The 23rd Atlantic Jazz Festival is coming to Halifax next month and organizers say it’s going to feature high-energy music that should keep your pulse up.

With more than 500 musicians and 90 performances, it remains Halifax’s largest music festival, with an estimated tab of $900,000 to hire musicians and buy local services, according to executive director Sarah Watling.

Organizers said they expect more than 65,000 people to catch the shows, which run from July 10-18.


President of Jazz East Chris Elson said that despite many events coming to Halifax, he expects it to be a busy year. Jazz East is a partner with the festival and provides support and oversight for the event.

“We’re thinking of it as a friendly competition,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll be a negative impact, and what we’re hoping is that with several thousand, maybe several tens of thousands of people here from out of town, they might consider getting a two-day pass for the festival.”

Elson said that if people are here to listen to music, then Paul McCartney - who plays the Halifax Commons on July 11 - does not have to be their only option.

This year’s Jazz Fest has a new artistic director, Lulu Healy, and it should give the festival a new feel, Elson said.

“I think this year’s program has a really distinctive character; it’s very exciting.”
The tagline for this year’s festival is Check Your Pulse, and Healy said that phrase truly captures the theme of the upcoming performances.

“It’s a challenge to check your pulse; to see if you’re living to your full potential,” she said. “A challenge to get out of your comfort zone and take a risk by listening to something new and your spirit will be enriched in return.”