Music in the Courtyard

The Firehall Arts Centre is pleased to present, Music in the Courtyard, a summer-long music series that will occur on weekends throughout August and September 2020. Performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays 7:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm (with the exception of the performance on Sunday, September 13, which will take place at 7:00pm).

Tickets are $20. Click HERE to purchase yours today!

August Schedule

Friday, August 14 @ 7:00pm – Latin Jazz Night (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

John Korsrud presents high-energy Latin jazz from Cuba and South America. Music by Eddie Palmieri, Arturo Sandoval and Irakere with Niho Takase (p), Ronny Swirl (b), Raphael Geronimo (d), Chris Couto (perc).

Saturday, August 15 @ 7:00pm – Blue Note Night
Blue Note Jazz Night features some of the best jazz musicians in Vancouver – playing groove-oriented jazz of Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Grant Green and Stanley Turrentine with Steve Kaldestad (s), Chris Gestrin (p), Jeff Gammon (b), Joe Poole (d).

Sunday, August 16 @ 3:00pm – Cool Grooves Afternoon
John Korsrud presents an afternoon of funky groove-oriented fusion jazz with Brent Mah (s), Jillian Lebeck (p), Kerry Galloway (b), Omar Amlani (d).


Friday, August 21 @ 7:00pm – Zhambai (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Zhambai performs the polyrhythmic, hypnotic and deep traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe using the ancient mbira (thumb piano). This magical instrument has been used for spiritual means in Zimbabwe for centuries. The sound is reminiscent of water dropping, spirits talking, ancestors singing and blood pumping. Kurai Mubaiwa is one of Canada’s leading experts on the mbira and in addition to mastering the traditional repertoire, he also composes his own contemporary music for the mbira. In Curtis Andrews he has found an able and willing ally. Completing the trio is Pasi Gunguwo, a long-time colleague of Kurai Mubaiwa who brings his Zimbabwean vocal and percussive expertise. These multi-faceted musicians bring a message of joy and healing to themselves and the audience alike.



Saturday, August 22 @ 7:00pm – (In partnership with Savage Society)
Savage Society presents, The Backyard Sessions with Warrior Bunny, Sam Chimes, and Tzo’kam.

Sam Chimes is a multi-talented musician. Chimes’ music has been influenced from
his years moving around the world. He was Born in Africa, lived in Brunei, South East
Asia, and he now resides in Canada. With his jazzy, soulful vibes, he uses a looper and a microkorg synthesizer to create instrumentals on the spot, layers his voice, and performs for his audience. Chimes has performed in 8 countries outside of Canada. He recently came back from his second world tour, performing at showcases in Australia, and street performing in between.
Sam Chimes will leave you mesmerized and inspired.

Dancing with Sam Chimes is: Estraya. Estraya is a Vancouver based professional Dancer. Her incredible passion and versatility in her work has afforded her a variety of performances. Some of her performances include the LED Isis Wings Performer for Contact Winter Music Festival, CFL BC Lions Cheerleader, Dancer and Magicians Assistant for Miss China Beauty Pageant on Fairchild TV, Fire Dance Artist on Reverbia stage for Burning Man, Aerial Silk performances for Cabaret Cirque and Passion Portal, and Samba Dancer for Samba Fusion in African Decent Festival. Estraya, like the sun when it comes out of the clouds, brings joy to her audience when they see the passionate happiness that she brings to her performances.


Tzo’kam means “chickadee” and “visitors are coming” in the Stl’atl’imx language. Flora Wallace and her family have sung together at family occasions and community events for more than 50 years. After elder Flora Wallace participated in the Aboriginal Women’s Voices gathering (1997) at Banff, Alberta, the family decided to expand their efforts to share the culture.

It did not take long for Tzo’kam to hit the stage and start recording. The first major concert by Tzo’kam was at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in the summer of 1997 opening a stage that featured Buffy Saint Marie and Keith Secola. Tzo’kam recorded for the Smithsonian Institution, for Silverwave Records and released three CD’s on their own. Since 1997 Tzo’kam has performed at many festivals and concerts including Folklife in Washington D.C., Full Circle Concert in Calgary, Alberta, Harrison Arts Festival in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, B.C., and many conferences and gatherings.

