Finalists Announced for the 2016 Emerging Jazz Artist Award

Join Toronto Arts Foundation for the award presentation & free concert

TORONTO, June 6, 2016 – Toronto Arts Foundation announces three outstanding musicians and composers as finalists for the 2016 Emerging Jazz Artist Award. The winner will be announced to the public on June 29, 2015 at 6:15 pm at the TD Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival at Nathan Phillips Square. The announcement will be followed by a free concert featuring last year’s recipient, Justin Gray.  

The Emerging Jazz Artist Award is intended to further the career of an outstanding musician and support the pre-production, production and/or recording of original music composed by the recipient. The Emerging Jazz Artist Award was established in 2014, through the generous donation of Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, and will be given out annually for at least 10 years.

"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.

The award jury included celebrated jazz artists and leaders Alana Bridgewater, Rich Brown, Josh Grossman, Rebecca Hennessy.

The 2016 Finalists are:

Daniel Fortin is one of Canada’s most in demand bassists. His eclectic tastes and stylistic flexibility have led to work with a wide variety of artists in the jazz, rock and pop worlds, including Serena Ryder, David Occhipinti, Florian Hofner, July Talk, Devon Sproule & Mike O’Neill, Matt Wilson, Alex Goodman, Dave Restivo, Harley Card, and many others. Dan is a co-leader of the Juno nominated trio MYRIAD3, along with pianist Chris Donnelly and drummer Ernesto Cervini. Together they’ve released two albums on Alma Records – Tell (2012) and The Where (2014) – and have undertaken several tours of Canada, The USA and Europe. They are currently working on their 3rd album, Moons, scheduled for release in May of 2016. In 2015, Dan released BRINKS, his debut album as leader on Fresh Sound/New Talent Records. The record features his long time collaborators David French, Michael Davidson, and Fabio Ragnelli, and includes 10 of his songs. The album received rave reviews on both sides of the border.

Amanda Tosoff is a Toronto-based pianist and composer. She has performed with internationally recognized artists like Ingrid Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Phil Dwyer, Brad Turner, and Kelly Jefferson, and her groups have opened for jazz legends Bobby Hutcherson, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones, and Brazilian singer Luciana Souza. Amanda has been awarded such honours as General Motors Grand Prix de Jazz at the 2009 MontrĂ©al Jazz Festival, and more recently, a 2014 graduating scholarship from the University of Toronto – an award given out to graduates deemed to have potential to make a contribution to music. On her fifth release, Words (2016), Amanda has taken an adventurous leap beyond the confines of conventional jazz. She has taken poems and lyrics that possess a personal resonance for her and framed them in original new compositions that utilize vocals for the first time (sung by highly-regarded singer Felicity Williams of band like Hobson’s Choice, Broken Social Scene, and Bahamas). The result is an eclectic collection that incorporates elements of art song, classical, folk and jazz.

Ian Wright is an award winning drummer and composer based in Toronto. Ian has performed locally, nationally and internationally (US, Italy, Japan) with various groups and artists including: Rich Brown & The Abeng, Uri Caine, Esperanza Spalding, Danilo Perez, Mike Stern, Hawksley Workman, Kellylee Evans, Phil Dwyer, Denzal Sinclaire, David Occhipinti, Nancy Walker, William Carn, ​Roberto Occhipinti, and Shannon Gunn to name a few. Ian is also the leader of his own large ensemble, I Double You, and co-leader of the "hard-charging local trio, Autobahn." (Toronto Star) On top of performing as a headlining musician and sideman, Ian has developed a unique focus towards dance-accompaniment and composition for dance-choreography at renowned dance institutions, including: The National Ballet (The Walter Carsen Centre), Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, Ryerson University, and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada.

Toronto Arts Foundation Awards are designed to heighten public awareness of arts and artists in Toronto by shining a spotlight on artistic excellence and achievement.

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Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages artistic excellence and increases access to the arts throughout the City of Toronto through private sector investment. Our vision Creative City: Block by Block is to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative socio-economic benefits of the arts. By supporting, celebrating, financing and advocating for Toronto’s artists, we can improve the quality of life for all Torontonians.

Contact Information:
For more information on the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards please visit
Jennifer Green, Associate Director, Toronto Arts Foundation: Tel: 416-392-6800 x207