Canadian Jazz Summit

NOTE: The location for the Canadian Jazz Summit Concert has changed. It will be held in the Tache Arts Complex, Vocal Arts Room (T2-266), 150 Dafoe Road

Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Desautels Faculty of Music is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Canadian Jazz Summit, a series of workshops and concerts for jazz students and professionals.

The workshops will explore elements of jazz history, composition, conducting, and performance, and will be led by masters in the field: rising star Amanda Tosoff, who has received critical acclaim for her 2017 Juno-nominated album Words, and the Juno-winning saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, a five-time nominee for the National Jazz Awards' Saxophonist of the Year designation. For more information about Amanda Tosoff and Kelly Jefferson, please click on their photos below.The workshops, which will be held in the Desautels Faculty of Music, are priced at $40 for the general public, and $25 for students. To register, please click registration link on the right hand side of this page.

The concert will be held in the Vocal Arts Room in the Tache Arts Complex (150 Dafoe Road), and is included in the summit's registration cost. For those wishing to attend only the concert, the cost is $25.



Amanda Tosoff


Kelly Jefferson



Navigating Your Career as a Bandleader in Canada: Tips on Getting Your Project Off the Ground – Allison Au
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
JUNO award winning composer, bandleader, arranger, and saxophonist, Allison Au, will discuss what it takes to lead a band in Canada. What are the first steps in recording an album? How do you start planning a tour? Who is your audience? All of these topics and more will be covered in this talk. If you’re interested in leading a band and starting an original project, this is the talk for you!


Getting Started: Strategies for Jazz Composition – Amanda Tosoff
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
For beginning and even professional composers, starting a new composition can be a daunting task. Where do I start? What do I do if I have no inspiration or any ideas coming to mind? Is this idea even any good!? If you’re asking yourself these questions, this workshop is for you. Using her own experience and compositions as examples, Amanda will outline some basic ideas and exercises to get you started.


How To Make The Most of Your Practice Session – Kelly Jefferson
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
This masterclass will focus on the various aspects of practicing, including ways to develop consistency as well as variety, and the importance of balancing physical, cognitive and creative focus when practicing. Drawing from a variety of sources and influences, Kelly Jefferson will discuss the importance of using repetition and routine in your personal practice in order to provide the essential tools for creating music in the moment. Kelly will also offer his thoughts and insight on ways to help musicians avoid falling into the common traps associated with practicing.


Open Rehearsal – Kelly Jefferson and Amanda Tosoff
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
Amanda and Kelly will rehearse their original music in anticipation of the Canadian Jazz Summit Concert on Saturday March 7 at the CCFM.




Re-harmonization Techniques (for Arrangers, Pianists, and Guitar) – Amanda Tosoff
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-266
Jazz musicians, composers, and arrangers make use of reharmonization to create endless variations, and to put their own stamp on jazz and popular standards. In this workshop, Amanda will go over some common techniques, and apply them to a jazz standard or two, and also some tunes from the repertoire of Yo-Yo Ma and Weezer.


Saxophone Masterclass: Building From The Ground Up – Kelly Jefferson
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
Although Kelly’s masterclass will be focused on saxophone playing, it will also benefit all musicians regardless of what instrument they play. How can you build and expand on the fundamentals of your instrument? What are the steps necessary to take your playing to the next level? These are just some of the topics that Kelly will cover.


Listen Up! : How To Listen and What To Listen For – Kelly Jefferson
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
The act (and art) of listening is something that needs constant attention in order for us to fully absorb the music we play and compose. Listening past the point of recognition and focusing on the more subtle nuances in the music will take a lifetime but is essential in order to be fully involved and immersed in the music we play and study. By listening to a selection of recordings that will focus our attention to things like form, time feel and tension and release, Kelly Jefferson will help shed some light on ways to get past “surface” listening in order to develop a more individual relationship with the music. Although this masterclass will be geared toward musicians, these concepts can be interpreted and used by anyone who appreciates music.


Doing a Lot With a Little: Developing a Clear and Memorable Melody – Amanda Tosoff
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272
In this workshop, Amanda will discuss how to develop a clear melody through an overview of some common motivic development techniques, and a discussion of some great melodies by her favourite Canadian composers – and perhaps something by the great Stevie Wonder too.


Roundtable Discussion + Q&A
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Rm. T2-272


Canadian Jazz Summit Concert featuring the music of Amanda Tosoff & Kelly Jefferson
Location: Tache Arts Complex, Vocal Arts Room (T2-266), 150 Dafoe Road


Schedule of Events 

 Campus Map


For more details or questions about the Canadian Jazz Summit, please contact Fabio Ragnelli, Desautels Faculty of Music Assistant Professor of Jazz Drum Set at