In November 2011, UNESCO declared April 30 as International Jazz Day.
The purpose of this day is to "raise awareness in the international community regarding jazz’s virtues as an educational tool, as a vehicle for peace, unity, dialogue, and for enhanced cooperation between peoples".
The JazzEast team couldn't think of a better way to mark this occasion than by hosting the 2013 TD Halifax Jazz Festival media launch.
We are excited to share with you festival news including the 2013 festival lineup!
The event takes place at Casino Nova Scotia's Compass Room at 10 a.m.
Please note, the Compass Room can be accessed via the pedway or the Casino Nova Scotia parkade.
If you are planning on attending please RSVP with tenille [at] jazzeast [dot] com (subject: RSVP%20Media%20Launch) (Tenille Goodspeed).
Can't make it? Watch for us on Twitter @HfxJazzFest We'll be tweeting news of the #HfxJazzFest live!
JazzEast is pleased to announce two more shows for the 2013 TD Halifax Jazz Festival line-up, highlighting hip hop with Washington, DC's Oddisee, Halifax/Toronto duo The Extremities and Ottawa’s A Tribe Called Red.
Saturday, July 6, at The Marquee Ballroom, hip hop is in the house with New York-based MC and producer Oddisee. Born to American and Sudanese parents, he took in music from a wide spectrum that had New York hip hop on one end, and his father's gospel, go-go and oud-playing on the other. Inspired by the craft that is sampling, Oddisee went on to produce tracks for the likes of Jazzy Jeff, LIttle Brother and De La Soul to name a few.
Between his carefully collaged instrumental album Traveling Man (2010), the reflective journey of last year's People Hear What They See and collection of collaborations he boasts, it's clear that above creating beats and lyrics, Oddisee is making art.
"Our audiences might not be as familiar with Oddisee as some of the hip hop groups we've presented recently but the music is lyrically and stylistically the essence of what I love about hip hop - it just has so much soul,” states Laura “LuLu” Healy, JazzEast Artistic Director.
Joining Oddisee on this stage are The Extremities, a two-piece puzzle featuring Halifax’s DJ Uncle Fester and Toronto-based producer Fresh Kils, and A Tribe Called Red, the DJ trio based out of Ottawa.
“This show marks the East Coast debut of A Tribe Called Red, a group who have been turning heads on an international level this year with their phenomenal, highly danceable music coined pow wow step. Billed with The Extremities who have been topping Canadian hip hop charts for good reason, this show is definitely on my top five not-to-miss list this festival," explains Healy.
A Tribe Called Red and The Extremities will also be hitting the stage at the Pavilion for an all ages show Friday, July 5, 2013.
Tickets for Oddisee & Good Company are $20 (or $18 for JazzEast members), and tickets for The Extremities and A Tribe Called Red all ages show are $12 ($10 for JazzEast members). Ticket prices include HST and fees, and will be on sale noon at etixnow.com, Wednesday, April 17.
April marks Jazz Appreciation Month, and JazzEast is pleased to commemorate the occasion by offering free concerts in partnership with Halifax Public Libraries. Initiated by the Smithsonian Institution, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates jazz as both a historical and living treasure. Now in its twelfth year, over forty countries take part in this annual tradition.
"We're happy to once again celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month by presenting free concerts in the public libraries," states Laura 'Lulu' Healy. "Libraries are great places to hear live jazz because they’re such relaxed and intimate spaces."
The program kicks off 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at the Woodlawn Public Library with the John Chiasson Trio. Led by smooth jazz singer and talented bassist John Chiasson, expect to listen to a number of original jazz compositions and fresh takes on Beatles classics and other popular tunes.
The celebration continues Thursday, April 18, at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library. Join Doris Mason and friends Dave Burton on drums and Jamie Gatti on bass for a fun noontime musical treat.
Toes will be tapping at the Halifax North Branch Public Library 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, with Halifax's Epiphonics. The quartet's special blend of the roaring Hammond B3 organ played by Trevor Wentzell, along with Chris Grant's earthy style guitar playing, Chuck Bucket's tasteful and rhythmic command of the drums and Rheo Rochon's solid bass lines take the organ's sound to a whole new level.
The Jake Hanlon Duo concludes the line-up with a concert starting at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Keshen Goodman Public Library. Guitarist and composer Jake Hanlon, is joined by Paul Tynan, an award winning trumpet player and composer.
All programming is free and suitable for listeners of all ages.
JazzEast is pleased to announce two more shows for the 2013 TD Halifax Jazz Festival line-up, including the Montreal based trio Niyaz and New York's Dave Douglas Quintet.
Presented in partnership with Prismatic Festival Niyaz will play at the Festival Tent Sunday, July 7.
"Prismatic is excited to partner with JazzEast to bring these superb Canadian musicians to Nova Scotian audiences. We are looking forward to an enchanting evening with Niyaz," states Shahin Sayadi, Artistic Producer of Prismatic Festival.
