(Halifax, NS) The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival presents free concerts and events at venues throughout the area including the Main Stage on the Halifax waterfront, the Halifax Public Gardens Bandstand, Hydrostone Park, Halifax Public Libraries, as well as on Halifax's favourite seafaring landmark, Theodore Tugboat, July 8-12. With so many diverse offerings at some of the city's most unique and beautiful locations, virtually everyone has an opportunity to participate in the festival and enjoy a stunning roster of international, Canadian and local entertainment.

The Main Stage on the Halifax waterfront is the heart of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival with free concerts daily for fans of all ages. The music starts on weekdays at 3:00 PM. The lineup for Wednesday July 8 includes Stingray Rising Stars contestant, Pram Trio, Riot Squad Tribute to Jaco Pastorius, and bSharp feat Harvey Millar.

Thursday, July 9 is just as exciting and includes Stingray Rising Stars finalist, Anteater, The Heavyweights Brass Band, and Ian Janes.

Free programming on the Main Stage continues Friday, July 10 with Curtis Nowosad, Stingray Rising Star contestant Alana Yorke and Mike Cowie Deep Pockets.

Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 Main Stage free programming kicks off at 1:00 PM daily. Saturday's lineup includes The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, Stingray Rising Stars finalist The New Bridge, ORO! Orkestra, and Asia & Nu Gruv. Sunday, July 12 the lineup includes Kenny Wheeler Tribute feat. Paul Tynan Sextext, Bella Blue, Stingray Rising Stars contestant Party Boots, and the Hallelujah Praise Choir feat. Reeny Smith and Friends.

The Halifax Public Gardens provides the setting for more free shows on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 at the bandstand starting at 12:00 PM. Surrounded by the summer splendor of the Public Gardens, the bandstand lineup features Tuesday Night Big Band, The Thunderbolts, Chebucto Big Band and The Big Valley Swing Orchestra.

Picturesque Hydrostone Park provides the backdrop for more free concerts, starting at 1:00 PM daily. Performers include Ariana Nasr chante Piaf, The Tritones, Mary Beth de Scène, and the National Youth Jazz Combo on Saturday, July 11, and Karen Robinson Trio, Ced Marty & Dave, Khari McClelland and the Prohibition Jazz Band on Sunday, July 12.

On July 8, 9 and 10 during the festival, Theodore Tugboat takes to the harbour to host creative workshops for children with Splash! Bang! Boom! A popular children's attraction, Theodore Tugboat is the perfect location for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival to introduce young listeners to the magic of music. Sessions will be conducted by noted musicians Ross Burns and  Dr. Henry Bishop, with two sailings each morning at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. These workshop are sure to be lots of fun, as everyone on board can participate and play some percussion instruments together.

Halifax Public Libraries will host a series of free events including JazzLabs, a behind the scenes look at making music that includes artist talks, master classes, and interactive concerts at public venues throughout Halifax, July 8-12.

The Jazzlabs series kicks off with an Artist Talk session, part of the Jazz Festival'sSpotlight on French Jazz program, sponsored by Consulat Général de France dans les Provinces Atlantiques and hosted by Alliance Française of Halifax.  Presented in French, the free session takes place Wednesday, July 8, at 12:00 PM at Alliance Française, 5509 Young Street, Halifax. The second part of the series is a free concert by the Céline Bonacina Trio at 7:00 PM Wednesday, July 8 at the Halifax Central Public Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road.

Halifax Central Library is the setting for a screening of the Tuareg language film,Akounak Teggdalit Taha Tazoughai' featuring Mdou Mocta on Thursday, July 9 at 12:00 PM. Vox Sambou present an artist talk Friday July 10 at 12:00 PM at the Halifax Central Library. JazzLabs continue at the Alderney Gate Library with the Doris Mason Trio with David Burton and Jamie Gatti, Thursday July 9 at 4:30 PM. On Saturday, July 11 at 12:00 PM the Keshen Goodman Library hosts a JazzLab with the Brian McConnell Quartet.

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival offers free admission for children under 10 at the Main Stage for evening performances. Minors are required to be accompanied by their legal guardian (ID Required).

For more information visit or call the Jazz Festival Hotline at 902-717-7082.

Since 1987 the Halifax Jazz Festival, a non-profit organization, has presented a diverse range of musical and educational activities including the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival, July 8-12. Follow Halifax Jazz Festival on Facebook and  Twitter@HFXJazzFest.

