facebook page.

“I’ve been thinking about this symmetrical dual riser setup for ages so it was very satisfying to watch it laboriously come together. Hammond organs aren’t light but they sure look and sound great. Micing up individual rototoms seems unnecessary but the audible result is deliciously progressive. Percussion, sax and ripping backing vocals fill out the sound and stage and really take things up a notch.”

TD Uptown Live is presented by New Westminster’s Uptown Business Association in partnership with the City of New Westminster, Creative BC, the Province of British Columbia and the TD Bank Group.

“Uptown Live is an important event, not only to the Uptown New Westminster business area, but to the B.C. music industry,” stated Bart Slotman, Uptown Business Association’s board president. “After having to cancel this year’s summer festival due to COVID-19, we decided to re-imagine the event.”

• RELATED STORY: ‘Digital Stage’ gigs embraced by Surrey musicians who’ve gone without during COVID.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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