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

Jazz Up Your Spring with Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Public Libraries

Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Public Libraries celebrate spring with Jazz Up Your Spring, a series of free JazzLabs  in area libraries throughout the month of May. JazzLabs offer a behind the scenes look at making music and include artist talks and interactive concerts.

Jazz Up Your Spring presents an eclectic line up, kicking off Sunday, May 3, with the Rev Hank Trio at the Keshen Goodman Public Library, followed by the Morningside Jazz Trio appearing at Captain William Spry Public Library on Friday, May 8. The music continues Tuesday, May 12 with Sazerac at the Woodlawn Public Library. Bing & Ruth round out the program with an intimate artist talk presented in partnership with OBEY at the Halifax Public Library on Wednesday, May 20.

Complete details on the bands, times and venues follows:


Rev Hank Trio
Sunday, May 3 at 2:30 p.m. at the Keshen Goodman Public Library
Rev Hank (Michael Diabo) shows audiences anything is possible with four strings and two octaves. Inspired by Lyle Ritz, Bill Tapia, and Tiny Tim, his trio goes beyond ukulele camp standards and showcases fine jazz. From Jerome Kearns and Duke Ellington to Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, this concert is sure capture the lightheartedness of warmer days.


Morningside Jazz Trio
Friday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Captain William Spry Public LibraryMorningside.jpg
Halifax's Morningside Jazz Trio brings to life jazz standards from the 1920s to the 1950s.    Their repertoire includes songs from musical theatre, Broadway and the Great American Songbook. They are influenced by Johnny Mercer, "Hoagy" Carmichael, Rodgers and Hart,  Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and the Gershwin brothers, to name a few.  


Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Woodlawn Public Library

Halifax-based jazz quartet Sazerac plays in the swinging, blues-inflected style of 1960s organists Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff , musicians who created the hard driving mix of soul, funk and bop. Like the classic New Orleans cocktail that shares its name, Sazerac’s music is earthy, sweet and heady. Featuring a fine line-up of local musical stalwarts including Dustin LindenSmith on tenor sax, Ross Burns on guitar, Doug Cameron on drums, and Matt Myer on organ.


Bing & Ruth
Wednesday, May 20 at 7  p.m. at the Halifax Central Library
Brooklyn-based composer David Moore is the mastermind behind Bing & Ruth. Known for their engaging live shows, the group plays classical music on a very large scale. Described by the New York Times as "making the most of layered and atmospheric melody," the band utilizes traditional acoustic instruments to craft expansive soundscapes and quiet microtonal textures. This artist talk will present a chance for music fans to get up close and personal with the band, and learn about their creative process and experiences as touring musicians.



All Jazz Up Your Spring presentations are free and suitable for listeners of all ages.

Media Contact:
Kimberly Sinclair | Halifax Jazz Festival
kimberly [at] spincount [dot] com

Welcome our new Volunteer Manager!

large_Alanna_0.jpgHJF is pleased to welcome Alanna Swinemar to the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival team. Alanna, who is passionate about music festivals and events, will take on the role of Volunteer Manager.

In 2013 Alanna started volunteering at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival. Within two years of volunteering with HJF, she acquired over 100 volunteer hours assisting with festival and non-festival activities in mutiple areas including stage management/production, social media, bar, box office, financial services, craft services, tent site and event setup/tear down. Alanna continues to be involved in various capacities with other community events including Halifax Pop Explosion, East Coast Music Week, Nova Scotia Music Week, Halifax Urban Folk Festival, HopScotch Festival, Halifax Pride and OUTEast Film Festival.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s festival team,” states Alanna. "I'm looking forward to working with the many volunteers involved in the festival, and seeing what the 2015 edition will bring."

Applications for volunteering at the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival will be available online by mid-May. For more information visit


Full lineup announced for 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival

Full lineup announced for 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival - The Budos Band, Joey DeFrancesco, Brian Blade *music from Mama Rosa*,  Ranee Lee with the Blue Engine String Quartet

(Halifax, NS) – The city of Halifax is the stage for the 29th edition of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival 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!

