Music on the Wharf series set to begin

Hear a band while enjoying a summer sunset in Port Haney

The Creole Jazz Band played on the wharf last year.

The Creole Jazz Band played on the wharf last year.

Music on the Wharf is starting up for its 15th summer.

The Maple Ridge Historical Society is proud to present a lively line-up of free concerts on the Port Haney Wharf, starting July 11 at 7:30 p.m.

All four musical performances take place on the Port Haney Wharf, at the foot of 224th Street, east of the West Coast Express station.

We will hear from Marty Bernard and the Bloo Zebra on July 11. This is a local group that has played in Vancouver, New Westminster and in Maple Ridge at the Kingfisher pub and restaurant.

Bernard describes himself as a singer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist who began performing, touring and recording at the age of sixteen.

The Bloo Zebra group is dazzling local audiences with its live shows, characterized as a psychedelic blend of cosmic blues, roots and rock music.

We will hope for an equally dramatic sunset and moon rise overlooking the ever-changing Fraser River with its busy water traffic.

The second show will be at 7:30 p.m. on July 25, with Steve Hansen and the Groove Merchants. Originally a Montreal musician, Hansen has been playing on the local scene, the Interior and Vancouver Island since 1980.

The repertoire of his five-piece group includes swing, blues, early rock and roll, rockabilly and jazz.

Hansen has also appeared with several excellent Vancouver groups, including the Powder Blues and James Rogers Band.  This will be his fourth appearance at Music on the Wharf.

On Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m., the performers will be Willy Blizzard. John Hough is the vocalist and guitarist, accompanied by two other singers and musicians on bass and guitar.

Hough presents original songs accompanied by acoustic instruments. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist for the group Under the Moss. His CD In from the Cold features the life of pioneers and the landscape of Canada.

The final concert on Aug. 22 will begin at 7 p.m. because daylight will be fading sooner by then.

The Bruce James Orchestra will close our season with its 20-piece big band group, including three vocalists.

We will hear music from the 1940s along with current day arrangements of standards. This popular local group has also entertained us in the past, attracting some of our largest audiences.

For people new to Music on the Wharf, here are a few suggestions to keep you comfortable: bring a deck chair or blanket to sit on; a hat and sunglasses, and a sweater or jacket for the cool of the evening.

The Kiwanis club will be selling refreshments on the Port Haney Wharf.  At intermissions, volunteers from the sponsoring Maple Ridge Historical Society will be collecting cash to help support the musical series.

We also thank the Meadow Ridge Rotary Club for their financial support.

Parking is limited near Port Haney wharf so many people walk down the hill.  If you park at the Billy Miner, remember to patronize the place.  And don’t forget there is an active CPR rail line to cross on your way to and from the wharf, so take care.

Sheila Nickols is past president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.