Tzo’kam, under the direction of Russell Wallace, continues to work within the Aboriginal communities and educational communities to teach, share and maintain a tradition that has been kept alive by dedicated elders.


Sunday, August 23 @ 3:00pm – Celso Machado (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Virtuoso Brazilian guitarist, percussionist, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Celso Machado, transports his audiences through the richness and diversity of Brazilian music and beyond. For forty years Celso Machado has been performing on concert stages throughout Brazil, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, and the United States. Considered one of the most versatile and exciting musician/composers of Brazilian music today; his guitar technique is but one of his passions; his gift for making music out of anything and everything around us is his mission in life.



Thursday, August 27 @ 7:00pm – Elle Wolf Single Release Party

Elle Wolf’s new Galactic Synth Pop sound is touching on dark places, haunting self doubt, and ghosts of lovers past. Influenced by her time in Europe and her previous collaborations with local Electronic artists such as, Diana Boss, and Gabriel Savage, Elle Wolf has gone from her acoustic roots to synths and trigger pads.

Her debut single ‘Queen’ was released January 24th 2020, produced by Cody Taylor of Fiend Studios. ‘Queen’ was featured on Vancouver Weekly and on the Spotify playlist, Bass Lovers Unite.

Join Wolf in celebrating her second single ‘Disappear’ on it’s August 25th release.

Elle will be joined by opening act, Mellowhaunt! Mellowhaunt is a synthesis of queer producer Matthew DeBeer and genre-bending singer Derya Gwynneth. Born from heartbreak, Mellowhaunt makes music to dance, drive, and cry to – music to remind you that you’re human and leave a bittersweet taste on your tongue that leaves you wanting more. Imagine you’re driving down a desert highway, fall in love with a wisp of smoke, get abducted by aliens, and then spat back out. From pop to industrial to ethereal to jazzy, and of course haunting, Mellowhaunt incorporates many genres into their music to craft their unique sound. Mellowhaunt will transport you to places never before seen by man, and, if you’re lucky, they might even break your heart.


Friday, August 28 @ 7:00pm – The Patsy Klein/Tony Wilson Band (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

A stunning and symbiotic collaboration, guitarist Tony Wilson’s original songs interweave bittersweet and transcendent melodicism with the plaintive, emotional voice of Vancouver hidden gem Patsy Klein. Understated and beautiful.

Klein and Wilson began as a duo in 2014, performing arrangements by Buffy Sainte-Marie and PJ Harvey among others. A year later, Russell Sholberg (bass) and Barry Mirochnick (drums) joined and the band started playing original music written by Klein and Wilson. Since then, the band has performed regularly in the Lower Mainland and at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Patsy and Tony also work together in Wilson’s bands, Burn Down the Cornfield and Looking Back.

For this evening concert, the band will perform beautiful original songs by Klein and Wilson and a few blissful covers.


Saturday, August 29 @ 7:00pm – Waxwing (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Formed in 2007, Waxwing is a co-led group created by three veterans of the Vancouver music scene: Tony Wilson on guitar, Peggy Lee on cello and Jon Bentley on saxophones. The trio has released two studio recordings featuring their original compositions: “A Bowl Of Sixty Taxidermists” (2015 – Songlines Recordings) and “Escondido Dreams” (2007 – Drip Audio). The recipient of numerous Canada Council Grants, Waxwing has performed their unique works in concerts across Canada and has been a regular favourite in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The trio has also been featured many times on various CBC radio programs, both from live performances and studio recordings including a live SignalFest recording at CBC Vancouver in 2011.


Sunday, August 30 @ 3:00pm – The Anti-Fogmatics (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

For a dose of country classic and original songs, heartfelt harmonies, and toe-tapping good times, look to the Anti-Fogmatics…just what the doctor ordered! Formed in 2019, the Anti-Fogmatics are a quartet of powerhouse local musicians: Joshua Zubot (jazz improvisational sensibilities) plays fiddle and mandolin, Jimmy Roy Kinloch (local country and western legend) plays lap steel and sings a few tunes, Lorraine Cobb (formerly of Viper Central, the Mountain Bluebirds, and Shout! White Dragon) plays acoustic guitar and vocals, and Paula “Sparky” Spurr (solo entertainer and songwriter) plays upright bass and vocals.
plural -s: a drink of liquor taken to counteract the effect of fog or dampness



