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Canadian Heritage

Amanda Tosoff


AMANDA TOSOFF (pianist) Toronto-based jazz pianist and composer Amanda Tosoff has emerged as one of the top new talents on the Canadian jazz scene. Originally from White Rock BC, Amanda grew up in a musical family, and attended Semiahmoo high school, renowned for its big band jazz program under award-winning educator David Proznick. In 2005, Amanda earned her degree in jazz performance from Capilano University, where she studied with Canadian jazz greats Ross Taggart, Mike Allen, Chris Sigerson, Ihor Kukurudza and more. Amanda has performed with a long list of internationally recognized talent, including such luminaries as Ingrid Jensen, Jon Wikan, Phil Dwyer, Jodi Proznick, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Christine Jensen, Joel Miller, Brad Turner, Steve Wallace, Campbell Ryga and many others. She has received mentoring and private instruction from some of the greatest pianists in Canada and the United States, including Don Thompson, Brad Turner, Bruno Hubert, George Colligan, Phil Dwyer and Uri Caine.

Amanda’s long-time band features fellow award-winning musicians Evan Arntzen (tenor and soprano saxophone), Sean Cronin (bass) and Morgan Childs (drums). With this group, Amanda has released 2 CDs on Vancouver’s Cellar Live label: Still Life (2006), and Wait and See (2008) featuring Juno award winning trumpeter Brad Turner. The Amanda Tosoff Quartet has opened for jazz legends Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes and Oliver Jones, and has been featured on CBC Radio programs Hot Air, Tonic, Jazz Beat and Canada Live. In 2008, the group was chosen as one of only seven Canadian bands to be featured on Espace Musique’s live concert series Portraits Jazz. They have also been featured on US radio, charting among the top 50 records on JazzWeek, and being chosen along with Oscar Peterson and Diana Krall for the CD sampler Take Five (National Public Radio).

The quartet has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award (2007) at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the General Motors Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montréal Jazz Festival (2009). The he quartet was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Banff Centre Winter Workshop in 2010. With the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, Amanda travelled to New York City in the winter of 2011 to study for three months with pianist Phil Markowitz.

Amanda will release her 3rd recording as a leader in 2010, the first release on her own record label Oceans Beyond Records. In addition to her long-time quartet, the album features New York-based trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, and Toronto’s Kelly Jefferson on tenor saxophone and William Carn on trombone. The album features nine new Tosoff originals, with influences ranging from Duke Ellington and Ray Charles to African grooves and modern pop music.

In 2013, Tosoff released Live at the Cellar, featuring bassist Jodi Proznick and drummer Jesse Cahill.