KPU guitar fest draws big names to Langley

Kwantlen’s music department is hosting its 17th annual acoustic concert on Saturday night.

What do a French hot club jazz group, a Canadian unsung guitar guru, and a veteran finger-style guitarist have in common?

They’re the headliners in a guitar festival in Langley this week.

For the 17th year running, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is hosting the Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival at the Langley campus. The first two days (Thursday and Friday) are filled with student workshops, followed by a public concert on Saturday night.

Van Django, a four-man acoustic string ensemble of some of Canada’s most talented and eclectic musicians; Ari Lahdekorpi, a journeyman guitarist who has worked with numerous blues legends and pop crooners;  and Kent Hillman, a musician who plays jazz, classical, and South American music, will perform at the Saturday event, announced organizer and event founder Don Hlus, an instructor at KPU since the school’s music department opened in 1993.

“Most people are surprised that these internationally acclaimed artists would travel to the Fraser Valley to play a show, but these same artists love to introduce their music to new audiences,” Hlus said.

“It is such a thrill for them and to those who attend. And it is all happening right in our backyard.”

Hlus founded the event to entertain and inspire the Valley’s music community, and to give high school and post-secondary music students a chance to work with, and learn from, internationally and locally distinguished artists.

“The idea behind the guitar festival came in conversations with several high school guitar instructors over 17 years ago,” Hlus explained.

“Collectively, we wanted to create an opportunity for young musicians to see the artistic and creative potential within themselves. We also wanted the opportunity to support that creative development in others… In the fifth year, my phone started ringing off the hook because people in the community were hearing about these world-class guitarists coming to the valley and wanted an opportunity to hear them in their own backyard. And that is how the evening concert came into being.”

This year’s festival, themed The Gut, is being held in the university’s Langley auditorium at 20901 Langley Bypass, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tickets are $20/adults or $15/students and seniors in advance (online at or an extra $5 at the door.

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Man found guilty of murder of Good Samaritan

Brad McPherson was murdered at a party early on the morning of Christmas Eve 2011.

Langley lacrossers roughed up 22-12 during Calgary stopover

Next Saturday, Feb. 24, the team hosts a Vancouver Stealth Experience, inviting guests on the floor.

Aldergrove welcomes new Community Association

Several dozen attend introductory meeting of new Aldergrove Community Association

Langley City honours volunteers who give so much

At least 200 people came together Thursday to be recognized and thanked by the City of Langley.

VIDEO: Widen the freeway now, Langley chamber insists

Business advocates describe cancelling bridge tolls and highway expansion as ‘disappointing.’

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

One dead after targeted shooting in Coquitlam

IHIT also asking for information about a car on fire nearby

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Heavy snowfall warning continues

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

VIDEO: Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Most Read