Janice Isabel Jackson

Vocalist, New Music Specialist

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About

Winner 2018 Canadian League of Composers / Canadian Music Centre’s Friends of Canadian Music Award Read More Here

I have been bringing new vocal works to life for over 30 years. I have always approached the music as a child discovering the world for the first time.

In my world, no feeling or sound is off limits.  The human voice is a miracle of nature, unconstrained by rules that make one type of sound preferable over another.  As human beings, we have an infinity of sounds at our disposal, but most singers only partake of a very narrow range of what is available to them.

My world is a rich and resonant one, full of sounds that I intuitively connect to underlying emotions and the stories they can tell us.  From improvisation to electro-acoustics to extended vocalization and new opera, I have an insatiable curiosity for the never ending potential of the voice.

My performances often explore challenging contemporary issues, the dark side of human existence, mythology, legend, folklore.  From dragging chains across the stage to lying naked under a diaphanous chiffon to inhabiting the haunted visions a mythological creature, I am compelled to present works that are both visually and musically evocative.

In my work, I often explore the music of other cultures, the lives of influential women, the difficult stories of the culture in which I live – hard topics that allow the audience to reflect, access deep emotion, and ponder the meaning of their own existence.   

My ultimate goal is to be an ambassador for the soul of the music, without judgment or preconceived notions as to what is or is not relevant.  I embrace aesthetically beautiful sounds, but I do not shy away from what some would perceive as harsh or ugly.  I am constantly exploring new ways of using the voice, allowing the music to show me how to sing it.  I wish to be as diverse and open to the voices potential and flexibility as I can and in cooperation with the audience to inspire, communicate, amuse, engage and captivate.

“You have inhabited my music world with grace, power, imagination, and an infant like openness”. Etienne Rolin, Composer, Bordeaux, France

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Biography

Janice Isabel JacksonSoprano, Contemporary Music Specialist, Producer, Vocal Instructor – Coach

Janice Isabel Jackson has sung over 240 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and performed with contemporary music ensembles and in modern music festivals and concert halls around the world: Beijing, Paris, Brussels, Hong Kong, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Torino, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berlin, Johannesburg, Cape Town and more.  She has appeared in countless contemporary music festivals including the November Festival (Ghent), Wien Modern (Vienna), Ludwigs Lust (Hamburg), The Proms (Amsterdam), IRCAM (Paris), Big Torino 2000 (Turin), and the Diem Festival of Electro-acoustic music (Denmark).   She is the Artistic Director of the Halifax based music society Vocalypse Productions, a presenter of contemporary voice projects, through which she has produced and performed in many new works including: Vonda de Ville in Temporal Follies (2008) by Lukas Pearse, a jazz opera by New York’s D.D. Jackson entitled Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path (2009), 3 new mini operas entitled HOWL (2013) based on Ginsberg’s famous rant, Miss Fortune’s Portmanteau (2014), a one hour show concerning women from Victorian Halifax, Montreal Tim Brady’s new opera Ghost Tango (2015), and a concert performance of Escape to Freedom (2019), an opera by Halifax’s Sandy Moore concerning Canadian Mona Parson’s escape from a Nazi work camp.

Her duo, Newfangled, with pianist Barbara Pritchard focuses on new Canadian compositions for voice and piano.  She also performs in the Teleet trio, which combines western and middle eastern instruments in exotic arrangements of international folk songs.  In 2018 – 2019 she performed throughout France in CO2 Cycle de Lieder, a multimedia project by Belgian composer Patrick Defossez, which combined stunning live video graphics with rare and exotic instruments.  Jackson has been composing for solo voice for the past several years and in 2020 she completed a cycle of 13 solo songs entitled Oh Death based on poetry by artist Annie Martin which she performed in Upstream Music Associations’ 2021 OPEN WATERS Festival.  Her orchestral premieres include:  7 songs entitled We’re Hardcore based on texts by the Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Jerome Blais’ Songs for Milena with Symphony Nova Scotia.   She can be heard on many CD’s, including Live Wired (2015), on which she premiered (Un)Forgotten Voices (first prize in the Concours Collégien de musique contemporaine) by Jerome Blais.  Her recent activities include co-directing and producing Ordo Virtutum along with singing the solo in a companion piece by Canadian composer, James Rolfe, entitled O Greenest Branch, a Vocalypse Production.

Janice Isabel Jackson continues to gain support for her activities through grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia.  Jackson was honored with the Friends of Canadian Music Award through the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre.  She has also received an Established Artist Award from the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council and an award from the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia for her contribution to Nova Scotian culture.

Janice’s Biography

Outreach

Click Here to View Outreach Programs

Click Here for Janice’s Teaching Resume

Photo Gallery

Press

Her performances bring out the beauty of contemporary vocal repertoire.  Music Weekly, Beijing, China

Janice Jackson as a singer alone is top class.  Jackson has daring and an exceptional talent.  Brabants Dagblad, Netherlands

Music can move you. Listening to the singing of Janice Jackson brought to me a sense of sorrow.  Sadness that came from the realization that such intense music making is seldom experienced and so very worthwhile.  De Limburger, Netherlands

Soprano Janice Jackson gave a literally breathtaking performance of Luciano Berio’s Sequenze III.  In a few minutes time we not only heard a vast array of possibilities of the human voice, but also of emotions.   Stad Amersfoort, Netherlands

Janice Jackson garnered much admiration for her interpretation of Heppener’s Candens (1990).  Trouw, Netherlands

Jackson’s performance was extraordinary – there were a couple of occasions when I would have sworn there were two people singing – and totally mesmerizing.  Music in Victoria, Deryk Barker

… a tour-de-force of the highest order.  I doubt there is another singer in Canada who can for so long grip our attention in a chemical-like bond as Jackson does.  The Halifax Chronicle Herald

[Berio’s] music still sets the standard for extended vocal techniques but Janice Jackson can meet that standard proudly.
Toronto Star

…a crystal-cracking voice of astonishing purity.  The Halifax Chronicle Herald

View Additional Press

Read Full Reviews Here

Programs

Voice Dance
– The potential of the human voice

PROTEST
– Soprano, electronics, megaphone

Echoes of Time
– Saga, tales and myth

Upcoming Events

Ordo Virtutum – Hildegard von Bingen (producer, co-director)
O Greenest Branch – James Rolfe (singer)
Janice I Jackson, producer, co-director, singer
Thursday, October 21st through 24th, 2021
Saint Patrick’s Church, Brunswick Street
Presented by Vocalypse Productions
Read more here

Videos

View my Youtube Channel

Follow Janice

Phone: 902-429-1899
Mail: janice.jackson.newmusic [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com
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