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June 8, 2006

Halifax Jazz Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian jazz festivals

Halifax Jazz Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Eclectic Lineup

The TD Canada Trust Atlantic Jazz Festival, which runs this year July 14 to 22, marks their 20th anniversary with a focus on the local music community along with a first-rate lineup of international artists.

Among the mix of this year’s headliners at the Commons Room are guitarist Jim Hall, who is joined in concert by pianist Geoff Keezer, Delta bluesman Mose Allison, vocalist Jeri Brown with Moldavian accordion virtuoso Sergiu Popa & Russian pianist Simon Sloutsker, Ottawa-based jazz vocalist Tena Palmer & punk klezmer/accordionist Geoff Berner, jazz greats pianist David Braid and clarinetist Phil Nimmons, Juno-nominated bassist Roberto Occhipinti with his quintet including Cuban pianist Hilario Duran and percussionist Dafnis Prieto, Canadian jazz piano/organ legend Doug Riley, Trios Bourassa/Derome/Tanguay, Montreal’s Evidence, and Nova Scotian saxophonists Chris Mitchell, Mike Murley & Don Palmer, who will perform compositions meant for strings.

‘That East Coast Sound’, a collaborative community project, brings back well-known Nova Scotian jazz musicians to play with local jazz artists. The concert will be recorded by CBC Radio for future broadcast, and features vibraphonist Warren Chiasson, who returns from New York; saxophonist Don Palmer (who founded the Dalhousie University Jazz program) returns from Toronto; Juno Award-winning saxophonist Murley (Toronto); trumpeter Charlie Gray and trombonist Phil Gray (Toronto); Greg and Steve Amirault, piano and guitar respectively (Montreal), and Juno-nominated vocalist Kate Hammet-Vaughan (Vancouver).

There are 10 days of jazz & world music programmed, with the world music component including Sierra Maestra, Latin Groove, Second Cousins and Canadian Primos, Bulgarian/Turkish Kaba Horo paired with local band Afro Musica, Tasa, with their contemporary take on traditional music of the Indian diaspora, Niyaz, who blend Persian folk with electronic beats and acoustic instrumentation, Mel M’Rabet Trio with the sounds of Andalusia, Seckou Keita quartet with musicians from Senegal, Italy, Egypt and The Gambia, New Brunswick Celtic roots blues trio Hot Toddy paired with Spain’s Flamenco guitarist Juan Martin, the West African drum rhythms and acoustic guitar of Aurelio Martinez, Halifax based Gypsophilia joined by Toronto’s Mirobolus String Trio, and multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado of Brazil.

Contemporary music gets a nod with Toronto’s Sisters Euclid featuring guitarist Kevin Breit paired with Montreal funk and soul vocalist/organist Vanessa Rodrigues & turntablist DJ Killa-Jewel, Toronto’s disco-house duo MSTRKRFT, Sanctuary Trio for the Day’s Last Glow, and Jerry Granelli & his V16 quartet with J Anthony Granelli, David Tronzo & Christian Kogel.

Blues artists Michael Powers Frequency Trio appear along with Morgan Davis.

Five free one-hour noon performances will feature Roots Collaboration Project, with tabla artist Ravi Naimpally, violinist Kathleen Kajioka, Brazilian percussionist Celso Machado, Antigonish pianist and fiddler Troy MacGillivray and vocalist Tena Palmer.

2006 features a new and unique project pairing live music with silent films, featuring Toronto’s Andrew Downing’s chamber quintet Melodeon, who will perform a score composed by clarinetist Francois Houle for A Trip To the Moon and a score written by Downing for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, pianist/accordionist Sageev Oore, who will play a mix of improvised and composed music to accompany Charlie Chaplin classics, and the Paul Cram quintet, who will perform an original score to the Buster Keaton film, Steamboat Bill.

for more information visit www.jazzeast.com

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