Local acts to ‘take it the next level’

Crescent Beach will be hosting a monthly music event showcasing Peninsula acts.

A new monthly Crescent Beach opportunity for live music will allow budding local acts to “take it to the next level” according to Randy Schultz, organizer and promoter of the event.

Leader of well-known local dance band Mojo Zydeco, Schultz will produce a ticketed music evening at Sunflower Cafe on the last Friday of every month, starting June 15.

Although the evenings will promote entertainers in earlier stages of developing their acts, performer for the launch will be popular singer-songwriter Jason Mitchell.

“He is a seasoned performer, of course,” Schultz said. “But I wanted to open the venue with someone who has a reputation established, and wanted to support the concept.”

A limit of 50 tickets will be sold (at $7 each) for the one-headliner, 8-10 p.m. events, which will be promoted in advance. On those nights, patrons will be able to order from a special dinner menu and buy beer and wine for an additional cost, but admission will be limited to those with tickets, Schultz said.

While casual, it’s not an open-mic or a coffee house situation, he said – the Peninsula is already well-served with those opportunities.

“They’re a neat thing to do for someone who’s developing his or her craft, who’s going to do three or four songs to see if they can pull that off – but there’s got to be a next level,” Schultz said.

“This is for someone who says ‘I think I’m ready, or my little ensemble is ready, to play two solid sets.”

An important part of reaching that stage is getting paid for your efforts, he added – noting the acts (limited to solos, duos or trios) will each receive $125.

“It’s modest, but it’s something,” said Schultz, who will also provide the PA for voice and acoustic amplification.

“One of the biggest things around here is that so many people are playing for free. There’s an assumption on the part of the public that we just do it because we love it. We do, but there’s a lot of investment in time and hard work and practice and equipment, and it’s time to have that supported.”

Schultz said he approached Sunflower Cafe co-owner Sym Thiele with the idea because the cafe, a favourite breakfast destination for himself and his wife Jane, always reminded them of places they’ve seen on their frequent trips to New Orleans.

“The only difference is the music,” he said. “Down there, there’s always someone playing piano for tips or a jazz trio or something.”

For more information, performer inquiries or submissions, contact Schultz at 604-721-0872 or jcschultz@shaw.ca