JazzFest at historic Darke Hall

By Costa Maragos Posted: June 16, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Ester Rada is the headliner at Darke Hall June 17
Ester Rada is the headliner at Darke Hall June 17 (Photo courtesy of JazzFest Regina 2015).

Historic Darke Hall is the venue for two of the headliner acts at this year’s Regina JazzFest June 17 – 21.

“Darke Hall is a wonderful venue for jazz,” says Peter Champagne, President of the Regina Jazz Society, which is organizing JazzFest 2015. The University of Regina is one of the sponsors of the event.

“Not only does Darke Hall boast one of the best venues in the city for its acoustics, but the ambience is perfectly suited to that of exceptional jazz artists and their performances.”

JazzFest kicks off at Darke Hall with two shows featuring solo artist Ester Rada and the Halifax-based group Gypsophilia.

“We are really excited to be playing a venue with such history,” says Gypsophilia member Alec Frith. “People can expect to hear new original music from us that may at any time remind them of a number of old musical traditions, all with the intention of moving forward and putting on a joy-filled show with a focus on audience connection.”  

Gypsophilia takes the stage 7:00 p.m., followed by Ester Rada at 8:30 p.m.

“Ester has been called the Queen of Ethiopian Soul. She’s young, beautiful and a superstar in Israel and is now breaking into the North American marketplace,” says Champagne.

A second show at Darke Hall June 19 features the Montreal-based Christine Jensen Big Band.

“The ambience of Darke Hall is second to no other venue. The light streaming through the glass windows on a warm summer night is a thing of beauty,” says Champagne. “As well, most importantly, the donation of the $250,000 Fazioli piano by patrons Elmer Brenner and Dr. Roberta McKay make the venue a perfect attraction to discerning jazz musicians.”

Aside from the headliner acts, JazzFest 2015 features over 40 acts of local musicians performing on free stages throughout the city.

As an added bonus, musicians are booked at various bars before or after the headliners shows.

For a line up of the acts, locations and ticket information please visit here.

Darke Hall is located at the U of R’s College Avenue Campus. The campus renewal project is the University’s number one capital fundraising priority in 2015. Please visit us here for information on how you can help.