Jazz Festival Artistic Director Laura ‘Lulu’ Healy promises a thrilling lineup as the festival continues to present exciting and intriguing acts from the jazz world. Representing Canada are some of the country’s leading jazz musicians including Michael Kaeshammer, Ranee Lee, Kirk MacDonald,  Roddy Ellias, and Robi Botos. The Main Stage lineup also includes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, tUnE-yArDs, and Juan de Marcos & The Afro Cuban All-Stars. In addition, Healy adds, “We are excited to announce The Budos Band and Vox Sambou have been added to the Main Stage lineup.”

Artists from across the globe will be on hand to liven up the festival and bring the sounds of jazz to the streets of Halifax -- the Bus Stop Theatre will present an eclectic series of acts including Mdou Moctar (Niger), Tin Men & The Telephone (The Netherlands), Nils Berg Cinemascope (Sweden) and Another Time, Another Place: Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom & Julian Priester (Halifax/New York/Seattle/Berlin).

Everyone is invited to get in on the fun, with free concerts on the Main Stage every day throughout the festival including  local and touring musicians.  "If you work downtown, you'll be able to stop by when you leave your office to take in summer and the music," says Healy.  "We've also expanded our free programming to include a big band series at the Bandstand in the Halifax Public Gardens and a variety of music at the Hydrostone Park… This year we are showcasing the jazz elite from south of the border, including Joey DeFrancesco, Brian Blade, and Kenny Werner --  in indoor venues such as Alderney Landing Theatre and the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium."

Free concerts and artist talks are also in store, showcasing venues throughout the city including the Halifax Central Library, Keshen Goodman Public Library, Alderney Gate Public Library, and Alliance Française. Beloved Halifax landmark Theodore the Tugboat will showcase children's programming, including "Splash! Bang! Boom!," a workshop that takes place while the boat sails Halifax Harbour. Educational programming also includes the ten-day Creative Music Workshop led by Jerry Granelli featuring special guest faculty members Jane Ira Bloom and Julian Priester.

Also featured are Pram Trio, Anteater, Alana Yorke, The New Bridge, and Party Boots, competing for the Stingray Rising Star Award. Based both on the results of an online fan vote and the decisions of a jury, one act will receive $3000 to help jumpstart their career.

Capping off the festivities is a free swing concert at the Main Stage Sunday evening, July 12 with the Gordon Webster Sextet featuring Brianna Thomas and festival fan favourite Alex Pangman.

Support for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival is provided by numerous corporate and community partners including TD, Waterfront Development and Westin Halifax. All tickets will be on sale by the festival's official provider through starting Tuesday, April 21.

In addition to participating in all the great music and events,people can take an active role in the excitement by volunteering their time. Volunteer applications will be available online soon. For more information about the TD Halifax Jazz Festival visit

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

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

Thank you- Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton | Reeny Smith

Thank you for joining us for Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton | Reeny Smith April 2. Here are some pictures from the magical evening.

Halifax Jazz Festival present Ms. Lisa Fischer, Rolling Stones mainstay and star in Oscar-winning film 20 FEET FROM STARDOM. Opening the night was Halifax rising star Reeny Smith.

Posted by Halifax Jazz Festival on Friday, April 3, 2015


Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Public Libraries

JAM logo_3.pngCelebrate jazz this April during Jazz Appreciation Month. Now in its thirteenth year, Jazz Appreciation Month was initiated by the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate jazz as both an historical and living treasure. In honor of this, Halifax Jazz Festival and Halifax Public Libraries are offering a free concert series showcasing jazz in its many forms.

The series begins Tuesday, April 7 at 7 PM with Votive Dance: Sound & Motion at the Tantallon Public Library. Music and dance join forces in this multi-disciplinary performance by saxophonist Andrew MacKelvie and dancer Kathleen Doherty. These artists have been learning how use improvisation to connect their two mediums. The result is spontaneous art that defies boundaries.