Media Contact:
Kimberly Sinclair, 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival
(902) 350-3968
kimberly [at] spincount [dot] com

Artist Profile: Robi Botos


Robi Botos is a jazz pianist of Hungarian decent who has quickly joined the ranks of Canada’s elite jazz musicians after moving his family to Toronto in 1998. Having been mentored by the great Oscar Peterson, he's received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the 2007 National Jazz Award for “Keyboardist of the Year” and first place at the 2008 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and has performed alongside the likes of Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Michael Brecker and Joey Defrancesco. Botos is, quite simply, one of the world’s great pianists.

HJF: You are of Roma descent. How do you feel your background has shaped your music?
I think Romani music has a huge influence on me, and my music.

HJF: One of your musical heroes is Oscar Peterson. What was it like meeting him for the first time? Has he affected your growth as a musician?
Meeting Oscar Peterson was a true dream come true. I felt very blessed, and he was very encouraging. I definitely play different since then.

HJF: You recently released a new album Movin’ Forward. What was the process of composing and recording like?
Movin' Forward includes mostly originals which I composed over several years. Recording was a very inspiring experience with these incredible musicians.

HJF: What musical direction would you like to explore from here?
I'm trying to explore more of my roots musically, and also research music I'm not familiar with.

HJF: What is your favourite piece to perform?
I have too many favorite pieces so it's impossible to pick one...I try to play whatever I play as my favorite piece.

Experience the Robi Botos Quartet ft Phil Dwyer alongside the Joey DeFrancesco Quartet on Thursday, July 9 at 7:30 PM at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre.

The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival Announces Stingray Rising Stars Program Finalists

Stingray_Music_Hor_2.png(Halifax, NS) The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival is proud to partner with leading business-to-business multi-platform music provider, Stingray Music, to present the Stingray Rising Stars Program again this year, July 8-12. The Stingray Rising Stars program offers cash awards and showcase opportunities to emerging Canadian artists. Last year, at the 2014 TD Halifax Jazz Festival, the award was presented to Roxy & the Underground Soul Sound. Winning the award made the release of their debut record possible. The recognition also raised their profile and garnered the band showcases at Nova Scotia Music Week, in addition to playing multiple festivals and shows across Canada.

Stingray Music is committed to putting Canadian musicians on the map! That is why they created the Stingray Rising Stars Program. Launched in 1998 as Galaxie Rising Star, this original program sets out to discover, encourage, promote and champion new up-and-coming Canadian artists.

"As a Canadian company and member of the music community, Stingray Music is committed to promoting local talent. We are thrilled to be renewing our support of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival,  an event where every year we discover immense talents,” said Mathieu Péloquin, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Communications for Stingray. “Since 1998, the Stingray Rising Star Program has benefited close to a thousand Canadian musicians in every genre. We are honoured to be part of the journey of so many wonderful artists!”

Drop by the Main Stage (Lower Water Street & Salter Street) every afternoon, July 8-12, to listen to music by shortlisted artists for the 2015 Stingray Rising Stars program at the TD Halifax Halifax Jazz Festival. This year’s lineup includes:

Pram Trio, 3:00 PM Wednesday, July 8 (Toronto | contemporary jazz) This ensemble combines elements of the traditional jazz piano trio with contemporary styles of music beyond the jazz genre. With a strong focus on collective improvisation, Pram Trio creates an experience that appeals to listeners both familiar and unfamiliar with jazz.

Anteater, 3:00 PM Thursday, July 9 (Halifax | jazz) A band almost as intriguing as the strange mammal of the same name. Anteater “exists interdimensionally” bringing together some of Halifax’s most exciting young players to make personality-filled, imaginative music. Original, explosive and exploratory, Anteater is producing a fresh, and refreshing, brand of jazz.

Alana Yorke, 4:00 PM Friday, July 10 (Halifax | alternative/dream pop) With dream-like vocals and a minimalist piano style, Alana Yorke combines irresistible hooks and captivating rhythms to draw listeners into her hypnotic and beautiful world. Armed with a strong musical vision, Yorke steers her songs between sparkly synth-pop, grand cinematic gestures, and stripped-down intimacy.