September Schedule

Friday, September 4 @ 7:00pm – Small Town Artillery

Saturday, September 5 @ 7:00pm – Small Town Artillery

Sunday, September 6 @ 3:00pm – Small Town Artillery

Small Town Artillery is a rock group with a horn section originally from Kaslo, British Columbia. They currently live & work in Vancouver BC. Bandleader Tom van Deursen (Guitar, Vocals) & brother Derek van Deursen (Drums, Vocals) have been playing together for 20 years, picking up their first instruments from pawn shops after seeing Colin James perform at the Kaslo Jazz Festival before either of them were teenagers.



Friday, September 11 @ 7:00pm – Gord Grdina Trio (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Gordon Grdina Trio has a massive dynamic range being at once quiet for an oud lead taqasim and then raging over a free form punk groove the next. The band is vibrant and exciting to see live as the audience never knows what is going to happen next. Gord Grdina, Tommy Babin, and Kenton Loewen.
“…a blend of the intensity of John McLaughlin and the linear phrasing of Joe Morris, with a bit of john Zorn attitude thrown in for good measure.” – John Hale



Saturday, September 12 @ 7:00pm – Itamar Erez Quartet (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Itamar Erez (guitars/piano), François Houle (clarinet), Jeff Gammon (bass), Kevin Romain (drums)

The Itamar Erez Quartet blends the delicateness of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in jazz and the passion of flamenco. Based primarily on Itamar’s original compositions, the quartet of accomplished musicians and interpreters create music of depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply.
Itamar Erez’s most recent CD, Mi Alegria, was released in June 2019 with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and has received raving reviews, both nationally and internationally, including a nomination for the 2020 Instrumental Artist of the Year Award from the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces. Inspired by collaborations with the world’s top musical innovators, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions.

Canadian contemporary/jazz bassist, composer and educator, Jeff Gammon, is a sought-after musician, playing with some of Vancouver’s much loved artists including The Sojourners, Dave Sikula, Paul Pigat, Brad Turner and Cory Weeds. He is currently a member of The Dave Sikula Trio, Only A Visitor, Last Ark Out and Simple City.

Drummer and composer Kevin Romain has established himself as one of the most in-demand drummers in Vancouver’s creative music scene. Kevin moves freely between jazz, improvised and contemporary styles, and has shared the stage with Anthony Braxton and legendary Senegalese percussionist Doudou N’Diaye Rose.


Sunday, September 13 @ 7:00pm – Sitka String Quartet (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Sitka String Quartet The Sitka String Quartet was formed by friends and colleagues in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra after years of playing together. Sharing numerous concerts as chamber musicians within the VSO Chamber Players, it was a natural extension of their like-minded musical curiosity, open-heartedness, and a fearless willingness to explore quartet repertoire across many genres that propelled these four musicians to form a professional quartet. Coming from disparate but complementary backgrounds, members of the SSQ have toured the world performing — with shared and individual performances in Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Japan, China, Korea, Iraq, Lebanon, and Australia. Their affection for British Columbia has kept them living within a few kilometres of one another in East Vancouver, and they are proud to perform in their home, BC, whenever the opportunity arises. As chamber musicians members of the SSQ have worked with or studied under the Guarnari String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Takacs Quartet, St Lawrence Quartet, James Campbell, Pinchas Zuckerman, Menahem Pressler, Karen Tuttle, Alina Ibragimova, and Lorand Fenyves. The SSQ has a particular interest in using their performance platform to support social justice organizations. They currently donate a portion of their own proceeds from performance to the Girls Opportunity Alliance, which supports girls around the world by giving them opportunities and access to further their education.

Cassandra Bequary, Karen Gerbrecht, Emilie Grimes, Olivia Blander.


Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959), Serenade No. 2, H. 216 (for two violins and viola)
Poco andante
Allegro con brio

Béla Bartók (1881-1945), Duos for Two Violins
Dance from Máramaros
Ruthenian Kolomejka
A Fairy Tale
Alternating Song
Rumanian Dance
Teasing Song
Hungarian March
Hungarian March II
Ruthenian Song
Transylvanian Dance

Danish String Quartet, arrangements and compositions:
Æ Rømeser
Old Reinlender from Sonndala
Sekstur from Vendsyssel – The Peat Dance
Intermezzo (Sjølin)
Shine You No More (Sorensen)


Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904), String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “American”
Allegro ma non troppo
Molto vivace
Finale: vivace ma non troppo


Friday, September 18 @ 7:00pm – Paul Pigat with Jeremy Holmes (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

You’d never think it to look at Paul Pigat, but behind that unassuming grin and underneath those Doc Watson glasses lurks one of the most restless, combustible musical imaginations ever crammed like so much canned heat into a single body. Blessed with a jazz man’s sheen, a rockabilly heart and a hobo’s soul, there aren’t many genres of music that don’t pull at Pigat’s wayfaring imagination like a magnet. In many ways, it’s a mystery why Paul Pigat isn’t a household name yet. Maybe he’d be a lot easier to pin down if he wasn’t so darn good at so many different things.

One could be forgiven for thinking that up until now Paul Pigat has spent his whole career flying under the radar. Like all those great old Stax records where Steve Cropper stood behind Otis Redding and played his heart out before anyone knew who he was, Pigat has been creating sweet sounds for some of the best artists in the country without getting the attention you’d expect. Still, you’d have to have been hiding under a pretty big rock to have never heard the immediately recognizable sound of his distinctive guitar playing as over the last several years this unassuming Vancouver native has quietly compiled a list of credits that would be the envy of anyone in the music business.

Paul has shared the stage and lent his guitar mastery to some fine musicians over the years such as Jeff Beck, Jackob Dylan, Michael Kaeshammer, Albert Lee, James Burton, Brian Setzer, The Reverend Horton Heat, Neko Case, Jim Byrnes, The Sojourners, Carolyn Mark… this list could go on and on! For this concert, he will be joined by bassist Jeremy Holmes.


Saturday, September 19 @ 7:00pm – Ruby & Smith (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Ruby & Smith are a different kind of duo. Its members, Daphne Roubini and Andrew Smith, have chosen to strip their love of jazz, folk and roots music to their core components: two ukuleles paired with Daphne’s haunting vocals.
Vancouver’s First Lady and Duke of Uke, Daphne and Andrew are known across Canada and beyond. They’re at the forefront of the new generation of performers and founders of Ruby’s Ukes, the World’s largest Ukulele School outside Hawaii. As the stars of vintage jazz band Black Gardenia, they’ve won countless fans with a sound described as, “The musical equivalent of taking a bath in a barrel of finely aged bourbon”.
Ruby & Smith’s musical pedigree speaks for itself. Daphne’s enthralling vocals and passion for the ukulele has led her to being profiled on CBC radio, Shaw TV, CTV and in newspapers including The Province, Georgia Striaght, The Vancouver Sun, Ukulele Magazine, Uke Magazine and the Vancouver Courier. Schooled in the cauldron of London’s jazz and folk scene, Andrew has wowed crowds with his guitar, now he’s bringing his innate musicality to a new instrument as half of Ruby & Smith.


Sunday, September 20 @ 3:00pm – Laura Crema Quintet (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Laura Crema has a rare interpretive gift that allows her to inhabit a song and dive deeply into the lyrics of an old standard to suggest new meanings, shades and inferences that have lain dormant until they were lit up by the resonance and warmth of her voice. Born and raised in Burnaby, BC, Laura Crema has performed and recorded with some of the finest musicians in Canadian jazz, roots and new music. She has toured and performed across Canada and Europe and has had the great honor to play many of Canada’s prestigious music venues and festivals, including The National Art Centre in Ottawa. Her recordings have received airplay worldwide and positive notices in ‘Downbeat’, ‘Coda’, ‘No Depression’ and other taste making journals. Her recordings have received airplay worldwide and positive notices in ‘Downbeat’, ‘Coda’, ‘No Depression” and other taste making journals. Her most recent CD, Blue Shadows On The Trail, a collection of early American folk, jazz, country was co-produced with multi-instrumentalist Scott Smith and recorded by acclaimed engineer John Raham. A collection of blended genres that gives birth to revitalized originals.. Rich, languourous and breathtaking, Blue Shadows On The Trail is a feast for the ears. Laura Crema – voice, Scott Smith – acoustic guitar/dobro/banjo/voice, Jeremy Holmes – bass, John Sponarski – pedal steel/electric guitar, and Nino DiPasquele – drums.


