4:00 PM16:00

Michael Formanek - Workshop and Concert


Upstream Music Association and Halifax Jazz Festival are proud to present internationally acclaimed bassist Michael Formanek for a rare performance and workshop of exploratory music!

Friday March 8th, at Art Bar +Projects (1873 Granville St. Halifax)

Workshop 4pm // open to all! // $15 or $10 students // tickets available at the door.

Concert 8pm // with Geordie Haley (Guitar,) Andrew Miller (Drums) // $20 or $15 students // tickets available at the door or online.

Both - $30 or $20 students

About Michael Formanek:
One marker of bassist Michael Formanek's creativity and versatility is the range of distinguished musicians of several generations he's worked with. While still a teenager in the 1970s he toured with drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Joe Henderson; starting in the '80s he played long stints with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Fred Hersch and Freddie Hubbard. (As a callback to those days, Formanek recorded with hardbop pianist Freddie Redd in 2013). The bassist has played a pivotal role on New York's creative jazz scene going back to the '90s when he notably led his own quintet and played in Tim Berne's barnstorming quartet Bloodcount. Nowadays Formanek's in the co-op Thumbscrew with Brooklyn guitarist Mary Halvorson and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.
Formanek is also a composer and leader of various bands. His principal recording and international touring vehicle is his acclaimed quartet with Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Craig Taborn on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, which records for ECM; 2010's The Rub and Spare Change and 2012's Small Places both earned coveted five-star raves in Down Beat. Formanek writes, and the quartet plays, compositions of great rhythmic sophistication that unfold in a natural sounding way – challenging music the players make sound like lyrical free expression. His occasional groups include the 18-piece all-star Ensemble Kolossus, roping in many New York improvisers he works with. Ensemble Kolossus recorded their first CD of all Formanek originals for the prestigious ECM label in December of 2014. The CD, The Distance was released in February 2016 and in addition to numerous other accolades also received a five- star review in Downbeat!
Formanek's other recordings as leader include Wide Open Spaces and Extended Animation for quintet and Low Profile and Nature of the Beast for seven players (all on Enja), and the solo album Am I Bothering You? (Screwgun). Mirage (Clean Feed) is by the occasional improvising trio of Formanek, tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. Thumbscrew's 2014 debut is on Cuneiform Records. Michael Formanek has also made dozens of recordings as sideman, for among others Dave Ballou, Tim Berne, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Burrell, Harold Danko, Marty Ehrlich, Tomas Fujiwara, and Jack Walrath.
As composer of works for ensembles from duo to mixed jazz and classical orchestra, Michael Formanek has received institutional support from Chamber Music America, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Peabody Conservatory, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. As an educator, Formanek continues to teach bass, composition, and improvisation in a wide range of locations in the US as well as internationally.

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1:00 PM13:00



Jah'Mila w/ guitarist Adrian Dunn - Sunday Feb 24 at 1pm at Alter Egos Cafe (2193 Gottingen St, Halifax)

FREE, open to all ages.

Closing out the TD Halifax Jazz Festival February Jazz Labs African Heritage Month shows is Jah’Mila with guitarist Adrian Dunn. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, but now calling Halifax home, Jah’Mila is wrapped in the very roots of the Jamaican Reggae family tree. She is a sure musical prodigy in the making, with infectious music that is lyrically creative, tastefully arranged, masterfully delivered and positively inspiring.

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7:30 PM19:30



Chudi Harris  with guests - Thursday, Feb 14, 7:30pm at Halifax North Public Library (2285 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS) as part of TD Halifax Jazz Festival Jazz Labs celebration of African Heritage Month. 

FREE event, open to all ages.

'Contemporary Blues' captures the genre bend of artist-producer Chudi Harris - from synth laced R&B, to alternative, to soulful and bluesy rock. With three records and five single releases to his name,  Harris has taken his distinct sound and unique live performance experience around Atlantic and Central Canada. Highlights of his young career include opening for Rich Aucoin, Born Ruffians, Weaves and Lowell, feature performances and publicity from Exclaim! Magazine, CBC, CTV, Red Bull Radio, The Chronicle Herald and The Coast.

This will be the 3rd Annual African Heritage Month concert Halifax Jazz Festival has presented at the Halifax North Public Library. Halifax North Memorial Library is a space of historical importance within the African Nova Scotian community, acting as a cultural hub for the North End Community, housing a unique collection of Black literature as well as the sculpture “The North Is Freedom” which features Gottingen St oral history engraved as poetry, recipes, and memories watched over by rooftop figures cast from local youth.

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11:30 AM11:30



African Drumming with Dr. Henry Bishop - Saturday, Feb 2, 11:30am at Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS)

FREE, open to all ages.

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival celebration of African Heritage Month begins with African Drumming Jazz Labs as Dr. Henry Bishop performs Saturday, February 2nd  at the Alderney Gate Public Library. Learn rhythms and grooves with Artist, Musician, Educator, and Humanitarian, Dr. Henry Bishop. Since 2015, Dr. Bishop has lead a unique African Drumming youth program at West Hants Middle School. Perfect for children, this fun-filled workshop is designed so that everyone will learn to play percussion instruments together.

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