Emerging Jazz Artist Award Affords Time to Create

Amanda Tosoff, 2016 Emerging Jazz Artist Award recipient, shares the impact the award has had on her career, what it means to the community and the exciting endeavors that lay ahead.

Between creating, performing and teaching, Amanda Tosoff leads a full artistic life. Balancing these many pursuits is both challenging and necessary. “It is so hard to balance working as a musician and creating as a musician. Winning the Emerging Jazz Artist Award has allowed me to be pickier about the work that I choose to do, affording me more time to create.”

And creating she is. Amanda is currently working towards her next album. After the success of her album Words, a departure from conventional jazz utilizing poetry and vocals, she is continuing to move forward with the integration of lyrics, aiming to create newer more developed compositions. She has turned to the words of poets such as Rumi and Pablo Neruda, and will be collaborating with a number of different vocalists.

Upon reflection, Amanda shared that receiving the Emerging Jazz Artist Award also served as encouragement for the continuation of this direction. “Even though we shouldn’t need outside recognition, when you put something out that is different from your previous work, it is meaningful for it to be well received.”

The creation of work that is different, and the risk that is taken in making it, requires courage, time, and resources. “The funds received from the Emerging Jazz Artist Award make possible the time for artists to work on new projects that they may otherwise have never pursued. These projects are important, as they contribute to a really rich community of work.”

Looking forward, Amanda will be fulfilling a desire she has held since she was 18, studying the French language, and she hopes to do so through her music. The project will use French-Canadian and French poetry as its source. She hopes to work closely with French poets to better understand the subtleties within the language, and create new connections within the Quebec jazz community.

Visit amandatosoff.com for more information on her upcoming projects and performances.


In, 2014, Toronto Arts Foundation proudly launched the Emerging Jazz Artist Award. Thanks to a generous donation by Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, this award will be given out for the next ten years. A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded each year to an extraordinary emerging Jazz artist in support of the production and recording of their original compositions.

To find out how you can support artists like Amanda visit us here.