The Beginning of Black Jazz in Eastern Canada

Free online event.

Eastern Canada has contributed many talented Black jazz musicians to the stages and pages of music history. This presentation highlights a few ground-breakers and Black influencers from the prewar period, the heyday of Jazz. In our collective subconscious, Black music and dance inspires African Canadians to strive for greatness and unite under the banner of music culture. Often controversial and political, Black music culture is a tangible manifestation of spiritual freedom and an invaluable outlet for Black Canadians to express their selfhood and boundless creativity.

Wade Pfaff was born in Toronto during the Civil Rights Movement to a family of South African educators. A musician, creative artist and academic, Wade’s interests range from conducting Canadian Black history research, to studying and playing music from the trans-Atlantic diaspora on guitar and drums, to developing cultural education programs for marginalized youth.

After completing a Bachelor of Community Studies degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cape Breton University, where he was greatly influenced by Dr. Graham Reynolds, he went to Halifax to obtain a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Afua Cooper. Wade is a Visiting-scholar-in-residence at Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sound Communities where he continues to study the relationship between the music of trans-Atlantic Black cultures during the early 20th century (especially Jazz and Blues) and improvements in civil rights for people-of-colour that came later in the century in Canada.

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