Skip to content

The Community Music Advanced Jazz program is designed for students with considerable experience playing and improvising within the jazz idiom. This program is an ideal preparation for any senior CMS student considering post-secondary jazz education or looking for a challenge that will accelerate their development as an experienced player. Exploring advanced harmonic, rhythmic and melodic concepts amongst peers of the same musical experience level, each student will gain a deeper understanding of what is required to unlock their individual voice as an improvisor and instrumentalist. Each advanced jazz course is coached by acclaimed Canadian jazz musicians with decades of playing and music education experience.

There are two advanced jazz offerings: Advanced Jazz Improv is a weekly playing lab with no audition requirement for entering students. This lab-style course is designed to help students transition from the Youth Jazz Ensemble program/repertoire to Advanced Jazz. Students work with their peers on advanced improvisation concepts in a supportive playing environment and focus on each musical topic without the timeline and repertoire restrictions of a performing ensemble. Advanced Jazz Studies for Youth is a weekly ensemble where each section is limited to one student per instrument. A video audition is required from all entering students to determine that each applicant has the musical experience level to ensure a positive experience in the ensemble.

Jazz is an art form rooted in the Black American musical tradition that emphasizes artistry and expression through improvisation, the act of spontaneous musical composition. The history of jazz is filled with landmark artistic innovations that changed the course of modern music, forming a rich and ever-expanding musical language that continues to influence and innovate today.


“Jazz is not just music: it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking.”
- Nina Simone

Meet the Advanced Jazz Coaches

Headshot of Lorne Lofsky

Lorne Lofsky

A master guitarist known for pianistic voicings and virtuosic skill, Lorne Lofsky is considered one of Canada's great musical treasures. Over the course of a 40-plus year career, Lofsky has played, toured and recorded... with some of the most prominent names in jazz including Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Ed Bickert, Pat LaBarbera, Ray Brown, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others.
Born, raised and based in Toronto, Canada, Lorne’s career began when Oscar Peterson offered to produce his first record, It Could Happen To You (Pablo Records), in 1980. During the years that followed, he worked extensively in the Toronto area, and toured with the likes of Pat LaBarbera and fellow guitarist Ed Bickert. Lorne’s fruitful collaboration with Bickert ran from 1983 through 1991 and produced two widely acclaimed recordings including the well-known 1990 Concord release This Is New. In the mid-1990s, he gained further recognition as a member of the Oscar Peterson Quartet. From 1994-1996, Lorne toured with Peterson's group at venues all over the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Montreal Jazz Festival, and appeared on three recordings. Lorne was Chet Baker's go-to Canadian guitarist and is heavily featured on the legendary jazz trumpeter's 2000 release, Live at the Renaissance II. His other notable collaborations include performances with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, Joey DeFrancesco, Dave Holland, Rosemary Clooney, and Clark Terry among others.
While Lorne has built a widely respected reputation as a world-class player, he has also become known as a prominent and sought-after educator. Lorne currently teaches at York University and Humber College in Toronto, has an extensive private teaching practice, and has guest lectured at a plethora of top-notch institutions such as St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and McGill University in Montreal, among many others.
Read More .

Headshot of Adrean Farrugia

Adrean Farrugia

Award-winning pianist and composer Adrean Farrugia began playing piano at the age of 12. By age 16 he recognized that he would dedicate his life to music. Since then he has become recognized as one of... Canada’s most sought-after pianists and composers, having shared the music he loves locally and globally with various bands across Canada, the United States, London, UK; Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Australia, Poland, and The Netherlands with artists such as Ernie Watts, Sheila Jordan, Brad Goode, Cyrille Aimee, Matt Dusk, Molly Johnson, Joel Frahm, Ernesto Cervini, The Worst Pop Band Ever, and others. Adrean serves on the faculties of Mohawk College, the University of Toronto, and Humber College and has conducted masterclasses and workshops for students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Sydney Conservatorium, the Polish Jazz Society Summer Workshop, and the University of Toronto. Adrean has played on more than 40 albums to date, garnering two Juno Awards, eight Juno Award nominations, a Mark Award for Best Production Music Artist from the Production Music Association of America, Pianist of the Year at the Hamilton Arts Awards, and a nomination for the Ontario Arts Council’s Louis Applebaum Composer’s Award. Adrean believes that music is a powerful form of communication that has the power to heal and inspire both the performer and the listener, as well as revealing a higher sense of being which exists in all people, and it is this belief that drives his continued journey and commitment to musical growth and sharing. Adrean Farrugia is endorsed by Shigeru Kawai Pianos. Read More .

New Students

Please contact for information and guidance for selecting programming before registering.

Fall 2021 Term




KIDS 196

Advanced Jazz Studies for Youth


CMCE 021

Advanced Improvisation Workshop, Ages 12-18