21-year-old jazz artist talks about his favorite tunes and the joys of music theory – Cowichan Valley Citizen


Prior to his recent concert broadcast live at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center, musician Jared Popma had a one-on-one with Ashley Daniel Foot of CPAC:

Local jazz / pop / funk / rock artist Jared Popma will wow audiences with his delicious mix of multi-genre music. Raised in the Cowichan area, Popma is known to audiences for her musical theater performances, songwriting, and pleasant, enjoyable style. Performing from the beautifully lit stage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center, Popma was joined by a host of talented jazz musicians from the jazz program at Vancouver Island University and beyond, including Drake Shoemaker (bass), Ryan Bennet (drums) and Jamie Johnstone (tap dance).

Popma is a singer-songwriter / guitarist born in the Cowichan Valley and currently based in Nanaimo. He grew up studying a variety of instruments and draws inspiration from a range of different styles and genres. Popma has just completed her first year of jazz studies at Vancouver Island University

Who is Jared Popma?

Jared Popma is a 21-year-old musician from the Cowichan Valley, currently studying jazz in Nanaimo.

Who are your dream collaborators?

The dream collaborators should be Cory Wong for his incredible guitar playing, Charlie Puth with his talents as a producer, and Ed Sheeran with his excellent songwriting.

Quick advice for young musicians?

My advice for young musicians would be to spend time with your instrument to hone your skills, play as many gigs as possible, and develop your fellow musicians. You want to build alliances, not rivalries (also learn music theory. I know you don’t want to – but that helps a lot!)

Which artists are frequently repeated on your Spotify / Apple Music?

One of my favorite artists right now has to be Sammy Rae and the Friends. They have a super cool style that takes inspiration from jazz, funk, reggae and pop. It’s super fun music, with a lot of interesting aspects.

What surprised you the most about your music studies?

The most surprising thing about my musical studies was recognized in the year before school when I realized that music theory was super crazy! The theory can get overwhelming at times, but the feeling of finally understanding a new concept and learning how to incorporate it on your instrument is simply the best!

Thanks to the Cowichan area arts community or people you want to recognize?

I would like to thank all the music teachers I have had over the years, especially Conor Searl who taught me guitar for many years, and Meredythe Broadway who helped me with vocals. I must also say hello to Longevity John and Dr Ted Cadillac at the Duncan Showroom. They have given me so many opportunities to work on my chops as a performer, and I am so grateful.

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