This blog was written by Tiffany Thornton.
Halifax has always been a music town. You can find a gig playing somewhere in the city every night of the week, with such a variance of sound ranging from smooth jazz, to old school blues to rock.
Halifax was once deemed “The Seattle of the North” in the nineties for its grunge rock bands that were making waves, groups like Sloan, Thrush Hermit and Super Friendz. It’s hard not to feel musically inspired in a city that sits at the edge of the world’s second largest harbour, jutting out towards the rugged Atlantic coast, while off in the faint distance a light house casts its maritime spell. It certainly makes for a great sonnet.
Whatever you are in the mood for, these top six music venues in the city are bound to help you get your groove on.
6. The Press Gang: On a Friday or Saturday night it is the place to be for some cool jazz. Mike Cowie, the trumpet master, and his trio, perform some fabulously jazzed-up renditions of classic rock and pop, all housed in a 17th century building with its timeworn aesthetic charm. Throw back an oyster or two and enjoy some soulful jazz.
Address: 5218 Prince St.
5. Economy Shoe Shop: Imagine the feeling of a New York City speakeasy in the 1940s, wrapped in an eclectic vibe, and you have “Monday Night Jazz”, Halifax’s longest running live music jazz venue. You can catch classically trained Cuban pianist Silvio Pupo weaving his magic alongside a superb ensemble from 9:30 to midnight.
Address: 1663 Argyle St.
4. The Carleton: A true music staple in the city – who has NOT played at the Carleton? From Grammy Award Winning songwriter Gordie Sampson to indie rocker Joel Plaskett, it’s the spot for all genres of music to perform, old and new bands alike. Down imbibes while listening to live music as you sit next to the still intact stonewalls of the city’s oldest building, which dates to circa 1759.
Address: 1685 Argyle St.
3. The Old Triangle: In a city filled with strong Irish history one would expect to find the perfect quintessential Celtic Irish pub offering up live music seven nights a week. You may have to try your hand at a wee Irish set dance during the open sessions, where dance group Scaip na Cleiti performs along side the fiddle and more.
Address: 5136 Prince St.
2. The Split Crow Pub: Touted as Halifax’s original tavern, the Split Crow and its concept dates back, to 1749 when an aptly named Mr. Shippey was granted the first license to sell beer and liquor. Live music reverberates off the walls almost every night of the week, featuring acts like The Persuaders, who have been belting out classic rock since the late eighties.
Address: 1855 Granville St.
1. Durty Nelly’s: An authentic Irish pub on Halifax’s bustling Argyle Street, Durty Nelly’s is an eventful pub for live music, with performances happening nearly every night. Enjoy a traditional Ceilidh gathering on Thursdays, dancing and upbeat music on Fridays and Saturdays and open mic on Sundays. To see more live music details and upcoming performances visit Durty Nelly’s schedule here.
Address: 1660 Argyle St