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'Powerhouse' Cayla Brooke to open second music series in Port Moody

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Brooke will join Bill Sample (piano), as well as Miles Foxx Hill (bass), Tim Porter (guitar) and Buff Allen (drums), to launch the second annual Inlet Theatre Music Series.

Cayla Brooke is a natural talent.

Growing up in Vancouver, she sang with her church choir and, at 14, she won a talent contest that led to professional gigs around the world.

"By 19, I had sung on several continents," Brooke told the Tri-City News this week.

But then "life kind of hit."

By her 50s, Brooke was eager to get back on the stage.

She penned a tribute show to the late Eva Cassidy, an American singer known for her emotional interpretations of jazz, folk and blues music, "because I couldn’t get her out of my head."

Brooke hired Bill Sample, a Port Moody resident, as the music director for the production, booked a theatre and prayed it would work out.

A decade on, Brooke is still paying homage to Cassidy and getting compliments about the show that changed her life — while lifting up other women at the same time.

"I started to take music more seriously after that," she said, referring the success of her musical.

"I toured for four years, but then I had enough with the act and I started to tell my own story and write my own tunes."

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Brooke will join Sample (piano), as well as Miles Foxx Hill (bass), Tim Porter (guitar) and Buff Allen (drums), to launch the second annual Inlet Theatre Music Series.

The series is hosted by Sample and fellow musician Darlene Cooper at the Inlet Theatre inside Port Moody City Hall.

Brooke, who now calls Alberta home and is often compared to the British powerhouse Adele, said she’ll sing songs from her Cassidy catalogue and throw in some covers and originals from Brooke’s new album, Simplicity, which is due out next year.

Brooke said she looks forward to reuniting with Sample, who also produced and co-wrote her début album; the pair will perform at the Deep Cove Coffee House for about 200 people the night before their Port Moody show.

"We are excited to present the amazing singer Cayla Brooke as our opening act for our second season," Sample told the Tri-City News on Thursday, Sept. 7.

"We will continue to bring high-quality music to the Tri-Cities. We are grateful for the support of the community, the City of Port Moody and Tri-City News. We also acknowledge the support of our season sponsor Placemaker and our media partner WAVE FM98.3."

For tickets at $30 to see Cayla Brooke and the band at the Inlet Theatre (100 Newport Dr., inside Port Moody City Hall), go to Tickets are $40 at the door, if not sold out. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.