The Toronto Jazz Orchestra

Featuring Allison Toffan-Tap Dancing

Josh Grossman’s Jazz Orchestra

Formed in 1998, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra is an 18-piece big bandmade up of recent graduates from Toronto’s top university and collegejazz programs – some of Toronto’s best young jazz musicians. Performingexciting and interesting big band music – from the leading edge ofcontemporary composition to the classic tunes of the past – the TorontoJazz Orchestra seeks to educate, entertain, and increase the public’sunderstanding and appreciation of jazz.

Over the past nine years the Toronto Jazz Orchestra has performedregularly at Toronto’s Rex Hotel and, prior to its closing, TheMontreal Bistro. Since winning the top prize at the Markham JazzFestival’s Jazz Stars of the Future competition in 2000, the ensemblehas appeared in the JVC, Beaches, Lakefield, and Markham JazzFestivals.

As part of their regular performance schedule, the Toronto JazzOrchestra has undertaken several major projects. In 2001 they releasedtheir self-titled inaugural compact disc to strong reviews and wereawarded a Toronto Arts Council Project Grant for their performance ofthe Cuban Fire Suite, as recorded by the Stan Kenton Orchestra; in 2002they presented an evening with Phil Nimmons, featuring a performance ofThe Atlantic Suite. In 2003 they were awarded a Canada CouncilCommissioning of Canadian Compositions grant, which helped in theircommissioning of a new piece by Hugh Fraser, and released their secondcompact disc, Under A Tree, which exclusively features originalCanadian compositions. In 2004 they presented their first annual YoungComposer’s Competition, designed to encourage the creation of new worksfor big band by young Canadian composers, and presented the music ofStan Kenton.

In 2005 the Toronto Jazz Orchestra performed in Collingwood andSarnia and presented a sold-out performance with Grammy-nominatedvocalist Kurt Elling; the fall of 2005 featured a visit from JimMcNeely and a tribute to the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. In 2006the Toronto Jazz Orchestra performed with New York saxophonist SeamusBlake and was nominated for a 2006 National Jazz Award in the Best BigBand category. In 2007, the Toronto Jazz Orchestra presented the Musicof Duke Ellington, including a full performance of the Such SweetThunder suite, and a special performance of music from West Side Story,supported by a Toronto Arts Council grant, featuring 12 newarrangements by 5 local composers.

Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor Josh Grossman is a graduateof the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program where hestudied trumpet with Chase Sanborn and Kevin Turcotte. He has performedin big bands under the direction of Phil Nimmons, Paul Read, RonCollier and Paul Ashwell, and has played with The Whitney Smith BigSteam Band, Freeflight, the Array Jazz Orchestra, and in 2000 performedwith the Hamilton All-Star Jazz Band at the Montreux Jazz Festival inSwitzerland. For four years Josh conducted the Hart House JazzEnsemble, an extra-curricular big band at the University of Toronto,and for eight years has been on faculty at the Toronto District SchoolBoard’s annual music camp. When not conducting the Toronto JazzOrchestra, Josh works as Manager for the High Park Choirs and FestivalCoordinator for Continuum Contemporary Music; he has also been theArtistic Director for the Markham Jazz Festival since 2006.

For more information on the Toronto Jazz Orchestra please visit www.thetjo.com, email thetjo@mnsi.net, or call (416) 899-5299.