The grand return of swing to Sylvan Lake

Jazz at the Lake set to host Swing Into Spring concert

Johnny Summers

There once was a time when swing was king in Sylvan Lake.

In the early 1930’s Sylvan Lake’s Varsity Dance Hall had just been built. An era of big band swing music was soon to begin, leading to much of the eventual success Varsity would see.

Over the years the dance hall would become a hub for music lovers from across Alberta, hosting a number of big name recording artists in addition to helping a few budding local artists to bloom for themselves, including two time Juno award winning saxophone player, P.J. Perry.

Built around 1930 and demolished n 1979, the popular Varsity Hall led to a deeply seeded tradition of swing in Sylvan Lake.

Jazz At The Lake organizers Cheryl Fisher and Eric Allison are thrilled to have Summers in town to help swing a spring night away.

Allison said swing’s strong presence in Sylvan’s history makes the upcoming show that much sweeter.

“The most famous era for Varsity Hall really was the late 30s, early 1940’s. They had swing dance here even through the 50s,” said Allison. “P.J. Perry grew up watching the guys there. His uncle Jim Galone and his father Paul Perry together had a band at the Varsity Hall, so P.J. really cut his teeth on that.”

“This is the reason Cheryl and I decided 15 years ago to see our idea through was because Sylvan Lake had such a rich musical history.”

The grand return of swing to Sylvan Lake is set to take place at the end of May with the second instalment of Jazz At The Lake’s seasonal concert series.

Swing Into Spring, set for Saturday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre, will feature Johnny Summers, a multi-talented musician, composer and arranger described as having boundless ability and stage appeal.

Allison added that with influences like Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Louis Armstrong & Frank Sinatra, it comes as no surprise that he has something to offer everyone.

“He is a very talented young man, he’s a good singer a good player, an excellent arranger and a good composer you really could call him a quadruple threat,” said Allison.

Tickets for the Swing Into Spring concert are available online via for $25 as well as available on the evening of the performance pending ticket available.

Organizers recommend getting tickets online within the coming weeks to ensure your entrance.

For more information or to volunteer contact Eric Allison and Cheryl Fisher at 403-506-4003.


Just Posted

Annual AACS golf tournament putting for success

The Urgent Care Committee will host the golf tournament on Aug. 10

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Sylvan Lake and Eckville

The storm system is expected to start in the area before moving northwest

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff’s vehicles were also involved in the collision that closed down one lane

Hlinka Gretzky Cup trophy tours Sylvan Lake this weekend

The famed trophy will make its way around town July 20-22

PHOTOS: Shoppers Free BBQ

On Thursday Shoppers Drug Mart celebrated its 10 year anniversary in Sylvan Lake.

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

WATCH: Joe Hittel is the number one fundraiser in Northern Alberta for Rope for Hope

Hittel of Red Deer raised $14,000 for Make A Wish event

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Watch: Westerner Days in full swing

The heat and the thunderstorms didn’t stop anybody

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Alexander Gerst becomes an astronaut musician with live performance from International Space Station

Four people taken by STARS to Edmonton

Blackfalds RCMP investigates single vehicle rollover south of Hwy 11A

Most Read