Ann Helga Denny is a Haligonian of Icelandic Canadian descent. She is a singer/songwriter and classically trained vocalist known locally for her interpretations of French 20th century songs. She also loves to sing songs in Icelandic, either traditional folk tunes, or melodies of her own devising. At Halifax’s new Mosaic and Evergreen festivals last fall, Ann Helga offered a hybrid of original music in Icelandic, French, and English, improvised to beats made by local hip hop producers. The development of Ann’s extremely powerful and expressive vocal style comes from hybrid training in a variety of Western music genres. Her operatic studies since the age of 12 and includes private coaching from numerous teachers across Canada.
Ann’s original musical output is a hybrid of adult contemporary jazz, soul, funk, pop, and indie. Growing up in London Ontario, in the orbit of influential Canadian artist and musician Greg Curnoe, Ann then became part of the Toronto indie rock world of the 2000s, collaborating with then-emerging musicians such as Owen Pallett and playing in shoegazer band The Airfields. Ann spent a season singing for the Icelandic National Opera. Moving to Halifax in 2007, she started her own band Mother of Girl in 2010. It quickly gained attention at the premiere performance (Open Waters) and was booked at the Guelph Jazz Festival and Montreal’s Casa del Popolo.
Ann is currently an improvisational psalmist at St Paul’s Anglican church, singing in the beautiful acoustics of that church. Ann is also the co-creator and co-founder of Youth Art Connection a Halifax NS-based charity that supports priority youth through the power of the arts. She spearheaded the now ongoing EMERGE festival to support youth of diverse backgrounds to have a performance platform and pursue their artistic dreams.
During the pandemic, Ann Helga recently became an Audible author, with a book about financial independence (several more titles upcoming) in order to help artists live their best and most creative lives.
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