Emerging Jazz Artist Award
Celebrating Toronto's outstanding emerging jazz artists.
Deadline: The deadline for nominations is February 5, 2018
Resources: Review Eligibilty (PDF). View a video tutorial of the nomination portal.
Contact: For questions about eligibility for the Emerging Jazz Artist Award, please contact Toronto Arts Council Music Grant Officer Christy DiFelice, Music Officer:
T: 416-392-6802 x 202
The Emerging Jazz Artist Award furthers the career of an outstanding emerging jazz artist and is intended to support the pre-production, production, and/or recording of original music composed by the recipient. The Emerging Jazz Artist Award is a cash award of $10,000. Finalists receive $1,000. The award was established in 2014, through the generous donation of Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, and will be given out annually for at least 10 years. The Emerging Jazz Artist Award is part of our Vision Awards.
“As a creative person you have a lot of dreams of things you would like to do, and finances often stop them. I often dream and dream big. An award like this makes those dreams possible.” – Larnell Lewis, 2017 Emerging Jazz Artist Award Recipient
Emerging Jazz Artist Award Recipients
Larnell Lewis, 2017 Recipient
Toronto native Larnell Lewis is a musician, composer, producer, educator and clinician. One of Canada’s most promising up-and-coming drummers, Lewis has garnered international status with his most recent works with the three-time Grammy Award winning band, Snarky Puppy. He is a part-time music professor at Humber College, has been featured on the cover of Modern Drummer (September 2016), and has performed with such artists as Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, Lisa Fischer, and Laila Biali.
Amanda Tosoff, 2016 recipient
Amanda Tosoff is a Toronto-based pianist and composer. She has performed with internationally recognized artists like Ingrid Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Phil Dwyer, Brad Turner, and Kelly Jefferson, and her groups have opened for jazz legends Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones, and Brazilian singer Luciana Souza. Amanda has been awarded such honours as General Motors Grand Prix de Jazz at the 2009 Montréal Jazz Festival, and more recently, a 2014 graduating scholarship from the University of Toronto – an award given out to graduates deemed to have potential to make a contribution to music. On her fifth release, Words (2016), Amanda has taken an adventurous leap beyond the confines of conventional jazz. She has taken poems and lyrics that possess a personal resonance for her and framed them in original new compositions that utilize vocals for the first time (sung by highly-regarded singer Felicity Williams of band like Hobson’s Choice, Broken Social Scene, and Bahamas). The result is an eclectic collection that incorporates elements of art song, classical, folk and jazz.
Justin Gray, 2015 recipient
Justin Gray is a bassist, composer and producer based in Toronto. His main influences include Jazz and North Indian Classical music. Justin co-leads the Toronto based Indo-Jazz ensemble Monsoon, and contemporary jazz ensemble Gray Matter. Justin is also on faculty at Humber College, where he leads the Indo-Jazz Collective.
Over the course of his career, Justin has had the opportunity to perform with a number of renowned jazz artists, including; Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Mike Stem, Ingrid Jensen, Seamus Blake, Dan Weiss, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, John Riley, Tony Mallaby, Pat Labarbera and David Mott.
In 2010, Justin invented and co-created the Bass Veena, an instrument designed for Indian classical and Indo-jazz music. Justin is now emerging as the first artist to perform traditional and original music on this instrument worldwide. Justin has previously received generous support from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts to pursue original composition, recording and formal studies.
Chelsea McBride, 2014 recipient
Chelsea McBride is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, and band leader based out of Toronto, Ontario. After relocating to Toronto from Vancouver to obtain her B.Mus at Humber College, Chelsea now leads two of her own projects: Chelsea and the Cityscape and Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School, both of which feature her original compositions and talents as a saxophonist.
Her highly personal blend of modern jazz, pop-rock influences, and subtle, moody orchestrations has coalesced into a bright and fresh new sound that listeners of all stripes can enjoy.