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Music and Concerts 

The best of summer music in and around Halifax, from folk to country to rock to whatever Black Eyed Peas are.


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[ June | July | August ]

June 25
Buffy Sainte-Marie
There's not much Buffy Sainte-Marie can't do. As a pioneer, Sainte-Marie has crafted 18 albums, won an Oscar for her song “Up Where We Belong,��� spent five years on Sesame Street, helped found the music of aboriginal Canada Juno awards category, earned a PhD in fine arts and raised a son, to mention a few of her credentials. The internationally acclaimed activist pop star is heading to Halifax in honour of the Grand Chief Membertou 400, a celebration of Native culture. (Be sure to check out all the events going on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Common as part of the Halifax Pow Wow, including cultural demonstrations, basket weaving, storytelling, drum making, and food!) With passion, resilience and true artistry, Sainte-Marie explores all musical genres, from folk/roots to rockabilly, rock, country and dance. —SWC 8pm, Halifax Common, free,


July 2-4
Stan Rogers Folk Festival
Every summer some of the country’s finest songwriters make the trek to Canso to celebrate the season, music and outdoor festivals. This year Royal Wood just couldn't wait. He dipped into Halifax opening with David Gray this past May in honour of the release of his latest album, The Waiting. For this year’s Stanfest he's joined by fellow eager festival enthusiasts and acclaimed musicians Kathleen Edwards, Alan Levandoski, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Danny Michel, Dave Gunning, David Myles, Deep Dark Woods, Duane Andrews, Old Man Luedecke, Paper Lions, Ron Hynes, The Once, The Good Lovelies, Steve Poltz and more. —SWC Canso, $39-$96,

July 9-17
Halifax Jazz Festival
Halifax is at its best when it’s alive with jazz. This year’s annual Halifax Jazz Festival brings some of the finest, most skilled players and experimental musicians from all over the world. Some of the highlights of this year’s Jazz Fest include: Samba Nova, NOMO, Andre Leroux Quartet, Nova Scotia Gospel Ensemble, Rob Crowell’s Eddie Harris Tribute, flamenco six-piece Con Brio, Beyond Brazil, Erin Costelo, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Andres Godoy and De La Soul. Soak in the smooth sounds on your lunch break at the festival tent, in the evening at local venues such as Stayner’s Wharf or just wandering down Spring Garden Road. —CK Various locations, free-$220,

July 23-25
Held on the full-moon weekend, this year’s Evolve festival lineup is sure to inspire hooting and howling. With more than 100 artists spread over five stages, this year's highlights bring banjo-plucker Old Man Luedecke, Jenn Grant and her ethereal vocals, childhood favourite Fred Penner, David Myles, Easy Star All-Stars, Pretty Lights, Champion & His G-Strings, Hey Rosetta!, Dubtribe and Ganga Giri together at one celebration of art and sound. Other festival wonders includes massage, yoga and meditation workshop, cargo net and hammock construction, hula-hoop dance instruction, juggling, rhythm and percussion techniques and handrum workshops for experts and beginners. —SWC Antigonish, $125,

July 23-24
Halifax Rocks
Halifax Rocks boasts two days of nostalgia so bust out your ’90s mixtape collection in order to properly prepare. If the crotch-grabbing cowboy Kid Rock isn’t your thing, Counting Crows should elicit quite a crowd sing-along---we all want something beautiful, don’t we? Or perhaps it’s Weezer who tickles your fancy, as Rivers Cuomo proves that even a Harvard degree can’t shake rock ’n’ roll outta your soul. Other highlights include Tonic, the Black Eyed Peas, Hot Hot Heat, Daughtry, Chad Hatcher and hometown heroes Classified, The Stanfields and Rich Aucoin. —SWC Halifax Common, $109-$179,, 451-1221

July 24-25
Simon and Garfunkel
Some songs enter your life at a specific time and period. When they exit the songs don’t vanish, they merely trickle down the river and wait for some other day to spark an old memory. For those who know that darkness is an old friend, Paul and Art are reuniting for two evenings of song and light at the Metro Centre. After rescheduling their May 17 and 18th shows, the twosome are dipping into the vault, most likely set to perform many classics such as “The Boxer,��� “The Sound of Silence,��� “Bridge Over Troubled Water,��� “Mrs. Robinson,��� “Homeward Bound��� and “I Am a Rock.��� —SWC Halifax Metro Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, 8pm, $99-$149,, 451-1221

July 26
Let’s see if we got this straight: Righteous metal giants Slayer---along with Megadeth and Machine Head---were to have played Halifax November 9, 2009, on the Canadian Carnage Tour, but Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya had to undergo treatment for a chronic back complaint---impertinent wags suggested it was due to years of enthusiastic headbanging---and the dates were rescheduled for February 23, 2010. Machine Head was off the slate, but Testament joined the tour. Then the show was postponed again as Araya went in for surgery. The third time should do it, with a hale and hearty Araya fronting Slayer while Megadeth and Testament provide support, rocking the Metro Centre off its foundations. —CK Halifax Metro Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, 6:30pm, $72,, 451-1221

