The Halifax Jazz Festival opens this Friday, July 6, for nine days of jazz on Canada’s East Coast. CBC Music asked artistic director Laura "Lulu" Healy to sketch out an overview.
This is always such a tough question to answer because I'm excited about everything in the lineup. Though one group I really can't wait to hear live is Médéric Collignon. His music is so energetic and spontaneous; he is continually throwing sonic surprises in your face. I'm also really looking forward to hearing the Chris Tarry Group again; his new record is phenomenal and has been on repeat on my stereo for months.
I think it's fairly unique to have such a strong component of local players on the bill each year. The festival features over 350 local players from across Nova Scotia, and there are unique opportunities for them to collaborate with visiting artists. Because of this, our festival is known to be one of the best hangs for musicians both local and visiting, and often touring musicians will arrange their schedules to be in town for a few extra days to take in the festival.
Some of the most exciting musical moments of the festival unfold at a tiny performance space downtown, 1313 Hollis. The venue has been around for several years now, but it still feels like you're getting a special, secret performance by some of the most adventurous and talented improvising musicians out there. You always leave 1313 feeling inspired and somewhat dumbfounded by what just went down in there.
Come for the festival, stay for the scene (and the scenery)
I love the arts/music scene in Halifax. It's constantly evolving and seems to regenerate as new artists come and go. The city itself feels like a small town so you are always running into familiar faces. I also love living on the water. The ocean is literally a few minutes away and there are many beautiful lakes within biking distance of the downtown core.
From the memory banks
We had Kenny Garrett perform in 2009, and I was blown away by the number of younger fans that were beside themselves to hear him play. There was this one kid who busked outside of the festival tent site for days just to buy a ticket — he sat up front and centre on the ground amongst a hundred or so other young jazz musicians with a huge sign that said "I love you Kenny, thank you for coming to Halifax!"
Alex Pangman - 2011 Halifax Jazz Festival
Jerry Granelli Trio - 2011 Halifax Jazz Festival
CBC Music's 2012 festival guide
on Jul 05, 2012