HJF Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month!


Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Public Libraries celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month this April with FREE TD Jazz Labs shows. TD Jazz Labs are a series of interactive performances that are programmed for the entire family to explore different movements in jazz.
Events are scheduled for Saturday, April 14 and Friday, April 27 with afternoon shows at the Halifax Public Libraries in Halifax and Dartmouth, and on Saturday Apr 28, with an evening show at Cafe Cempoal.

Jazz Appreciation Month TD Jazz Labs shows kick off Saturday, April 14th, with Zoe Leger at Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr.) at 2:30pm in Dartmouth. Zoe will be performing a mixture of her original material and classics, joined by bassist Willem Paynter.
Zoe grew up immersed in the vibrant musical scene in the Halifax area and being exposed as a young singer to both classical and choral music. She discovered jazz as a teenager and decided to pursue her studies in the jazz program at St. Francis Xavier University. Already an accomplished arranger of jazz standards for vocals and piano, Zoe discovered her compositional voice during her undergraduate years at St. F.X.

The Danny Martin Group will play at the Keshen Goodman Public Library (330 Lacewood Drive, Halifax) Saturday April 21st, 2018 at 2:30pm.
Danny Martin is one of the Maritimes’ premiere trombonists. With his distinct fiery and imaginative sound, Danny has been one of the Maritimes first call musicians and a staple of the Halifax jazz scene. Danny has led local group Salsa Picante as well can be found playing in a multitude of groups including Rasta Gumbo, Booty Boppin’ Brass Band, The Halifax Trombone Summit, The Mingus Tribute, and many more. Join Danny and his group for an afternoon of his his original takes on jazz standards and other classic tunes.

Bianca Palmer performs Friday April 27th, 2018 at Cafe Cempoal (2374 Agricola Street, Halifax) at 8pm. Bianca will be stepping out into the spotlight with a solo performance of experimental sounds at one of Halifax’s coolest cafes!

Bianca Palmer is a local on demand drummer and recording artist. She emerged from a vibrant all ages scene in Halifax; and has worked with the likes of Mo Kenney, Vulva Culture, The Everywheres, Kurt Inder, Luka, and Budi and has travelled across the country with her projects. Her genre-crossing drumming is continuously tasteful, dynamic and always soulful.

Charlotte Day Wilson to open for Daniel Caesar at HJF2018!


Vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Day Wilson will open for R&B artist, Daniel Caesar on the Halifax Jazz Festival Waterfront Stage Sunday, July 15, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

With roots ranging from R&B to folk, Wilson’s soulful, singular voice and timeless sound garnered global attention with the 2016 release of her debut EP CDW, and through her work with friends and collaborators Daniel Caesar and River Tiber.

Twenty-five year old Wilson studied music at Dalhousie in Halifax and has toured extensively, selling out headline shows and sharing stages with Local Natives, Angel Olsen, BadBadNotGood, Daniel Caesar, Thundercat, Syd, and many more. The November 2017 release of single "Doubt" marked her first new music in more than a year, an intimate yet accessible anthem for the unsure, driven by the strength and honesty of her voice. As with all her previous works, Charlotte served as performer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, an artist in full control of her unique creative vision.

"Doubt" also represented the opening salvo of Charlotte's second project, Stone Woman, a six-track EP which will be self-released this month (Feb, 2018). The release of Stone Woman marks a new chapter for Charlotte, one defined by clarity, vulnerability and strength. It is a clear statement of intent, a stirring demonstration of Charlotte's power and poise and her certain emergence as an essential voice in 2018 and beyond.

Kirk MacDonald & Harold Mabern Duo March 7th!


The Halifax Jazz Festival presents the Kirk MacDonald & Harold Mabern Duo, performing jazz standards and originals in Halifax, Wed, March 7, 2018 at St. Paul’s Church (1749 Argyle St). Advance tickets are $25.00, $15.00 for students, and are on sale now. Show starts at 8pm, open to all ages.

Together, Kirk and Harold have played several shows as a duo throughout Canada, with performances mainly emphasizing standard jazz repertoire. Mabern is known for his vast knowledge of repertoire and their duo programs include works by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Victor Young, Harry Warren, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker along with many other influential composers. Their music also includes originals by Mabern and MacDonald.

