about the toronto jazz explorers
The Toronto Jazz Explorers is community-learning program that provides adult jazz enthusiasts a place to hone their playing skills, learn the fundamentals of Jazz, and have fun making music in a collaborative ensemble each week. We operate in Central/West-End Toronto, using both Tranzac Club at 292 Brunswick Ave (Bathurst & Bloor) and Koffman Academy of Music and Dance at 15 Roncesvalles Ave (Roncesvalles & Queen) as weekly rehearsal hubs depending on the scheduled day of the ensemble. Ensembles are 1 hr and 45 mins long, held once a week, and run from September to June.
Aside from rehearsing repertoire and taking part in performance opportunities, these weekly ensembles also function as group workshops where all students take part in a comprehensive approach to learning Jazz Improvisation, Theory Fundamentals, Ear training, Harmony, and how to approach different musical styles and idioms. Each ensemble level has a designed curriculum for the year which helps students learn in a linear step-by-step approach from wherever they are with their playing experience. Students receive insights into practice strategies and learning philosophies, and also have opportunities to learn from special guest artists throughout the year. We understand that not everyone has the same level of experience or grows musically at the same rate, which is why have Foundations, Junior, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, and customized arrangements that consider musicians strengths and weaknesses.
Ensembles are curated to have no more than nine musicians, which allows more individual attention and facilitates a workshop-like learning environment. Due to a limited number of spots in each ensemble, please contact us and tell us your instrument and playing experience so we can find the right placement. Currently, there are four ensembles and are open to the following instruments:
- Saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone)
- Bass (accoustic and electric)
- Drum Set
“The jazz ensemble class is a great opportunity to play and learn in a small group setting. It has helped me understand more about music theory and how it works in practice, and to feel more comfortable playing with others and tackling solos. Mike teaches with patience and humour and is very encouraging. It’s a fun, welcoming atmosphere and I look forward to the class each week.” - Alison H.