The Martin Davidson Trio performs jazz standards at the Dartmouth North Public Library Saturday, April 11 at 2:30 PM. Join saxophonist Martin Davidson as he gives listeners his take on this popular and well-loved music of the 20th century.  

Celebrate jazz icon Billie Holiday's 100th birthday with Halifax singer, composer and pianist Zoe Leger. Leger will play her own arrangements of favourite songs from Holiday's final album, Lady in Satin, released in 1958. Lady in Satin: The Billie Holiday Project takes place Thursday, April 16 at 7 PM at Halifax North Memorial Public Library.

Jazz Appreciation Month concludes with MacNeil/Maclean Wednesday, April 22  at 12 PM at Alderney Gate Public Library. Flamenco guitarist Daniel MacNeil and jazz guitarist Nicholas Maclean draw on material from both flamenco and jazz traditions. Rounding out the group is the venerable duo of percussionist Doug Cameron and bassist Adam Fine, stalwarts of the Halifax music scene.

Halifax Jazz Festival's Jazz Appreciation Month series is suitable for listeners of all ages. For more information about the Halifax Jazz Festival and Jazz Appreciation Month visit

Halifax Jazz Festival AGM

Please be advised Halifax Jazz Festival's Annual General Meeting will take place at the boardroom at Metro Guide Publishing Monday, March 30 at 7 PM. Please feel free to attend, meet the Board of Directors and get to know some of the behind the scenes processes that run the festival. Metro Guide Publishing is located at 2882 Gottingen Street, Halifax. For more information contact info [at] halifaxjazzfestival [dot] ca.

Facebook Contest!


Artist Profile: Reeny Smith

Reeny II.jpgReeny Smith opens for Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton April 2. Reeny, originally from North Preston, recently won 2015 Artist of the Year Award from the African Nova Scotia Music Association. Halifax Jazz Festival caught up with this rising star to find out what influences her, what she's listening to and what's next.

Halifax Jazz Festival: What is your first musical memory?
Reeny Smith: My first musical memory would have to be singing at church singing in the Junior Choir at my home church, St. Thomas Baptist Church. The choir was full of boys and girls from the ages of 4 to 14, and we would sing our little hearts out.

HJF: You come from a very musical family. Do you think that is why you were drawn to music in the first place?
RS: My family was definitely the driving force in drawing me to music. Being raised in that environment, music was engrained in my everyday life. If you grew up in my family, music would undoubtedly play a role in your life.

HJF: In 2013 you won the Galaxie Rising Star competition at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival. What has that meant for your career?
RS: Winning the Galaxy Rising Star Competition was the highlight 2013 for me. It was truly amazing to see all of the support from my community and followers; they wanted the win as much as I did. The competition really reaffirmed to me that this is definitely what I am supposed to be doing, that hard work and talent payoff.

HJF: Jazz is at the centre of what we do. How has jazz influenced you?
RS: Jazz is all about expression through improvisation. Having studied jazz for two years at StFX University, jazz has help me to find new ways to express myself through my singing, and gave me a greater knowledge of music in general.

HJF: What is on your iPod these days?
RS: On my IPod you can pretty much find any genre of music. Lately I’ve been listening to Luke James, Mali Music, and Kierra Sheard. Everyone should definitely check out their music.

HJF: What is your favourite Lisa Fischer song?
RS: My favorite Lisa Fischer song would definitely be “How Can I Ease The Pain”.  She is so incredible!!!!! That song is incredible!!!!!! Incredible!

HJF: What's up next for you after April 2?
RS: After the show I’m back rehearsing, writing, recording, teaching, practicing, eating and sleeping.

HJF: And we hope more singing!

Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton | Reeny Smith takes place 8 PM Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie. Tickets for range from $24.50 - $57.50, and are on sale online at, at the Box Office located in the lobby of the Dalhousie Arts Centre, or by telephone at (902) 494-3820 or 1-800-874-1669.