Announcing the 2018 Emerging Jazz Artist Award Finalists

Prolific artists, the three finalists are making an impact on the Toronto music scene with their unique styles and compositions.

TORONTO, June 4, 2018Toronto Arts Foundation is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award. Prolific artists, the three finalists are making an impact on the Toronto music scene with their unique styles and compositions.

The 2018 Finalists are:

Ethan Ardelli, Juno award winning drummer and composer

Rebecca Hennessy, trumpeter, composer and bandleader

Matt Woroshyl, saxophonist, composer, woodwind specialist, band-leader, and clinician

Established in 2014 through the generous donation of jazz enthusiasts Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, the $10,000 award furthers the career of an outstanding emerging jazz artist and is intended to support the pre-production, production, and/or recording of original music composed by the recipient. The two runners-up each  receive awards of $1,000. 

The recipient of the Emerging Jazz Artist Award will be announced to the public at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on June 23, 2018 at 4:45 PM at the Cumberland Street Stage (115 Cumberland Street). The award presentation will be followed by a performance from last year’s recipient, Larnell Lewis. All are welcome to attend this celebratory event.

“We are pleased to celebrate the achievements of Toronto's young jazz community represented by the finalists for the award” said Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald.

“Through the Emerging Jazz Artist Award, we’re encouraging and celebrating our city’s next generation of jazz creators,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Foundation. “All three finalists show an incredible drive and passion for their music and are undoubtedly strengthening Toronto’s music scene through their work.”

The peer jury, facilitated by Christy DiFelice, Music Officer at Toronto Arts Council, included celebrated jazz artists and cultural leaders: Molly Johnson, Josh Grossman, Colleen Allen and Hilario Duran.


About the 2018 Finalists

Ethan Ardelli is a Juno award winning drummer and composer based in Toronto. Ethan won the 2006 Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of the David Virelles Quintet and has played on two Juno award winning albums, Jane Bunnett's "Radio Guantanamo" and Mike Downes' "Ripple Effect.” Since 2014, Ethan has been leading his own ensemble showcasing his original compositions. Ethan is also currently a member of the Darren Sigesmund Quintet, Nancy Walker Quintet, Alexander Brown Sextet, Brian Dickinson Trio and the Harley Card Quintet. Ethan is on faculty at the Humber College Community Music Program.

Rebecca Hennessy is a highly sought-after Toronto-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released eight albums and has toured Mexico, Panama, Sri Lanka, Europe, USA and in Canada. She has performed and recorded with internationally recognized artists including Adele, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Ab Baars and Ken Vandermark. Rebecca co-leads modern jazz quartet Way North. In 2016, her FOG Brass Band was nominated for both the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz and the Halifax Jazz Festival’s Galaxie Rising Star Award. Her most recent CD, Two Calls was rated best Canadian jazz albums of 2017 by Ottawa Citizen.

Matt Woroshyl is a saxophonist, composer, woodwind specialist, band-leader, and clinician from Toronto. Matt has performed with many esteemed artists including Grammy-nominated Jamie Cullum, Jane Monheit, Ingrid Jensen, Mike Murley, Wycliffe Gordon, Jon Faddis, Reggie Workman, and Dave Liebman. Matt was named the Prince Edward County 2013 Rising Young Star, as well as receiving the William & Phyllis Waters Graduating Award from the University of Toronto. Matt has recently recorded his debut album, highlighting the innovative voice he has brought to the music scene.

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Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that sparks creative connections, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city, through private sector investment. 

For more information about the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award, please contact: Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager at or 416-392-6802x217