The New Bridge, 2:20 PM Saturday, July 11 (Halifax | jazz) The New Bridge creates intricate and heartfelt music that criss-crosses the territories of jazz, folk, chamber music, and rock. The six-piece ensemble includes three members of Gypsophilia—Adam Fine, Ross Burns and Nick Wilkinson—as well as Symphony Nova Scotia's Principal Clarinetist Dominic Desautels, with Halifax mainstays Andrew Jackson on trombone and Doug Cameron on drums. Their unusual instrumentation allows for a wide range of possibilities for original compositions: sensitive and pastoral one moment, rough-edged and visceral the next.

Party Boots, 3:40 PM Sunday, July 12 (Halifax | pop/urban/world) The party this band is named after never stops. Diverse, energetic and highly adaptable, Party Boots has entertained tens of thousands of music lovers in both bars and major venues with its upbeat, worldly dance music and its knack for entertaining. Stitching pop, R&B, funk, and hip-hop influences together for a signature sound, where these Boots go,  good times follow.

Through a two-tiered process of peer assessment and online voting, one act will receive $3,000 to jumpstart their careers. Online voting takes place at until 6:00 PM Sunday, July 12, 2015. The winner will be announced later that evening at the Main Stage.

Visit the Stingray Music booth at the Main Stage to cast your vote!

Media Contact:
Kimberly Sinclair, TD Halifax Jazz Festival
(902) 350-3968 | kimberly [at] spincount [dot] com

Artist Profile: Find The Others

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Andy Sheppard dropped out of the conventional singer/songwriter world and tuned into more intriguing songs, mysterious lyrics, and mesmerizing visuals to create a vivid musical experience called Find The Others. A FTO performance is a feast for the ears and eyes, with synchronized visuals bathing the performers in light and colour. Experience Find The Others alongside Mdou Moctar on July 9 at the Bus Stop Theatre at 9:00 PM. Tickets are $15 and available online.

HJF: How did Find The Others Begin?
I'd spent years as a solo artist, and also working on music for CBC Radio, in particular a show I helped create called The Signal. It was there that I 'found' my people: artists from all genres and backgrounds making creative, interesting, exciting, forward looking music.  I was immersed in that music, and soon I wanted to try to make some of my own.  But I needed collaborators. I invited several of my favourite artists to work on the first recording in 2011, and Find The Others was born.

HJF: You recently released Empire of Time. What was the process behind creating this second album?
It started in the usual way, with sketches and ideas and notes.  I had connected with a great Icelandic producer named Valgeir Sigurdsson, and I took those sketches and ideas and songs to Reykjavik to work with him in his beautiful Greenhouse Studios.  So, the music began to take shape in Iceland, in collaboration with Valgier, as well as violist Nadia Sirota (yMusic, Son Lux) and drummer Doddi Thorvaldsson (Jonsi). I completed several pieces there, and then finished the record partly in my own studio on Bowen Island in BC, and partly with Joshua Van Tassel in his Toronto studio. So, the process covered a lot of territory!

HJF: What is your musical background?
I was a bit of a late bloomer, coming to the guitar at 16.  I got serious about it pretty quickly, and went on to study jazz guitar and contemporary composition at McGill University in Montreal. I also studied guitar privately with Don Ross in Toronto, and Pierre Bensusan in France. I toured internationally for several years as a solo acoustic guitarist, and with the music revue International Guitar Night.

HJF: Your new video for The Things You Want was shot in the wilderness of Iceland. Do you often take inspiration from the natural world?
I grew up in the country, in a rural part of southwestern Ontario.  My family had a huge, forested property, with a river running through it.  My summers were spent in a rustic cottage in Muskoka.  It was idyllic, in many ways.  The freedom to explore, to think, to imagine, and to be really alone if I wanted to be.  This experience of nature definitely informed the more contemplative side of my music.  

HJF: Do you have any jazz influences?
Lenny Breau was an early influence.  I nearly killed myself trying to learn some of his pieces. I studied with two fantastic jazz guitarists, Michel Berard and Mike Gauthier, both in Montreal.  They opened my eyes to a whole world of music, and more importantly, a way to think about music. After university, I spent several years as the host of the flagship jazz program After Hours on CBC Radio 2, where I dove head first into the world of jazz on record. Oh yeah, and I married a wonderful jazz pianist named Cindy Fairbank.  So, yes, you could say I have some strong jazz influences!

