A six-hour marathon concert on Sunday, April 29 in South Surrey will pay tribute to widely respected blues musician Jason Buie, who passed away March 22 at the age of 47.
The Victoria-based Buie, a former Semiahmoo Peninsula resident and co-founder and artistic director of the White Rock Blues Society, made frequent return visits to play and reconnect with many friends and musical colleagues.
In January the guitarist and singer reached a pinnacle of his career, and broader national recognition, receiving the coveted Maple Blues Award as “new artist of the year.”
The concert, hosted by blues society president Rod Dranfield, will take place from 3-9 p.m. at the organization’s former regular event venue – the Rhumba Room at the Pacific Inn (1160 King George Blvd.). All proceeds from the concert, organized by the society and the Semiahmoo Music Consortium (including musicians Jim Widdifield and Jon Gale), will go towards a trust fund for Buie’s three children.
Dranfield told Peace Arch News Wednesday that ever since word the concert was being organized got out, local and Vancouver-area musicians have been clamouring to perform in memory of Buie.
“We’re still finalizing a few of the details of more performers – we have a number of bands and cameo artists to fit into the six hours of music,” he said.
Confirmed so far for full sets are the Chris Thornley Band, the Ocean Park Wailers (including Widdifield), the Glen Pearson Band, Blue Voodoo, James Shepherd, Arsen Shomakhov, Al Walker, the Saints of Swing (Brandon Isaak, Pat Darcus and Jerry Cook) and James Buddy Rogers.
On hand to provide special appearances will be Gale, Marco Ibarra, Ra McGuire (of Trooper), Tom Lavin (of the Powder Blues Band), David ‘Boxcar’ Gates, Steve Sainas, Dalannah Bowen, Ellie Johnson, Dan Hare (of March Hare), Rob Voytcheff and John Hunter.
“We plan to come together as a community of fans and musicians to pay tribute to a fine man who also happened to be an extremely accomplished musician,” Dranfield said in a news release. “Many other musicians are dropping by to pay tribute to Jason, who was taken from us much too early.”
Tickets ($25) are available at the door only, and doors open at 2:30 p.m. The event will feature a cash bar and appetizers will be available for purchase.
A further Peninsula tribute to Buie will come May 9, 7 p.m., when White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios, 1328 Johnston Rd., will host a screening of Buie’s last performance, recorded at the venue shortly before he died. All proceeds from the screening will also go to the trust fund for Buie’s children.
Tickets for the screening are available from 604-542-3055, or online at bluefrogstudios.ca