2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival – Full Announcement July 8-12


(Halifax, NS) – The city of Halifax is the stage for the 29th edition of the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival, July 8 – 12, with concerts and events throughout the city in over 14 venues, featuring more than 550 performers. Venues include the Main Stage on the Halifax waterfront, Alderney Landing Theatre, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, the Public Gardens Bandstand, Hydrostone Park, the Carleton Music Bar & Grill, The Company House, Bus Stop Theatre, Theodore Tugboat and Halifax Public Libraries in Halifax, Dartmouth and Clayton Park. 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.

This year’s festival promises a thrilling lineup of exciting and intriguing acts from the jazz world, beginning Wednesday, July 8 with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and The Chronos Band. Main stage performances start nightly at 8:30 PM, and include: tUnE-yArDs with Moon Hooch, Thursday, July 9; Juan de Marcos & The Afro Cuban All-Stars with Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra Friday, July 10; and Saturday, July 11features The Budos Band with Vox Sambou.  Everyone is invited to get in on the fun, with free concerts on the Main Stage every day throughout the festival, beginning at 3:00 PM weekdays and 1:00 PM on the weekend. 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.

Representing Canada are some of the country’s leading jazz musicians including Michael Kaeshammer, Ranee Lee, Kirk MacDonald,  Roddy Ellias and Robi Botos. The festival will also showcase the jazz elite from south of the border, including Joey DeFrancesco, Brian Blade and Kenny Werner – all performing at indoor venues such as Alderney Landing Theatre, the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and The Carleton Music Bar & Grill.Artists from across the globe will be on hand as well, and 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 MONK OFF Another Time, Another Place: Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom & Julian Priester (Halifax/New York/Seattle/Berlin).

The Company House hosts the “Holly Arsenault Presents” series nightly, July 8-10, at 8:00 PM featuring Roddy Ellias, Dave Watts and Mike Murley. “Late Night Jazz at The Company House” happens nightly beginning at 11:30 PM, July 8-11, with performances by The Heavyweights Brass Band, Cyndi Cain, Moon Hooch and Deva Mahal. The Carleton Music Bar & Grill hosts Curtis Nowasad with Roddy Ellias Trio Thursday, July 9 at 9:00 PM and Kirk MacDonald with Steve Kirby & Dave Laing at 11:00 PM Friday, July 10.

Each year the festival takes advantage of the roster of high-caliber artists performing at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival by asking some of them to facilitate JazzLabs, a series of free concerts, workshops and artist talks. .  JazzLabs begin July 8 at 12:00 PM with “Spotlight on French Jazz” with  an  artist talk by Celine Bonacina at Alliance Française. JazzLabs at the Halifax Central Library includes a film screening of Akounak Teggdalit Taha Tazoughai feat. Mdou Moctar Thursday at 12:00 PM, and Haitian Hip-Hop artist Vox Sambou artist talk Friday, July 10 at 12:00 PM. JazzLabs performances this year are by Doris Mason, at 4:00 PM Thursday, July 9 at the Alderney Gate Public Library and the Brian MacConnell Quartet performs at 12:00 PM Saturday, July 11 at the Keshen Goodman Library.  The Celine Bonacina Trio concludes the “Spotlight on French Jazz” series Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 PM with a performance at the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Public Library.

JazzLabs continue aboard Halifax landmark Theodore Tugboat, with “Splash! Bang! Boom!”, July 8-10. Workshops for childrens, by noted musicians Ross Burns and  Dr. Henry Bishop, will be conducted while Theodore takes to the harbour. Sailings take place at at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. All JazzLabs are free and open to all ages.

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. During the week the students will perform free shows at 1313 Hollis at 7:00 PM Thursday, July 9 and Saturday, July 11 . The final CMW concert, highlighting student’s collaborations, takes place at Alderney Landing Theatre Sunday, July 12 at 1:30 PM, followed by the CMW 20th Year Reception at 3:30 PM. All these events are free and open to all ages.

Pram Trio, Anteater, Alana Yorke, The New Bridge, and Party Boots are competing at the Main Stage 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. Performances are free and occur daily. The winner will be announced Sunday evening, July 12.

Around the city free programming continues with a big band series at the Bandstand in the Halifax Public Gardens and a variety of music at Hydrostone Park. Free daily concerts happen at the Public Gardens Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 beginning at 12:00 PM featuring Tuesday Night Big Band, The Thunderbolts, Chebucto Big Band and The Big Valley Swing Orchestra. At the Hydrostone Park free programming kicks off at 1:00 PM and runs until 5:00 PM with performances by Ariana Nasr chante Piaf, The Tritones, Mary Beth de Scène and the National Youth Jazz Combo Saturday, July 11, and Karen Robinson Trio, Ced Marty & Dave, Khari McClelland and the Prohibition Jazz Band Sunday, July 12.

Local establishments get in the spirit of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival by presenting live music through our Partnered Stages Program. Partnered stages this year include Obladee Wine Bar, Baton Rouge, RockBottom Brewpub, Lion & Bright and the Smiling Goat, with performances daily.

Jazz fans and lovers of all ages are invited to join the city-wide celebration. For parents, new this year is a kidzone, which takes place every afternoon at the Main Stage. Activities include reading, face-painting and crafts. The festival also presents SPARK Saturday, July 11 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM. Halifax’s oldest neighbourhood gets ignited with art in this special free event that showcases music, educational works and various art installations in multiple venues along Gottingen Street.

Support for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival is provided by numerous corporate and community partners including TD, Waterfront Development and Westin Halifax. Tickets are on sale now through halifaxjazzfestival.ca or by calling the Festival Hotline at 902-717-7082.

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,  2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival

(902) 350 – 3968
[email protected]

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.