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Fundraiser keeps music brewing at coffee house
An upcoming fundraiser for Crescent Moon Coffee House might just be its 40th anniversary, too.
Co-organizer Harriet Quint said that, like many enduring traditions, record keeping was not top-of-mind when it started.
But the best guess is that the Thursday night, informal, low-pressure, jam and sit-in opportunity– which can take credit for launching the careers of many Semiahmoo Peninsula professional and amateur music makers – started around 1974.
"We've been building a community through music since then," said Quint.
Just how strong the tradition is to this day – and how valued – can be judged from the lineup scheduled to play the Saturday, June 7, 7:30 p.m. event at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240, (2643 128 St.).
Co-organizer Randy Schultz (of Blues Caboose and Mojo Zydeco fame) will join forces with well-known singer-songwriter Jason Mitchell for an acoustic duo; while the stage will also feature the Dennis Peterson Band, the Lois Stewart Band, the Saltwater Band and performers Rob Harvey, Sean Schonfeld, Dave Heinbecker and Will and Laurie.
"They're all coffee house regulars and they'll all be doing just under half an hour sets," Schultz said.
Coffee house veterans trace its origins to a Local Improvement Project initiative administered by the Semiahmoo House Society in the early '70 and venues have included Camp Alexandra and the White Rock Elks Club
The coffee house itself is in its fourth season at the City of Surrey's Kwomais Point Park this year, but the same venue, as Camp Kwomais, was its home for many years before that.
The second annual fundraiser will enable the low-cost venture to continue well into 2015, Schultz said.
"The funds from the first one kept us going for year – it's been extremely effective in balancing the budget on this," he added.
The benefits of the coffee house to budding performers in need of encouragement – or more experienced musicians who glean fresh inspiration from unanticipated collaboration – have proven beyond value over the years, Quint and Schultz said.
"There are hundreds of people in the coffee house network, even if they don't know it," said Quint.
"It's one of those 'best kept secrets,' " said Schultz. "We don't advertise it, but it's a constant. It's musically exciting to play with people you know and people you don't know."
Tickets are $10 (in advance at the legion or Tapestry Music) or $15 at the door.