Since launching as a trio in 2005, Niyaz, has been topping charts around the globe. With cultural roots in Iran (two of the three members are originally from there, immigrating to the US, then Canada), Niyaz will mesmerize audiences with their modern take on the Sufi mystical poetry and folk songs.
Kiran Ahluwalia starts the evening off with her infectious music that easily melds Indian rhythms with desert blues. Born in India, emigrating to Toronto and now living in New York, Kiran's ghazals (love songs of India and Pakistan) and Punjabi folk songs will energize audiences.
Casino Nova Scotia is also partnering with JazzEast to present The Dave Douglas Quintet in an intimate concert in the Schooner Showroom Friday, July 12. Described by The New York Times as "gorgeous and contemplative," the Dave Douglas Quintet is led by the prolific trumpeter, composer and educator Dave Douglas. A recipient of two Grammy nominations and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Douglas will also serve as special guest faculty for JazzEast's 2013 Creative Music Workshop.
The Quintet also includes Linda Oh (bass), John Irabagon (tenor saxophone), Uri Caine (piano) and Johnathan Blake (drums). Halifax is their only stop east of Montreal in their summer tour as they promote their latest album Time Travel (release date April 9, 2013).
The BiCoastal Collective, the brainchild of Nova Scotia-based trumpeter Paul Tynan and baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington from the San Francisco Bay Area, opens for the Quintet. Described as “fresh and vibrant” by American jazz critic Scott Yanow, Tynan and Lington will be joined by Dave Staples (piano), Tom Easley (bass), Tom Roach (drums) and Jake Hanlon (guitar).
Tickets for Niyaz and Kiran Ahluwalia are $25 (or $22 for JazzEast members), including HST and fees. Tickets for the Dave Douglas Quintet and The BiCoastal Collective are $23.50 (or $19.50 for JazzEast members), including HST.
For more information halifaxjazzfestival.ca or call the Jazz Hotline at (902) 229-7897.
Halifax's Prismatic Festival brings new works by culturally diverse artists into the spotlight. For more information visit http://www.prismaticfestival.com/.
The Prohibition Swing Dance is a great way to cap off JazzEast's Out Like a Lion, but what will you wear?
Picture this: It’s the 1920s. You’re mingling at a dancehall and jazz and swing music plays in the background. People are whispering, giggling, ordering off a speak easy menu. Women are sporting flapper dresses, cloche hats, short skirts, pearls, gloves and the like.
With the Prohibition Swing Dance approaching fast, we can’t help but wonder “well what should I wear?” There is no dress code, and you have the option to dress in prohibition era fashion or modern fashion. I chose to explore a mixture of the two and set off for my favorite local, second-hand store Elsie's.
Indeed it is almost impossible to find authentic clothing from this era. Despite this sad reality, Maureen Court, owner of second-hand clothing store Elsie's says there are still ways to achieve this look with “the right accessories and hairstyle”. We put this to the test and tried on tons of accessories inspired by a book in the shop and Maureen’s help.
Pictured above: Small purses like the one on the left were very popular in the 1920s, they were often covered in beads or fringes. Long pearl necklaces were a staple and a good lipstick and scarf (traditionally tied around the head) could jazz up any plain dress.
Pictured above: Gloves were a great way to accessorize an outfit, they often stopped at the wrist or went on to gauntlet length. Advances in the development of fabrics lead to the creation of silk and cotton gloves. If you couldn’t afford silk (which was very expensive at the time) there were “fake silk” gloves, using a fabric we know today as rayon.
Pictured above: Hats were huge in the 1920s. The most popular style of hat at the time was the cloche hat, which was a fitted, bell-shaped hat. Authentic cloche hats are very hard to find today, but we found a cloche-like hat at Elsie’s with feathers which were also very popular at that time. Shoes were mostly closed toe with ankle straps, a style called “mary janes” (pictured on the bottom left).
With simple accessories like these you can travel back in time and sample the 1920s. There are many other second-hand shops in Halifax also worth mentioning, including Put Me On, The Clothes Horse, Dress in Time, Value Village, Salvation Army, and much more.
Elsie’s is located on 1530 Queen Street, Halifax, NS. (Just off Spring Garden Road)
Hours of operation are:
Monday-Saturday: 11 - 6
Special thanks to Maureen Court (owner of Elsie’s), Alyson Hardwick (model).
All photos taken by JazzEast intern Stephanie Muise and Alyson Hardwick.
On the eve of East Coast Music Week, JazzEast is pleased to announce it is sponsoring the 2013 ECMA Jazz Recording of the Year. The award presentation will take place during JazzEast Presents Partner Stage Friday, March 8 at the Company House. The concert starts at 8 p.m.
