The University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra (UTJO) is now in the fifth year under the leadership of Gordon Foote. The band is quickly becoming one of Canada’s finest university jazz orchestras, and is the flagship group of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Toronto. The UTJO has travelled within Ontario to perform concerts and workshops for many high schools. They also traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba to perform at the National Conference of the Canadian Music Educators Association. The 18-member ensemble is part of the UofT Jazz Program, which offers degrees in jazz studies at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. The UTJO works hard to produce performances that are musical and exciting, with precision and energy. Their repertoire spans many decades, and pays homage to the rich jazz orchestra tradition. The curriculum also requires students to compose and arrange music for various sizes of ensembles, giving the program a unique UofT flavour. Under the leadership of Gordon Foote, the UTJO has released two CD’s, Reflections, featuring UofT faculty member and saxophonist Mike Murley, performing his music, and most recently Sweet Ruby Suite, featuring the music of Kenny Wheeler, with special guests Dave Liebman, saxophone and Norma Winstone, voice. Jack Bowers, of All About Jazz (www.allaboutjazz.com) wrote the following in his review of the CD Reflections: To describe the album as impressive would be an understatement
. The UTJO is as good as or better than almost any ensemble you'll hear at that level… Reflections is a superb album, teeming with high energy and good humor. Gordon Foote, it seems, has found a congenial new home in Toronto, and the UT Jazz Orchestra is in the best of hands. Show less
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