Friday, September 25 @ 7:00pm – Triology (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)
Formed in 2008, Triology is an trio featuring three of Canada’s most award winning and sought after jazz musicians – Jodi Proznick, Billl Coon and Miles Black. This super group was fashioned after the great early jazz trios of Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson and features spontaneous arrangements of classic standards and beautiful original tunes by the trio members.




Saturday, September 26 @ 7:00pm – Microcosmos (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Microcosmos was formed in Vancouver in the spring of 2010 to perform the rich repertoire of string quartets written in the past 100 years. The quartet takes advantage of the compactness and portability of a string quartet – four chairs and adequate light are all that is required – to present some of the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries in intimate spaces and sometimes unusual venues such as private homes, clubs, small halls, public and commercial buildings, for an audience that can experience the music close at hand.
The six quartets of Béla Bartók form the core of the quartet’s repertoire, complemented by important related works, including those by Canadian composers. Aside from the quartet’s intimate ‘house’ concerts, they have been guests on other series including a performance of Benjamin Britten’s three quartets, celebrating his centennial in 2013 for Music on Main’s lauded ‘Cellar’ series, the premiere of eleven works for quartet as ensemble-in-residence for Vancouver Pro Musica’s ‘Further’ Series in 2015, and ‘Speaking in Ligeti’, an interdisciplinary collaboration with MMHop Productions and four dancers that toured to Halifax and Ottawa.

In 2015 the quartet launched the Kessler Academy, an annual educational initiative featuring a conductor-less orchestra mentorship program led by the quartet members. (

“…thank you for learning and programming these wonderful pieces! It is a sincere joy to see his music performed and performed so well! I took a number of non-musicians to see you last set of concerts and the response was overwhelmingly positive from everyone who came, it is truly wonderful to be able to communicate the beauty and excitement of these pieces at all, but in a way especially so for people who would otherwise never come across in a fresh and living way.”
-Martin Reisle, composer


Sunday, September 27 @ 3:00pm – Van Django (In partnership with Hard Rubber New Music)

Van Django is a Vancouver based acoustic string ensemble which performs primarily the swing jazz of 1930s Paris France made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

They also perform their own compositions, arrangements and mash ups in the style.

Our music is well-rooted in the gypsy jazz of 1930’s Paris France, but beyond that it’s all pure blue-skying; flights of dazzling fancy, driving rhythms and boundless creativity, featuring original compositions and arrangements including humorous mash-ups wearing their eclectic influences in full regalia. Since the group’s formation in 1998, they have toured extensively in Canada as well as international forays to the US, Europe and China.

The group has had repeat performances at Djangofest Northwest (DFNW) in 2008-2016 sharing the stage with gypsy jazz luminaries such as the John Jorgenson Quintet, the legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Romane and many others.

We have released 4 CD’s “Tiptoe Trip”, “Waltz in the Shape of a Tree”, “Hotel Europe” and a Christmas CD with special guests titled, “Cool Yule”. They have been well received and played on many radio stations including; CBC, RDI, Espace Musique, NPR and Lyric FM in Ireland CD.

Perhaps Nick Lehr, former director of Djangofest Northwest, summed it up best describing Van Django when he said:

“In an increasingly crowded niche, Van Django is a standout act. With a clever mix of contemporary standards, classical ditties, rock homages and solid originals they effortlessly whip the audience into a joyful frenzy. Attending a Van Django concert is the most fun you can have sitting down with your clothes on.”


**The Firehall Arts Centre has instituted safe physical distancing rules and has put in place Health and Safety Measures to ensure audiences, artists, and staff remain safe during all performances. A maximum of 40 people will be granted entry to each performance. Safe physical distancing rules are strongly encouraged in addition to making masks mandatory indoors. Face masks will be available for sale.**

**In the case of rain, shows will be moved indoors. Refunds or ticket exchanges will be offered to those uncomfortable with attending an indoor performance.**