Mark Godfrey Wins the 2019 Emerging Jazz Artist Award

Toronto bassist, composer and educator is the recipient of $10,000 cash prize

TORONTO, June 24, 2019 – Toronto Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that bassist Mark Godfrey is the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Jazz Artist Award, a $10,000 cash prize. The award was first established in 2014 through a generous donation from jazz enthusiasts Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, and is intended to support the pre-production, production, and/or recording of original music composed by the recipient.

Mark Godfrey has emerged as one of the leading new faces in Canadian jazz. Awarded the Grand Prix de Jazz from the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2014 along with his ensemble Pram Trio, his work as a co-leader, bassist and composer has garnered international recognition. Equally versatile on both double and electric bass, he has established himself a mainstay on the Canadian jazz scene, performing at jazz festivals across the country and with a variety of Canadian artists, including Kellylee Evans, Barbra Lica, Jake Koffman and the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. Godfrey, who released his debut EP in 2018, also works as a jazz educator.

Godfrey was selected by a peer jury, who noted he “embodies the jazz tradition, with a strong presence in the community and the fabric of the music scene in Toronto,” as well as his vision as a rising bandleader and composer.

The award presentation took place this past weekend, Saturday, June 22 at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on the TD Mainstage, followed by a free performance from last year’s Emerging Jazz Award recipient, trumpeter Rebecca Hennessy, and her FOG Brass Band ensemble.

“Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald’s dedication to recognizing emerging artists through their generous gift means Toronto Arts Foundation is able to support the development of the next generation of the city’s jazz performers,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Foundation. “Congratulations to this year’s finalists, three remarkable young artists who will be making their mark in the Toronto jazz scene for many years to come.”

Finalists Terri Parker and Jesse Ryan received awards of $1,000 each.

The peer jury, facilitated by Christy DiFelice, Music Program Manager at Toronto Arts Council, included award-winning percussionist, singer and composer Magdelys Savigne Carrion; jazz vocalist Felicity Williams; Josh Grossman, Artistic Director for Toronto Downtown Jazz; and bassist, composer and producer Justin Gray.

The Emerging Jazz Artist Award is part of Toronto Arts Foundation’s Vision Awards, presented every year at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. 2019 marks the sixth award of a 10-year commitment. For more information on the Emerging Jazz Artist Award, visit

Click here to view photos from the event. 

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About Toronto Arts Foundation

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. To learn more or to make a donation, visit

Contact information:

For more information about the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award, or to book an interview with the winner or finalists, please contact Tabassum Siddiqui, Interim Communications Manager, at or 416-392-6802 x 217.