Kirk MacDonald is a JUNO award winning saxophonist, composer and educator, and HJF welcomes him back to Halifax. Over 100 performances of his compositions appear on 25 CDs, both as leader on his own recordings as well as on recordings by other artists. JUNO Award winning Vista Obscura was released in 2014 and features jazz legend Harold Mabern and special guest saxophonist Pat LaBarbera. Kirk has been active as an educator for 27 years at leading jazz studies programs, including Halifax Jazz Festivals Creative Music Workshop, The University of Toronto and at McGill. Kirk is presently a full-time professor at Humber College in Toronto. 

Born in Memphis, TN, Harold Mabern is a hard bop and soul jazz pianist. He is described in The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as "one of the great post-bop pianists." He has performed with Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, George Coleman, along with performances and recordings with innumerable other musicians, both as a band leader and sideman. In more recent years, he has toured and recorded extensively with his former William Paterson University student, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander. To date, Mabern and Alexander have appeared on over twenty CDs together. A longtime faculty member at William Paterson University since 1981, Mabern is also a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. In 2010, Mabern received the Don Redman Heritage Award.

Tickets: https://halifaxjazzfestival.etixnow.com/events/kirk-macdonald/mar-7-2018/st-pauls-church

Halifax Jazz Festival Celebrates African Heritage Month!

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Ranging from spiritual to jazz, to hip-hop and soul, Nova Scotia has a rich heritage of African-Nova Scotian music. This year, TD Halifax Jazz Festival celebrates this musical legacy, presenting a variety of FREE events that draw inspiration from the unique experience of the African-Nova Scotian community.

Presented throughout the month of February - African Heritage Month - this exciting series includes a concert with JR Smith Quartet, film screening of Chasing Trane, and music workshop with Youth Art Connections and musicians Owen Lee and Shawn Downey, for youth who are interested in hip-hop, spoken-word and other forms of open lyricism.

Click here to see all African Heritage Month Events!

The War on Drugs & Daniel Caesar announced for HJF2018!




Sonic Concerts and the Halifax Jazz Festival announce the first two artists for the 2018 TD Halifax Jazz Festival. Grammy nominated Philadelphia rock band, The War on Drugs, make their Halifax debut on the waterfront Main Stage Wednesday, July 11. Two-time 2018 Grammy nominated Toronto R&B artist, Daniel Caesar takes to the Main Stage on Sunday, July 15.

Tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. AST and will be available at the etixnow kiosks in the Halifax Forum (2901 Windsor Street) and Music Nova Scotia (2169 Gottingen Street) and online at halifaxjazzfestival.etixnow.com

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The War on Drugs has received widespread critical and fan acclaim since its founding, noted for diverse influences ranging from Rod Stewart, Dire Straits, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen as well as the ingenious lyrics and melodies of a band that is at the height of its powers. The War on Drugs consists of head man Adam Granduciel (lyrics, vocals, guitar), David Hartley (bass), Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards) and Anthony LaMarca (guitar). The band released its most recent album, A Deeper Understanding, in 2017 to  superlative reviews praising the album's “lush, sometimes psychedelic soundscapes.”. The album is nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards and International Album of the Year at the 2018 UK Americana Awards.
“A Deeper Understanding” is one of the best rock albums in years, but the music itself is so expansive and enveloping that it feels like it should be everywhere. - Spin Magazine


Daniel Caesar released his critically acclaimed debut full-length album, Freudian, in 2017. The album is nominated for Best R&B Album and the lead single “Get You” featuring Kali Uchis is nominated for Best R&B Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Caesar’s whirlwind year included performances on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and a collaboration with Chance The Rapper on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”. To promote Freudian’s release, he set out on a 30+ date North American tour, culminating in five sold out shows at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall in December. He is already confirmed for both the Coachella and Boston Calling festivals.
“Grounded yet elevated, the album fosters a classic, keys- and guitar-based approach, while his vocals, a smooth and evolving mastery of sound and timbre, dip across church harmonies and phrasing to deliver a sound that's all his own… A willingness to show vulnerability in his music has been a key to his success.” - Exclaim!