Schulich Jazz Area Forum: Jeff Johnston
This week, the forum welcomes:
JEFF JOHNSTON, composer, pianist, producer and orchestrator | "Terra Nova: Using Minimalist and Post Minimalist Concepts in Jazz Composition and Arranging"
Award winning pianist, composer, producer, and orchestrator Jeff Johnston has recorded and performed with some of the biggest names on the international jazz scene including John Abercrombie, Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Archie Shepp, Slide Hampton, Ranee Lee, Shirley Eikhard, Jackie Richardson and many more. He has dozens of film credits to his name and his music has been heard worldwide on the big screen as well as on PBS, Teletoons, Discovery, Amazon, Netflix, The Documentary Channel, CBC, Newsworld, CTV, Global TV and more. His works are infused with alluring harmonies, lush textures, lyrical melodies, rhythmic inventiveness, and spontaneity. Johnston's trio and quartet recordings established him as one of Canada’s foremost jazz pianists and session players, leading Toronto Star's Geoff Chapman to deem Johnston as "clearly in Canada's top ranks" and the Globe and Mail's Mark Miller to say, "This is Canadian jazz at its best".
Johnston has five albums under his own name which has been twice nominated for both the Juno Awards and East Coast Music Awards. He has been the recipient of many grants, commissions, and awards from The Canada Council, The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, FACTOR and Heritage Canada. He received the R Murray Schafer award for composition from the Sound Symposium Music Festival and the Alcan Jazz Award for best performance from the Atlantic Jazz Festival. Johnston has performed all over the world including at prestigious jazz festivals such as Festival de Juan-Les-Pins, Jazz à Vienne, Umbria Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival and as a regular at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Johnston honed his craft in New York City under the tutelage of renowned composer and pianist Richard Beirach.and later he studied with LA based film orchestrator Milton Nelson. Johnston is on the board of directors for the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and is on faculty at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. He has conducted workshops and has guest lectured extensively across Canada. His new album Terra Nova is a 45-minute suite featuring his jazz trio and the Newfoundland Sinfonia Chamber String Orchestra.