HJF: You live on the west coast and are coming to the east coast. What are you most looking forward to during your visit to Halifax?
: For some reason, coming to Halifax always feels like coming home.  Maybe it's my Scottish and English roots. Or maybe it's just that people are so welcoming.  I'm looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, having a few pints, and hearing some good stories.  Oh, and also, checking out all the awesome music at the festival.

"quiet strength and restrained beauty " - CBC Music
"magical" - Manchester FM
"enthralling" - Halifax Pop Explosion
"infectiously catchy" - Exclaim!

"a potent, mind-blowing cocktail" - Direct Current Music

order the new album here.

Artist Profile: Michael Kaeshammer


Michael Kaeshammer is a gifted singer and songwriter, and an incendiary piano player. Both on stage and off, he’s a consummate host. Kaeshammer has an uncanny ability to take ‘a bit of musical this’ and ‘a touch of musical that’ and create a sound that is uniquely his own – a singular brand of pop tinged jazz that’s expressive, warm and incredibly catchy. Kaeshammer’s performances, on record and on stage, are an invitation to join the party. He doesn’t play at you. He plays with you. A night with Michael and his band isn’t the kind of show where you just sit, watch and applaud politely every now and then. Their goal isn’t to intimidate you with the scholarly depth of their music, it’s to entertain, inform and include you. The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival chats with him about cooking, Allan Toussaint, and his new album. 

HJF: Your most recent release, With You in Mind, is a tribute to the great New Orleans pianist and 2014 TD Halifax Jazz Festival favourite Allen Toussaint. What inspired you about his music?
The year prior to recording the CD I ended up at a few of the same festivals with Allen. Enjoying his set every time I got to see it reminded me of the rest of the New Orleans music I grew up with, anything from Jelly Roll Morton to Louis Armstrong, from Mahalia Jackson to Professor Longhair, from The Meters to Allen Toussaint. I started listening to his entire catalogue and realized how many great songs this man has written, not just for himself but for a lot of other artists. The project was more about paying tribute to songs I grew up with, I picked Allen Toussaint’s music as the soundtrack. You could record four different Allen Toussaint tribute records with great songs yet entirely different track listings. And he sounds better than ever today.

HJF: What was the process behind recording it?
Initially I picked 20 songs that I remembered growing up. From there I arranged the songs fitting my own piano style and what my band is capable of rather than worrying too much about coming anywhere close to the original, since those arrangements were already recorded. I rehearsed what I arranged with my band and we went into the studio for a live-off-the-floor recording.

HJF: Was this a big change from your previous style?
The biggest change was the concept, to cover non-original material written by a single songwriter. Usually my recordings are based on original material. Other than that it just felt like making music with my band, not recording a cover record.

HJF: Who are some of your other musical influences?
Many artists have influenced me over the past 20 years, you go in faces and really dive into an artists’ life and catalogue and then after a while your interests move on. Growing up I was fascinated by Art Tatum and James Booker, Big Joe Turner and Count Basie. People like that. Today it can range from Beethoven to The Beatles, from Louis Armstrong to AC/DC, from Schumann to Sam Cooke, from Bud Powell to Pearl Jam, from Willie Nelson to Nirvana. Good music is good music, and anyone who bases their career on original material is interesting to me (although I just recorded a cover album).

HJF: You’ve previously mentioned you love cooking: what’s your favourite dish to make? And what music do you like to listen to while you cook?
Pasta from scratch is always a winner. Travelling and eating out a lot has made me realize that unless the pasta is homemade, you’re getting ripped off (anyone can boil something coming from a plastic bag, you don’t need to go to a restaurant for that). At home I’m a big fan of cooking French dishes, some favourites are Boeuf Bourguignon or Chateaubriand with Bearnaise Sauce, maybe even croissants from time to time.

HJF: You live on the West Coast and are coming to the East Coast. What are you most looking forward to during your visit to Halifax?
I love being close to the ocean, something I love about the West coast and about coming to Halifax. Halifax in the summer is one of the most beautiful spots to be (I haven’t been there in a few years). I’m excited to go for a run somewhere or a walk on the boardwalk and experience the East coast hospitality on a July day. And I’m actually looking forward to playing the piano at the show. 

Michael Kaeshammer plays alongside Bill Stevenson's Nine Steps at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre on July 11th, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $40, and available online.

