SCHOLARSHIP REWARDS SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO ATTRACT A BROADER JAZZ AUDIENCEThe Rochelle Koskie Jazz Student Scholarship Fund, in collaboration with the Jazz Performance and Education Centre (JPEC), is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Award, "Rebooting the Jazz Audience." Students at Ontario’s four post-secondary jazz programs — Humber College, Mohawk College, University of Toronto and York University — were challenged to propose a viable solution to attract and sustain the interests of a broader jazz audience, with a focus on a younger demographic.
Co-founder and President of JPEC, Raymond Koskie, had the words of jazz legend, Duke Ellington, in mind in choosing the theme of this year's award: "What is important is that [jazz] must live, and the only way it can live is with the existence of an ever larger and more keenly interested audience, to give it the support that must always be its life blood." (Duke Ellington, Music Journal, March 1962)
"While it has been may decades since this interview with Duke Ellington, his words have never rung truer, given the average age of today's jazz fans," said Mr. Koskie. “Like many other aspects of our lives, our ongoing efforts to keep jazz alive have been complicated by the global pandemic, but our selection committee was so thrilled to see the students rise to JPEC's -- and the Duke's -- challenge!"
The Rochelle Koskie Jazz Student Scholarship Fund has awarded $2,500 to each of the following student musicians in recognition of their creative, thoughtful and actionable submissions:
- Tony Rosenberg Humber College, 4th year, Bachelor of Music, Woodwind Major, is a musician, songwriter and producer from Toronto with collaboration and performance experience across Canada, and internationally in Cuba, Germany, Grenada and the United States. His original music is currently available on all streaming platforms.
- Matheus Caldas York University, 4th year, Guitar, is self-taught was born in Salvador, Brazil, until being accepted in the music program at York University where he was mentored by veteran jazz artists from Toronto, such as Robb Cappelletto, Artie Roth and Mark Einsenman. Matheus seeks a holistic understanding of music, always studying and absorbing influences from a diverse pallet of genres and applying what is learned to his guitar playing.
- Patrick O'Reilly University of Toronto, Graduate Program, Guitar, Composer and Musician draws on experience in a variety of genres in creating community focused work. His most recent release Grind Tapes presents his kaleidoscopic compositions performed by his long-standing trio Wire Circus.
- Ryan Macdonald York University, 1st year, Drums, Guitar, Bass and Piano originally from Ottawa, Ryan is a drummer, DJ and producer who now lives in Toronto. When he's not practicing or doing school work he is walking his dog, playing with synths or organizing his record collection.
About the Rochelle Koskie Jazz Student Scholarship Fund
Photo courtesy of Barry Thomson
This Award was established in memory of Rochelle Koskie, life-long jazz fan and co-founder of JPEC, who passed away suddenly in July 2019. Throughout her vibrant life as a teacher, a mother, and in her role with JPEC, Rochelle shared her love of jazz at every opportunity and took great pride in the JPEC School Outreach Program. The Rochelle Koskie Jazz Student Scholarship Award endeavours to further its namesake's dedication to nurturing the growth of the jazz community and jazz audience in Toronto, and beyond.