New for the festival this year is a lounge series in partnership with venues around Halifax and Dartmouth in the week leading up to the festival.
Asif Illyas has been a full-time professional recording artist for 20 years and is currently producer and owner at his recording studio,The SHIRE, in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A recent recipient of “Best Score” at the 2011 Atlantic Film Festival, Asif also composes original score for film.
As an experienced stage and studio performer in the pop group, MIR, he toured the planet extensively and has received numerous awards and nominations for songwriting and producing. His skills as a producer have attracted artists such as Cutting Crew, Ashley MacIsaac,David Myles, and Ria Mae. His latest self-produced and self-performed effort is a solo album, entitled “Synesthesia”, which was recorded by Asif.
Danielle Smith is an anomaly. Her smoky, sultry voice didn’t get that way naturally. She left her safe harbour in Newfoundland and has since traveled far and wide. She hasn’t just been everywhere. She has LIVED everywhere. Taking all of her experiences and life lessons and crafting them into her debut album Little Seeds; nominated for Music Nova Scotia’s Americana/Bluegrass Record of the Year. A collection of stories reminiscent of a time when the lines blurred between folk, country and bluegrass and yet modern and poignant as if she was sitting down talking directly with you over a few glasses of something red or something in a brown bottle, she’s not picky. Don’t let the pretty girl in the summer dress look fool you. Danielle is no ingenue. She’s full of fire and goes after what she wants. Since the release of Little seeds she has traversed parts of Canada and Europe where those seeds are starting to grow. Danielle’s passion and creative wordplay can now be heard on both commercial radio and the university/college circuit across the country. She calls Halifax her home base now but she is rarely home for long because she is either hitting the road solo or with her trio.
Mexico City native Inti Gonzalez moved to Nova Scotia in 2008 looking for like-minded musicians to create music that would fuse rhythm, poetry and the spirit of dance.
After two years of searching and playing with some of the best artists Halifax has to offer, Inti came across four veteran musicians who shared his vision. The result was Zulkamoon.
This exciting band blends genres like cumbia, reggae, ska, and
traditional Mexican folk music with funk, jazz, blues, and rock. Truly
the best of both worlds, Zulkamoon incorporates both Spanish and
English lyrics over infectious, dance grooves that appeal to young and old alike. This up and coming band has toured across Mexico, performed at the Halifax Jazzfest, and is a local favourite at the Seaport Market.
A performer since the age of five, Ukraine-born pop singer Iryna Gerus has toured in Poland, Russia, Germany, the Slovak Republic, India and Jordan.
Her album “Mentor” contains 14 original songs written and performed in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.
Iryna isn’t just another pretty face. Born to a family of mathematicians, in addition to her studies in music, she holds a Master’s degree in Economics.
Iryna will be performing over the festival weekend on the mainstage as well as entertaining in our Children’s Pavilion.