Artist Profile: Alex Pangman



Although Alex Pangman grew up a couple of generations late to have sung with Teddy Wilson, the vibrant young vocalist is proud to be known as Canada's Sweetheart of Swing. With pipes aplenty, Pangman possesses the requisite taste, talent and the historical knowledge of an avid record collector to breathe new life into the sturdy standards of the classic jazz era. Evocative, animated and authentic, Pangman's crystal-clear vocals are more than a hat tip to the swings songs of the 20s and 30s, they're authentically her.


She plays alongside the Gordon Webster Sextet & Brianna Thomas for a free evening concert at the Main Stage July 12. The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival chats with her about jazz, swing dance, and living for today.

HJF: When did you discover jazz? Why did you choose to dedicate yourself to it?
I first heard jazz when I was in my teens and was hooked very quickly.  The beautiful melodies and lyrics demanded immediate my abandonment to the contemporary "music" I was hearing on radio.  In with the swing era, out with Milli Vanilli! How could I not get lost in that beautiful songbook?

HJF: Who is your biggest vocal influence?
I considered my record player to be my true university! I listened and collected so many singers from the 1920s 30s and 40s that I canno accredit one single vocalist as my main influence, but rather vocalists who respectfully/artfully sold a song, it might be the sympathetic Ruth Etting, the fiery animation of Louis Armstrong, or the playful melodic and bluesy sass of Kay Starr, and even Bing Crosby. I am truly an amalgam!

HJF: You've had two double-lung transplants. How did this experience affect you?
It reminded me to be thankful for everyday, re-invigorating my desire to sing and experience life boldly.  I lost some of my identity as a singer when I couldn't breath. When I was really sick, and even getting dressed required a tank of oxygen, I would imagine one day singing again. It is wonderful to have received the gift of life --and of song-- back.  Words are clumsy in portraying this... It is partly why I made our most recent album in New Orleans, because you live for today! So why not make the album of your dreams?

HJF: Your latest album New was released last November. What was the process behind creating it?
It was fun and a bit daunting putting together a project so far from home. I already knew two of the band, but the producer, studio, and rest of the sidemen were all fairly new in my orbit. So, I pushed my limits as band leader and singer by pulling together a session over two days (with one rehearsal) of Newness, just over half a year post transplant. I am delighted with how it came out! The cradle of jazz has scads of great musicians so it was just a matter of choosing some. Bingo! With limited studio time, this album was all performed and sung on those two wonderful whirlwind days.

HJF: I've seen you perform at swing dance shows. Are you a swing dancer as well as a singer?
I learned to swing dance so that I could lead a band better for dancers.  Then I discovered it was a blast, and enjoy it socially. Dancers, lindy hoppers, are a hoot to play for: they applaude with their feet, their bodies. Love it! It's so mutually entertaining to play a dance. I recently sprained my ankle rolling over on a mike cable in high heels, so I hope it is better in time for the Halifax festivities! But small stuff: I can breathe again, and dancing feels great again.

HJF: Who are you looking forward to seeing at the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival?
Gord Webster of course! Gord lived in Toronto before moving to New York and really spreading his wings. in fact I knew him as a swing dancer before I ever realized he also had some serious piano chops. I have sat in with him a couple times over the last couple of years and it is a glorious genius he is! Dynamic, fun, sparkling, rhythmic.  

Catch Alex Pangman (alongside the Gordon Webster Sextet with Brianna Thomas) at the Main Stage on Sunday, July 12 at 8:30 PM. FREE!

2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival JazzLabs: A series of entertainment and educational events presented free throughout Halifax!

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The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival presents JazzLabs, a behind the scenes look at making music that includes artist talks, master classes, and interactive concerts at public venues throughout Halifax. JazzLabs share the rich history of jazz and explore diverse approaches to jazz performance by taking advantage of the roster of high-caliber artists performing at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival and inviting them to participate in these free workshops.

Halifax Central Library will host a series of free JazzLabs beginning Thursday July 9 at 12:00 PM, with the screening of the film, Akounak Teggdalit Taha Tazoughai' featuring Mdou MoctarInspired by Prince's 1984 classic rock opera, Purple Rain, the title translates as "Rain the Color of Red with a Little Blue In It." It tells the story of a musician from Agadez, Niger, who struggles with competing artists, a difficult home life, romantic problems and his own internal strife; while exploring his native Niger on a purple motorcycle. It is the world's first feature film in a Tuareg language, specifically a mixture of dialects from Aïr and Azawagh, directed by Christopher Kirkley (USA).