"The lineup for the partner stage features some of the best jazz in Atlantic Canada," states Olga Manzoni, JazzEast Chair. "We're thrilled to have the ECMA Awards back in Halifax this year and very pleased to take part. It is a great opportunity to showcase some of our wonderful local talent."
The line-up for JazzEast Presents includes 2012 Halifax Jazz Festival highlights the Threnodies Quartet (Geordie Haley, Jamie Gatti, Tim Crofts, Dave Burton) and Jamie Gatti's Riot Squad (Gatti with Haley, Dave Burton, Chris Mitchell and Rick Waychesko).
Also on stage are four out of five of the ECMA Jazz Recording of the Year nominees including PEI's Ian Toms, Sydney River’s Matt MacDougall, Birch Hill's Will Fisher and Sackville, NB's, Joel Miller (who is also up for a Juno). The fifth nominee is Nova Scotia's Jeff Torbert.
The winner for the 2013 ECMA Jazz Recording of the Year will be announced at 11:10 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available through the East Coast Music Association. For more information visit ecma.com.
JazzEast is pleased to announce New Orleans' legendary Dr. John will kick-off the 2013 TD Halifax Jazz Festival at the Festival Tent the evening of Friday, July 5.
There's no stopping this 72 year old Rock and Roll Hall inductee. Last week Dr. John garnered his fifth Grammy for Locked Down, his 2012 chart topping album, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
"I am so excited to have Dr. John open our 27th edition of the festival," states Laura 'Lulu' Healy, Artistic Director, JazzEast. "I've had Locked Down on repeat for weeks - it's a stunning album... a masterful cocktail of everything I love about music. I know Halifax will lose their hats over the live show."
Dr. John's career as a guitarist ended when a gunshot injured his left finger. This didn't stop him from pursuing a musical career that's lasted over fifty years with thirty albums to his name. A trip to California in the 1962 led him to investigate Louisiana's mystic culture and develop the stage persona Dr. John the Night Tripper. With costumes influence by Mardi Gras and voodoo magic and music influenced by funk, rhythm and blues, Halagonians will be talking about this show for years to come.
Halifax's Erin Costelo kicks off the show with her smoky, sultry voice. Her latest album We Can Get Over, a follow-up from Fire & Fuss, has been much talked about by the Canadian music scene. Offering sounds inspired by "old soul, 60s vocal groups and classic arranging" Costelo's music will be sure to strike a chord with listeners.
The 2013 TD Halifax Jazz Festival takes place July 5-13. Tickets for Dr. John and Erin Costelo are $30 all inclusive, and go on sale noon Tuesday, February 19.
JazzEast is please to present a strictly local line-up for its upcoming programming. The New Standard, a concert series that showcases local musicians on the Company House stage, opens the dance floor Wednesday, February 20, for funk and soul from The Wide Times, a band stacked with local jazz talent including Doug Cameron, Ron J. Hynes, Matt Myer, Luke Arsenault, Sean Weber, Rick Waychesko, Martin Davidson and Andrew Jackson. The NSCC Music Arts student band ClusterFunk will open the night.
"This is our third year organizing The New Standard, and as well as highlighting local talent we also wanted to put the spotlight on student musicians," states Laura 'Lulu" Healy, JazzEast Artistic Director. "Inviting bands from the Nova Scotia Community College to share the stage with professional musicians was a natural fit."
Expect classic and original jazz and blues for the second New Standard April 17. Student band Leanne and the Cool Blue will open for Krisanne Crowell and her stellar band Solarocity, a riveting ensemble of musicians with sultry vocals, infectious rhythms and sizzling horns.
The fourth annual winter jazz festival Out Like a Lion roars into town March 27-30. Young Lions kicks off the fest at the Company House Wednesday, March 27, featuring student bands from the Community College, St. FX and Dalhousie University. Thursday, March 28, at the The Peggy Corkum Music Room, Panos opens the evening with his jazz, avant-garde and somewhat improvised original music. The Andrew Jackson Group with Strings will then take the stage and delight audiences with its horns and driving rhythm section, along with a string quartet in the mix. On Friday, March 29, Good Friday gets better with an intimate concert at the newly opened Café Cempoal Calavera Negra with Mother of Girl (Ryan Veltmeyer, Ann Denny, Henk Fisher and Nick Veltmeyer) and Cameron, Crofts & Monk with Doug Cameron (drums) and Tim Crofts (keyboard) playing spontaneous interpretations of Thelonious Monk music.
The Prohibition Swing Dance caps off the festival. Come dressed in old school or modern style and get a taste of what it must have been like when people had to party on the sly and danced the American swing and Parisian gypsy jazz. Taking place Saturday, March 30, at the Olympic Community Centre, a dance hall back in the day, this annual party is the hottest one in town. With dance lessons by the Dalhousie Swing Society, live music by the Jubilee Swing Orchestra and a special video release and performance by Gypsophilia, it's an event not to be missed.
