Today free concerts at the Halifax Jazz Festival tent run from 12pm to 5pm, and Festival Jazz Around Town concerts kick off at 3pm at Stayner’s Wharf. From under the big top on the water’s edge, to chic restos and bars on both sides of the bridge, and 1313 Hollis (a funky space with amazing acoustics) jazz and other musical frequencies will be vibrating through much of HRM.
Tonight you night owls are in for a treat! JR Smith will be playing The Company House at 11pm. Arts East recently caught up with Smith, who is known as a “young drumming phenomenon” and one to keep an eye on as his talent continues to soar.
Where are you from?
JRS: I am from the community of North Preston, Nova Scotia, the largest black indigenous community in Canada.
When did you start drumming and how did you get into it?
JRS: I started drumming when I was 4 years old. I ran around the house playing on my mother’s pots and pans, so they decided to buy me a set of drums that Christmas.
When did you start performing in front of audiences?
JRS: I started performing in church at the age of 9. I began performing professionally at outside events at the age of 14.
Are you addicted to playing the drums? (Do you practice all the time)?
JRS: I keep a tight practice schedule, minimum an hour each day.
Who are two of your musical heroes/influences?
JRS: The Gospel Heirs and the Carson Downey Band are two of my musical heroes and influences.
What's next for you?
JRS: My future goals are to continue working with my sister Reeny Smith on her album and to complete my music degree.
Which acts do you want to catch at this year's Halifax Jazz Fest?JRS: I would love to catch THE WAILERS, but the Jazz Fest is always a great experience and I am excited to take in as much as possible.