Next, the Halifax Central Library presents Vox Sambou, Friday July 10 at 12:00 PM. A founding member of Montreal's show-stopping multilingual supergroup, Nomadic Massive, Vox Sambou's solo venture is just as charged. In this educational artist talk and performance, the Haiti-born performer sheds light on his rich and unique cultural heritage via his music, using the country's most widely spoken language, Creole, to do so. These songs are powerful, danceable and totally unmatched by any of the hip hop we're used to hearing.

Jazzlabs continues at the Alderney Gate Library with the Doris Mason trio with David Burton and Jamie Gatti, Thursday July 9 at 4:30 PM. Experience New Glasgow's own Doris Mason in this lively and entertaining concert.  A listen through her discography includes both original songs, and her own take on classics, with influences of rock and roll, blues, boogie woogie, spiritual, Celtic and pop revealing themselves through her magnetic and easygoing performances. Listeners get a taste of that variety—standards, piano-centric Mason originals, Ella Fitzgerald favourites and more—with this show.

On Saturday July 11 at 12:00 PM the Keshen Goodman Library hosts a JazzLab with the Brian McConnell Quartet.  While his repertoire is made up of jazz standards, Halifax-based flautist Brian McConnell isn't a standard jazz flute player. In fact he thinks of himself as more of a blues flute player, a place he arrived after spending his teen years buried in the blues. Over the past five years he's been collaborating with like-minded musicians, and three of the Maritimes' best, Georges Hébert, Danny Parker and Scott Ferguson, together making technical, melodic classic jazz music. It's a truly seamless team effort that stands out from the crowd thanks to McConnell's soaring, inspired solos.

On July 8, 9, and 10 during the festival, Theodore Tugboat takes to the harbour to host creative workshops expressly for children with Splash! Bang! Boom! Known around the world by many children (and parents), Theodore Tugboat is the perfect location for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival to introduce young listeners to the magic of music. Sessions will be conducted by noted musicians Ross Burns and  Dr. Henry Bishop, with two sailings each morning at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. These workshop are sure to be lots of fun, as everyone on board can participate and play some percussion instruments together.

Alliance Française hosts Céline Bonacina, Wednesday, July 8, at 12:00 PM, who brings a lifetime of insight and experience to Halifax. Hear and interact with one of France's most exciting jazz talents. Céline Bonacina was born into a family of musicians, and grew up with a passion for singing, rhythm, and the desire to play an instrument. From the age of seven she studied music at several schools in France, specializing in baritone saxophone and performing in big bands throughout Paris. Presented in French, the free educational artist talk session takes place at Alliance Française, 5509 Young Street, Halifax.

Since 1987 the non-profit organization the Halifax Jazz Festival has presented a diverse range of musical and educational activities including the  2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival, July 8-12. Follow Halifax Jazz Festival on Twitter @HFXJazzFest.

Lots of surprises at 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival!

2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival has lots of surprises in store for this year’s event - Reaching new neighbourhoods and indoor venues, and offering more free music, an exciting kidzone, and more!

(Halifax, NS) The 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival has become a beloved tradition for music lovers and musicians since its inception in 1987. This year, the festival has lots of surprises in store, including some exciting changes to make it even more memorable.

This year’s festival has more music, entertainment and excitement than ever, with more than 70 acts performing on 14 stages throughout the city, presented over five action-packed days. The festival  incorporates more venues, and expands into new neighbourhoods, including free concerts beginning at noon Saturday and Sunday at the Halifax Public Gardens and Hydrostone Park. These concerts are open to all ages. The Bandstand in the Halifax Public Gardens will host a big band series featuring local artists, and the Hydrostone Park showcases acts from across Canada.

In another development, the festival will present free music until 6pm daily at the Main Stage. Music begins at 3pm weekdays and 1pm weekends and features local and touring acts. The Main Stage also has a new look, with new seating options to replace the big tent, freeing up more room for spectators to dance and move freely. New seating arrangements include bleacher seating to replace the rows of chairs from previous years. Additional seating will be provided with limited patio tables, including chairs and tables with umbrellas. New this year is a kidzone every afternoon at the Main Stage - complete with crafts, face painting and more!

