As a member of the Board of Directors for JazzEast, I’m presented each year with an all-access pass to the Atlantic Jazz Festival in Halifax each summer. This year I emceed at a handful of concerts and I also worked out that pass as hard as I could, viewing part or all of at least one or more performances each day.
This year’s festival ran from July 10-18th, straddling two legendary concerts for Halifax in the form of Paul McCartney on July 11th and KISS on July 18th. But our festival, the first programmed by our new Artistic Director Lulu Healy, was hot enough that I barely noticed those two other shows during the week. Lulu’s inaugural programme was absolutely fantastic this year.
Here are the performances I attended at least in part this year. Where noted, links open a short review for that given show.
Fri July 10th — Kenny Garrett at the Main Stage Tent (review)
Sat July 11th — Asia and NuGruv at the Main Stage Tent
Sun July 12th — Deep River Boys + Félix Stüssi 5 featuring Ray Anderson
Mon July 13th — John Abercrombie Trio
Tue July 14th — Two by Two + Greg Amirault
Wed July 15th — Oliver Jones
Thu July 16th — Dinuk Wijeratne with Sanctuary + The Bad Plus
Fri July 17th — Bell Orchestre + Joel Miller + Shuffle Demons + Kid Koala
Sat July 18th — CMW + Fred Hersch Trio + Harvey Millar
Other notable performances I didn’t get to see at this year’s festival include, but are not limited to, the following:
— Jane Bunnett
— Gord Grdina
— Coco Love Alcorn
— Luis Mario Ochoa and Hilario Duran
— Mike Murley and Guido Basso with singer Yvette Tollar
— Carlos del Junco with Sisters Euclid
— Haggai Cohen Milo Trio
— Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko
— Simon Fisk Trio
— Brandi Disterheft
As you can see, this year’s festival was an embarrassment of musical riches. I’m terribly proud to have played a small role in presenting it and I look forward to next year’s events!