Halifax Jazz Festival artistic director Laura (Lulu) Healy stacked the lineup of this year’s event with an eclectic mix of local, national, and international musicians and entertainers.

Is hip hop taking over the Jazz Fest this year?

Definitely not! With over 100 concerts, there’s only one concert that’s hip-hop based and there’s also some jazzy elements to it, so it really ties into the rest of the festival. De La Soul were the innovators of using jazz sampling in their music and the local group The Extremities use a lot of jazzy elements and there will be a live band there.

How much local talent is there?
There’s over 360 musicians from the local area so most of the festival is local musicians. We bring in about 150 touring musicians from Canada and elsewhere in the world. Local people make up a great part of the festival.

Where will Jazz Fest be next year?
We are in eight venues across the city this year and we’ll use a lot of the same venues next year. As far as our main outdoor stage, that’s the stage that’s moving and we don’t know where we’re going. We’re looking at a lot of different options that are interesting but nothing looks exactly the same as what we’re working with now. It’s a good chance to re-imagine what we want the footprint of the festival to look like.

Can you name three un-missable shows?
Wow, that’s hard for me because it’s all music that I love ... Reut Regev is from Israel but she lives in New Jersey. Don’t miss her, she’s pretty great. Boom Pam is an Israeli surf-rock trio at the festival tent. I’m really excited about the Peter Van Huffel Quartet. They’re coming in from Berlin and there are musicians from three different countries in the band. It’s pretty modern jazz, really exciting music.

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