Again this year, for patrons who enjoy a more intimate listening experience, the festival has expanded its  offering of concerts at indoor venues around town. These shows perfectly pair artists with each venue, allowing the option of live music in a indoor setting. Venues include the Bus Stop Theatre and The Company House, both on Gottingen Street, The Carleton Music Bar & Grill on Argyle Street, 1313 Hollis, Dartmouth's Alderney Landing Theatre, and the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre.

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival is constantly evolving. As it grows, it is continually looking for ways to improve its offerings and enhance the festival experience for both audiences and artists.   As artistic director Laura “Lulu” Healy states, "We're excited about the changes we've made to the format of the event, as they will allow people to choose how they'd like to experience and enjoy the festival. Whether that's dancing and socializing at the Main Stage, relaxing in the Hydrostone Park or listening intently at one of our indoor venues, there are many options for people to hear some of the best musicians in the world in their own neighbourhood!" 

The festival is excited about the changes and looks forward to seeing everyone this July! For tickets and more information, please visit or call the Festival Hotline (902) 717-7082.

Since 1987 the non-profit organization the Halifax Jazz Festival has presented a diverse range of musical and educational activities including the  2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival, July 8-12. Follow Halifax Jazz Festival on Twitter @HFXJazzFest.

Media Contact:
Kimberly Sinclair, TD Halifax Jazz Festival
(902) 350-3968
kimberly [at] spincount [dot] com

The 29th Annual TD Halifax Jazz Festival Call for 2015 Volunteers!

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival celebrates 29 years filling the streets and stages of Halifax with world class music and entertainment! Each year the TD Halifax Jazz Festival requires more than 500 volunteers to keep the show going.  They are the heart of the event. It is their dedication, hard work, boundless energy, outstanding skills, unbridled enthusiasm and tireless commitment that make the festival a success year after year.

Volunteers of all skill levels are required. With so many ways to help out and be part of the excitement, from Box Office to Bar, Security to Social Media, Photography to Production, the festival invites individuals to check out the volunteer opportunities page for descriptions of each volunteer position. By volunteering at TD Halifax Jazz Festival, volunteers participate in an exciting internationally recognized event, meet lots of great people, and hear fantastic music -- all while acquiring new skills and opportunities for personal growth.

The 29th edition of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival takes place this summer, July 8 through 12. This year’s festival is bigger and more exciting  than ever, with 14 stages throughout Halifax, from Dartmouth to Clayton Park, including the popular Main Stage on the Halifax Waterfront!

Apply to volunteer at the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival HERE today!

Jazzahead! Travel Log

image1.JPGThis past week I headed to Bremen, Germany once again for the 10th edition of jazzahead!, a trade fair, conference and showcase festival for jazz from across the globe. It was my second time attending this incredibly well produced event. It’s a good opportunity to hear what’s happening on the international jazz scene and a great hang with colleagues and jazz enthusiasts from 55 different countries.  

I want to share some of my favourite jazzahead! 2015 moments with you and I was thrilled to see that several of these showcases were filmed from start to finish--it’ll be like you were there with me!

This year jazzahead!’s ‘Partner Country’ was France. My two highlights from this country's night were Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien and Donkey Monkey.

A video featuring Donkey Monkey can be found at

‘Overseas’ Night featured bands from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, South Africa, and three (yes 3!) bands from Canada: Myriad 3, Kelly Lee Evans and Marianne Trudel feat. Ingrid Jensen. Marianne is one of my favourite Canadian composers, and here's why:

The Omer Klein Trio was a definite highlight from the European Jazz Meeting, and it’s always a pleasure to get to hear my dear friend Haggai Cohen Milo on bass:

One of my now favourite events at jazzahead! was the Swedish brunch. About 100 presenters, musicians and agents are whisked away on a bus to KITO, a beautiful venue about 20 minutes from Bremen, to listen to Swedish bands and eat a delicious meal together. I was blown away by the unique voice of Ellekari Sander from The Other Woman:

En route back to Halifax I stopped off in London to hear Buika at the Barbican. It was a life changing experience and I doubt any recording can capture the beauty and genius of this woman. I hope one day to bring her to Halifax.


Hopefully you will have the opportunity to hear some of this incredible music in Halifax in the near future. I did end up booking two of my highlights from last year’s Jazzahead! for this year’s TD Halifax Jazz Festival.


Nils Berg’s Cinemascope (Sweden) and Tin Men & The Telephone (The Netherlands) will be sharing a bill at the Bus Stop Theatre on July 8. I’ll see you there!

More information about jazzahead! can be found at