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 Moctar. Inspired 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.