Out Like a Lion festival passes are on sale now! Visit Eventbrite to purchase your tickets today.
JazzEast is pleased to announce New York Composer and Trumpeter Dave Douglas will be visiting Halifax as special guest faculty member for the Creative Music Workshop (CMW), July 4-13, 2013.
"Dave Douglas is one of the great musicians of our time. He's not only found his original voice in his playing and composition, but he also has the ability to share his experience with students," states faculty member and program founder Jerry Granelli. "As a composer, innovator, artist and teacher he exemplifies the master musicians we bring to this program."
Two-time Grammy-nominated Dave Douglas was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995, and has been recognized for his work by the New York Jazz Awards, Down Beat, JazzTimes, Jazziz and the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. As well as owning his own internet-based label Greenleaf Music, he was also former director for the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music and founder of the Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York. Mr. Douglas cites Igor Stravinsky, John Coltrane, and Stevie Wonder as primary influences on his music.
Now in its 17th year, the CMW gathers renowned musicians and educators from across North America. As well as Jerry Granelli (drums - Halifax), the CMW core faculty also includes Jay Clayton (voice - New York City), J. Anthony Granelli (electric bass - New York City), David Tronzo (guitar - Boston), Dani Oore (saxophones - Toronto) and Tim Crofts (piano - Halifax).
There are two streams for the program. The half-day Creative Process, July 6-12, is open to artists and musicians from all disciplines who are interested in deepening their practice. The Core Program, July 4-13 with evening and all day sessions, is suitable for musicians who want to take their playing to the next level. Special clinics with visiting jazz festival musicians are offered throughout the program to provide participants with hands-on training in improvisation.
Sessions will take place at the Sacred Heart School of Halifax, 5820 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS. Students of the Core CMW program receive a free all events pass and Creative Process students receive a free festival tent pass to the TD Halifax Jazz Festival. For more information, including program information and registration visit http://halifaxjazzfestival.ca/creativemusicworkshop.
I just returned from an amazing trip to WOMEX (the World Music Expo & Conference) in Northern Greece (thank you NS Dept. of Communities Culture & Heritage!). Before I left, I did a search for jazz festivals in the area and found that the Akbank Jazz Festival was taking place during my travel dates (ok so Istanbul wasn’t exactly “in the area”, but close enough). So before the conference got going I headed for Istanbul to check out the jazz scene and take in some of the festival.
Akbank Jazz Festival is a really cool month long event that is not unlike our festival...in addition to concerts by internationally celebrated jazz masters and rising stars, it includes educational workshops and panels, a great representation of local artists, and special programs for young jazz musicians. Their “JamZZ” program, for example, brings amateur jazz musicians the opportunity to compete for awards and the chance to join professional jazz musicians on stage during the festival.
Musical highlights included US jazz vocalist Gregory Porter
Watch & Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1SUyeIqWWM&feature=related
and also Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Samdhi (with Canadian bassist Rich Brown!) at Babylon, which is an amazing live music venue run by fantastic people like Ahmet Ulug! I got to check out some really good local jazz at Istanbul’s most famous jazz club, Nardis, and at the newly opened nightclub Nublu (the Istanbul edition of the famous NYC club). Also, the festival’s programming coordinator Deniz Kuzuoglu generously took the time to meet with me and hook me up with a huge pile of CDs by Turkish musicians - hopefully I can feature Turkey as the featured country “spotlight” during the Halifax Jazz Festival in the near future!
Aside from the quality of the music and the enthusiasm of the audiences it was also inspiring to be in a city of over 20 million people and see banners and signs everywhere promoting Istanbul Şehrin caz hali (in a jazz state of mind).
After Istanbul my time was spent in Thessaloniki, Greece for the WOMEX conference - 5 fantastic days of meeting with artists and agents, networking with colleagues old and new, seeing documentary films and listening to live music from all over the world on 5 different stages that ran concurrently for 3 nights in a row. I heard quite a few bands that I’d love to bring to Halifax... and have a crazy pile of acquired music to sort through in addition to that. Here are just a few musical highlights:
Dakha Brakha - a theatrical quartet of multi-instrumentalist singers experiment with Ukrainian folk melodies and rhythms, mixing genuine, ethnically specific material with minimalism.
Watch & Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJvbC1MREuQ&feature=related
Terakaft - a genuine desert blues-rock band from the Sahara
Watch & Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd0lWMZj5Zw&feature=related
Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra - one of the leading Balkan brass bands from Serbia (this is actual video footage of the WOMEX showcase)
Watch & Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlnRUYSN2kQ
A Tribe Called Red - Ottawa based band who have pioneered Pow Wow Step music (a really perfect WOMEX closing party group!)
Watch & Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBCoDAbh3yM&feature=related
Enjoy! ~ Lulu