Halifax Jazz Festival 2019 | Interview | Stingray Rising Stars

By: Brad DrydenMon, 07/15/2019
Zamani - Photo credit: Paige Taylor

Hi there!

It’s Brad Dryden, from the Morning Breeze with Brad and Natalie. It was my pleasure to present the Stingray Rising Stars award at TD Halifax Jazz Festival, a longstanding Stingray Music partner.

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival, formerly known as the Atlantic Jazz Festival, is the oldest jazz festival and largest summer festival in Atlantic Canada. Now in its 33rd year, the festival attracts up to 55,000 visitors, involves 450 volunteers, and employs over 350 local musicians.

This year, the Stingray Rising Stars finalists were Sam Wilson Quintet, Malleus Trio, Ethan Adrelli Quartet, Audrey Ochoa, and Zamani.

This year’s winner Zamani was chosen through a two-tiered process of peer assessment and voting. Stingray Music awarded her with a $3,000 bursary to advance her career. Voting took place online and at the Stingray Music booth at the Waterfront TD Main Stage. Close to 2650 people voted online this year as did many festivalgoers on site. I was pleased to announce the winner on Sunday, July 14, from the Waterfront Stage. Thank you to all who cast their votes!

About the winner:

2018 established Zamani as one of Nova Scotia’s most promising emerging artists. Her performance credits have stacked-up as she has taken the stage, performing everywhere from the Nova Scotia Mass Choir’s MLK Concert, to Global TV. As Zamani gained the attention of key festivals and venues, she ended the year capturing a lead role in the Halifax premiere of Viola Desmond - The Musical.

We sat down with Zamani to tell us more about her win.

What is your earliest musical memory?

Going out to my dad’s studio – we have a home studio – and just recording a few songs out there when I was seven or eight, and just fooling around with it.  And now it’s become something I do all the time.  It’s great to come full-circle.

Where/when did you start playing professionally?

My first professional performance, I was 13 or 14, was the For the Love Of God concert that was put on by Corey Adams.

Who are your main influences?

My main musical influences would certainly be my parents.  I’m a huge lover of Tyler the Creator, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder.

How did you come to play at the Halifax Jazz Festival?

My dad has actually been performing at the Halifax Jazz Festival for years, since the ‘90s. So I’ve always been going, and now I’m able to perform because my dad knows some of the people who organize it, so that’s how I was able to perform.

Congratulations on winning the Stingray Rising Stars award! What do you plan to do with the bursary?

I plan to use the money for studio equipment, travel, anything that can help propel my music career!

Brad Dryden (96.5 The Breeze) & Zamani (Stingray Rising Stars winner)
Brad Dryden (96.5 The Breeze) & Zamani (Stingray Rising Stars winner)


Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter