Janice Isabel Jackson

Vocalist, New Music Specialist

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

Janice Isabel Jackson has sung over 230 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and performed with contemporary music ensembles and in concert halls around the world – Beijing, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Torino, Vancouver, 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), the Diem Festival of Electro-acoustic music (Denmark), Italian New Music Festival (Toronto), Open Waters Festival (Halifax) and the Scotia Festival of Music (Nova Scotia).  She is also the Artistic Director of the Halifax based contemporary vocal music society Vocalypse Productions, 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 Escape to Freedom (2019) by Halifax’s Sandy Moore concerning the Mona Parson’s escape from a Nazi work camp.

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, 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 current activities include 3 lecture performances entitled Uncaged, centered on the music of John Cage at the Halifax Central Library as well as a program of Canadian vocal solos with New Music Concerts in Toronto.  Her company Vocalypse Productions is producing Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum (the first morality play) together with a new work by Canadian composer James Rolfe, inspired by the Bingen.  Newfangled (her duo with Barbara Pritchard) has commissioned a new work from Montreal composer Marie Pelletier entitled Supra Sopra which touches on new technology and man made energy sources.   Future plans include a new opera by Vancouver’s Bob Pritchard centered around spiritualism in Canada at the turn of the 20th century.  She is also planning a 2nd MINT conference which focuses on new technologies and the voice.
She is also composing her 3rd solo vocal work entitled Oh Death, based on a suite of poetry by visual artist Annie Martin.  Oh Death will be premiered and presented as part of an experimental audio visual installation presentation in 2020/21.

Janice Isabel Jackson continues to gain support for her activities through grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia.  In recognition of her contribution to Nova Scotia’s artistic and cultural life, she has received awards from both the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and The Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.  And for her commitment to the performance of new Canadian music, she recently received the Friend of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre.

Future projects include:  Her solo program entitled Voice Dance featuring some of the most challenging works of contemporary music, highlighting the vast array sounds which the voice is capable of and the deep emotional connection which sound elicits.  Uncaged with pianist Barbara Pritchard.  A series of performances featuring the music of John Cage and Canadian composers who were inspired by him.

Janice’s Biography


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Click Here for Janice’s Teaching Resume


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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

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Read Full Reviews Here


Voice Dance
– The potential of the human voice

– Soprano, electronics, megaphone

Echoes of Time
– Saga, tales and myth

Upcoming Events

Newfangled presents Uncaged
John Cage – the early years

With Barbara Prichard, piano
Saturday, November 23, 2019 @ 2pm
Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall
Presented by Newfangled and
The Halifax Central Library

Voice Dance
Exotic New Canadian Vocal Solos
Saturday, January 4th, 2020 @ 3pm
MacAloney Room
Dalhousie Arts Centre, Halifax

International Folk Songs with a twist
Sunday, January 5th, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Janice I Jackson (voice), Arash Delavar (guitar)
Mohammad Sahraei (tar, setar) with
Matt Gallant (percussion)
Jacquez Mindreau (violin)
Lukas Pearse (double bass)
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax

Voice Dance
Exotic New Canadian Vocal Solos
Part of “The Mouths That Roar”
Friday, January 10th, 2020 @ 8pm
New Music Concerts
The Music Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Read Review Here

Newfangled presents Uncaged
John Cage – the middle years
Saturday, February 15th, 2020 @ 2pm
With Barbara Pritchard, piano
Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall
Presented by Newfangled and The Halifax Central Library

Newfangled presents Uncaged
John Cage – the late works
With Barbara Pritchard, piano
Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 @ 2pm
Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall
Presented by Newfangled and The Halifax Central Library


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Follow Janice

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