Toronto-based musician Shannon Graham has played many parts throughout her life: classical violist, jazz saxophonist, experimental composer, pop singer, and chamber-jazz concert producer. Through her work with Spectrum she aims to continue blurring the lines between musical genres while exploring points where new music and the everyday meet. She believes that good music can connect people by provoking empathy, insight, and catharsis.
Shannon’s passionate saxophone performance style has made her a busy performer in the pop and world music scenes. She has been contributing her compositional voice to Toronto’s creative music and new music communities for several years. Her music, influenced by a background of training in both jazz and classical music (as well as a life-long love of pop music), has been performed and commissioned by Toronto musicians from both communities.
Shannon just released her second record “Modus Tollens” featuring new compositions for saxophone and piano in February 2017. She also runs Dialectica (an all-female saxophone quartet) and fronts The Achromatics (an original Pop/Latin band). When she isn’t a starving artist, she works as an entertainer with JV Music.
Driven by an endless need for expressing herself creatively, young composer and multi-instrumentalist Chelsea McBride has burst onto the Toronto jazz scene. She’s worked alongside many local jazz artists including Brownman Ali and William Carn and studied with acclaimed musicians David Occhipinti, Darcy James Argue and Mike Allen.
Born and raised in Vancouver B.C., Chelsea was surrounded and fascinated by music. She started playing piano at the age of 3, and saxophone throughout elementary school. By the end of high school she had already performed in competitions at provincial and national levels. In 2014, she graduated from the Humber Bachelor of Music program in Toronto, ON and was the first recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Jazz Artist award.
Whether it’s her big band (Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School), her pop-fusion band (Chelsea and the Cityscape), her jazz trio (Chelsea McBride Group), or her video game cover band (Koopa Troop), Chelsea is a diverse musician who refuses to stay in one creative box. Aside from her own projects, she also regularly performs with other local acts including the Brad Cheeseman Group, Skirt Check, Soul Finger and Elton Joan. Chelsea can be heard around Toronto playing several shows per month. She has released two records with Chelsea and the Cityscape and two records with Socialist Night School.
Described as a “gifted guitarist and composer” (The Whole Note), Graham Campbell is a versatile member of Toronto’s music community. He earned his degree in Music at Humber College after studying with jazz great David Baker in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. He has performed at the Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON), The Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, The Calgary Reggae Festival, The Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and many others throughout North America. He has performed with such greats as jazz pianist Gene DiNovi and genre-bending violinist Mark Fewer. He has written for big band, string quartet, and symphony orchestra. In 2013 he released As You Near Me, a collaboration with clarinetist and father James Campbell.
In Toronto you can see Graham performing in festivals, bars, and living rooms with original projects such as Words Around The Waist and Os Tropies. He is also an artistic producer for Spectrum Music. He is passionate about music education, bringing music to public schools with organizations such as Strings Across The Sky, The Colours Of Music, and the Festival of the Sound.
Jay (Javier) Vazquez is a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist composer/arranger based out of Pickering, Ontario. Born and raised in Mexico City, Jay moved to Toronto in 2006, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the music industry that ranges from composing, to band leading, to production. His background inspired his passion for world music, where different cultures collide and connect.
Jay joined Spectrum Music as a composer and Artistic Producer in 2016 and currently studies composition with Roger Bergs. He owns the entertainment company JV Music, and enjoys creative writing in his spare time.
Jay attended the National University of Mexico (UNAM), where he studied music, life sciences, and Hispanic literature. He studied classical voice with renowned zarzuela baritone Arturo Galvez.
Olivia Shortt is a classical and contemporary saxophonist, administrator and teacher of Irish and Ojibwe descent from Nipissing First Nation.
She collaborates on unique and fun projects with saxophonist, Jacob Armstrong as part of their ensemble Stereoscope. She can also be found singing with the Element Choir; an ensemble whose performances have included shows with Polaris Prize Winner, Tanya Tagaq.
She has participated in both the Bang On A Can Summer Festival and the Montréal Contemporary Music Lab. She works as part of the organizational team of the Toronto Creative Music Lab as well, as an Administrator at the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. Her education includes a Bachelor’s in Music Performance, an Advanced Certificate in Performance as well as a Master’s in Performance from the University of Toronto.
A recent graduate of Humber College’s contemporary music program, Ben performs regularly around Toronto and is an active side member of groups including Composer’s Collective, the Near-Distant Ensemble, We Are All, the Sonuskapos Jazz Orchestra and Bassline’s Adventures in Groovetopia. He leads his own projects the Ben McCarroll-Butler trio and The Band Named Crow, a large ensemble premiering new works based on the surrealist fiction of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami.
As an Artistic Associate with Spectrum Music Ben is dedicated to storytelling through genre-blending compositions. He writes and arranges music for small and large ensembles and recently scored, performed and produced music for the short film Halcyon Days of Youth.
Mason Victoria is a Toronto-born arranger, composer, music director, and trumpeter. He has studied with composers such as Andrew Jones (Brampton Jazz Mechanics), Daniel Jamieson (Danjam Orchestra), and John Macleod (Rex Jazz Orchestra). has had his compositions and arrangements performed by the Toronto Jazz Orchestra led by Josh Grossman, and the UNIVOX Choir led by Dallas Bergen, Masini McDormitt and many Humber College Ensembles. Mason is also sought after for his transcription work and music copyist abilities, most notably by pianist Philip Chiu, the ﬁrst recipient of the Prix Goyer (Extreme Emerging Artist). Currently, Mason focuses his creative output on managing, directing, conducting, and composing for the SONUSKAPOS Jazz Orchestra (SSJO), an 18-piece big band that he founded in 2014. The members of the SSJO consist of some of the ﬁnest emerging jazz musicians in the GTA, who collectively aim to inspire and strive to push the limits of contemporary big band by attracting audiences through all-original compositions and arrangements.
Lieke van der Voort is a versatile vocalist, composer and improviser born in the Netherlands. She has worked with a variety of national and international artists and was heard on Veryan Weston’s “Make”, performed on Murray Schafers’ “Apocalypsis”, the soundtrack of “The Witch” and Tanya Tagaq’s 2015 show at Massey Hall. She is part of the vocal improvisational ensemble New Lineage and leads the Kontraband Kollektif. Lieke’s compositions and improvisations aim to challenge the traditional role of voice in music.