Several Surrey-based musicians will step into the spotlight during a special concert at Surrey Arts Centre on the night of Saturday, Jan. 28.
The “Music City Surrey Showcase” concert will feature many of the artists featured during the pandemic-era online shows presented by FUSIONpresents and Surrey Board of Trade’s Music City Centre project.
From 7 to 9:30 p.m., each of the musicians will perform at least two songs live, including Ben Dunnill, Kylie V, Colin Samkey, Ashley Pater, Ranj Singh, Wilona Joy, Kaushal Deo, A-Slam and others.
“This will be a night to remember,” said Anita Huberman, avid concert-goer and CEO of Surrey Board of Trade. “This amazing musical event will showcase many incredible Surrey-based artists.”
Tickets are $25 on the online box office, tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566. The arts centre is at Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Ave., Surrey.
Two years ago, Music City Surrey Showcase was launched as a pandemic-era project to spotlight Surrey-area musicians in a series of videos. Posted to YouTube, the Showcase involved a 10-episode look at Surrey-based artists and educators, in 10- to 16-minute clips co-produced by FUSIONpresents and Face the Music Entertainment.
“It was all a real success,” said Sami Ghawi, director of FUSIONpresents, at the time. “There’s so much talent in Surrey.”
Months earlier, in July 2020, Ghawi and Ranj Singh were among those who performed “Digital Stage” concerts in Surrey while the pandemic shut down concert venues. Surrey Civic Theatres rolled out the online concert series, which offered local musicians paid gigs at a time when few were available to them.
Days after this week’s “Music City Surrey Showcase,” Singh will stage a concert of his own at Surrey City Hall’s Centre Stage theatre. Tickets are $24 for “An Evening with Ranj Singh,” on Friday, Feb. 3.
Singh got his start in music in 1983, after a friend took him to an Indian concert that offered new sounds to a guy raised on Credence Clearwater Revival and Meatloaf. He said when the curtain went up and he saw the stage full of Indian musicians, he felt as if he’d been tricked. But 30 seconds later, after the musicians began to play, “That was it, I was hooked,” Singh recalled.
Years later he toured with the bhangra-rock band Dal-Dil-Vog, around B.C. and also in India, where he recalls seeing huge billboards advertising the band in Mumbai. “We were treated like royalty during that five-week tour,” Singh said. “It is a highlight of my musical career that I’ll never forget.”
As a solo act these days, Singh plays songs from the 1960s right through to hits of today, as well as originals, accompanied by his two alternate-tuned 12-string guitars. His concert promises sing-along songs, stories, humour and a subtle blend of East meets West.