July 30-August 1
New Glasgow Riverfront Music Jubilee
Now in its 15th year, the three-day community festival is headlining some serious talent this year. On Friday, July 30, among many other acts, expect Alert the Medic and The Trews. On Saturday, July 31, you’ll see Molly Thomason, The Stanfields, Matthew Barber and Sloan. And on Sunday, August 1, the lineup includes Thom Swift, JP Cormier, Dave Gunning and Blue Rodeo. —CK Carmichael Park, New Glasgow, $20-$30,

July 30-August 1
Sackville’s SappyFest is at the heart of New Brunswick and indie hipsters alike. And everyone is thrilled about the last minute decision to add the legendary BJ Snowden to the lineup. “It almost feels like Ms. Snowden was the missing piece of the puzzle this year,��� says artistic director, Paul Henderson. “We’ve tried to remain interesting and interested as programmers, creating some unique spaces in the sea of skinny jeans and guitars.��� Other acts include Baby Eagle, Baird Brothers, By Divine Right, Chad Van Gaalen, Contrived, Day, the Heavy Blinkers, Holy Fuck, Julie Doiron, Old Man Luedecke, The Sadies, Shotgun Jimmie and Snailhouse. —SWC Sackville, New Brunswick, $85,

July 31
The Sadies
Canada has a soft spot for alt-country music; The Sadies are the country’s darlings. With psychedelic rock-infused country, The Sadies are celebrating the release of their latest album, Darker Circles. Following The Sadies’ Juno-award-winning album, New Seasons (2007), the 11-track collection Darker Circles was produced by Jayhawks guitarist Gary Louris, and is a milestone in their career, or so says Chart Attack. But it’s the live show that truly makes The Sadies legendary, with high energy and rock ’n’ roll fury, this is a performance not to be missed. It’s certainly no Sadie Hawkins dance. —SWC The Paragon Theatre, 2037 Gottingen Street, $15-$20,


August 5-8
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
Fresh off their Juno win, The Good Lovelies return to Nova Scotia to share all of their goodness and rather lovely charms. The last time the trio was in town, the ground was frozen solid and covered in snow while they performed a stunning set at the In the Dead of Winter Festival. Join them for a summer show at the annual Lunenburg Folk Harbour festival, along with Bill Plaskett and friends, Carmel Mikol, Cathy Martin, Clary Croft, David Francey, Old Man Luedecke, Maria Dunn, Pat Watson, The Barra Macneils, The Grass Mountain Hobos, Ken Whiteley, Gadelle and more. —SWC Lunenburg, $20-$150,

August 6-7
Country Rockfest 2010
There’s always the curiosity factor when a movie star ventures into the world of music, and when Kevin Costner---with his band, Modern West---sang “Mixing gasoline with my NASCAR dreams��� in his hit “Backyard,��� he made a genuine play for country music authenticity. Frankly, we'd pay to see him deliver his monologue from Bull Durham about high fibre, good scotch and Susan Sontag. Never was he cooler. He'll be joined by Alan Jackson, George Canyon, Lonestar, Johnny Reid and others. —CK Halifax Common, Friday $60, Saturday $90.75 (weekend pass) $121.25,, 451-1221

August 7
Summer Rush
You’d better hustle for this year’s Summer Rush as Hedley, Stereos, Jay Sean, LMFAO, Down With Webster, Ricky J, Kardinal Offishall, Girlicious and Faber Drive are set to entertain listeners beneath the night sky and glittering glow of the lights dancing on the Halifax harbour. Be sure to charge up your cellphone batteries---Rogers-sponsored events stream text messages on gigantic screens and charge you for their advertisements. (A sneaky capitalist trick if there ever was one.) Send out your text love to the brats from Hedley, I’m sure they'll moon you in return. —SWC Alderney Landing, Dartmouth, 4pm, $32-$44,

August 16
Juliette Lewis
Bust cover girl and Ellen Page’s Whip It co-star Juliette Lewis could give Courtney Love a run for her money. With four albums to date, Lewis’ latest release Terra Incognita, produced by Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, explores shame, sorrow and stardom. Lewis is the ultimate it-girl---she acts, sings and entertains. Her on-stage theatrics are as good as her on-screen moves, she’s wild with abandon, passionate, ferocious and fearless. With a strong rhythm section, bold vocals and heavy rock hooks, “Suicide Dive Bombers,��� “Female Persecution��� and “Ghosts��� are some of the album’s highlights. Lewis has definitely got what it takes. —SWC The Paragon Theatre, 2307 Gottingen Street, 10pm, $25-$30,, 888-311-9090

August 13-15
2010 Dutch Mason Blues Festival
The premier blues music event in Atlantic Canada returns for another year, proudly carrying on the legacy of the Prime Minister of the Blues, Norman “Dutch��� Mason. Of course, the Scion of the Blues, Garrett Mason, will perform. Along with him, the festival that has delivered to Nova Scotia blues legends such as Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy this year brings another raft of big names: Robert Cray, Jonny Lang, James Cotton, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks and more. Kick back with a beer and enjoy three days of blues, bikes (custom motorcycle show) and barbecue (sauce competition). —CK Truro Raceway, Friday $55.75, Saturday $78.75, Sunday $44.25 (three-day pass $159.25),, 451-1221


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