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The 2022-2023 academic year marked 50 years of music education at Humber College. What began as a single three-year diploma program 50 years ago has grown to an ecosystem of five credential and non-credential offerings that foster excellence in music at every level. Click a tile below to learn about your study options.

The next 50 years are set to be just as bright for Humber Music students, with all five offerings moving to the Humber Cultural Hub in fall 2024. The most significant investment in arts and cultural programming in Humber’s history, the Hub includes modern purpose-built performance and rehearsal spaces for the music programs. Learn more at or see the sidebar for information about the new music facilities.

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Community Music

Faculty Highlights

Alex Dean
Alex Dean is renowned as one of Canada’s foremost jazz saxophonists. Reedman, Alex Dean has played and recorded with the who’s who of legendary musicians, bands, ensembles, and orchestra’s, during his career as an award-winning musician, clinician, artistic director and jazz educator. His playing credentials include work with Gil Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Mel Torme, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Pat Labarbera, Phil Nimmons, and the Toronto Symphony. He occupied the tenor saxophone chair with Robb McConnell’s Grammy-winning, The Boss Brass (17 nominations/3 wins) for many years and recorded their last ten albums with Concord Records. Dean was also a charter member of Rob McConnell’s Tentet. Innumerable recording credits include the recent soundtrack of the video game Cupheads which debuted at #1 on the Jazz Billboard charts in 2019 and the Alex Dean Jazz Orchestra recording, a tribute to Canadian Jazz Artists recorded in 2017 due for release late 2020, Robb McConnell’s CD entitled Tentet (Justin Time) which won Canadian Juno in 2001, and the Power Trio “D.E.W. East”, (Dean, drummer Barry Elmes, and Steve Wallace on bass) second recording D.E.W East meet Nick Brignola (Cornerstone) which garnered critical acclaim. Over the past 30+ years, Alex had appeared on numerous Canadian Juno Award-winning Jazz albums as well as Grammy award winners with The Boss Brass. Alex Dean Quartet/Quintet recordings include Dreamsville, Both Feet, At this Point, and Kaitlyn’s Waltz. Kaitlyn’s Waltz was voted Best Jazz CD of by the Jazz Report Magazine and one of the top ten jazz CD releases by New York’s Village Voice. For 20 years, Alex Dean was the Artistic Director of the highly regarded Kincardine Summer Jazz Festival/Camp on Lake Huron Ontario, assembling an awarding winning faculty with Jerry Bergonzi, Bill Mays, Joe Labarbera, Pat Labarbera and Renee Rosnes.Alex is a widely respected clinician/adjudicator in Canada and the United States. Over the years his publications include numerous articles on saxophone technique and improvisation.He was a faculty member/Senior Lecturer at the University of Toronto and Humber College concurrently from 1993-2012 teaching saxophone and advanced improvisation. He accepted a full professorship at the Faculty of Music, Humber College in 2012.
Amanda Tosoff
Amanda Tosoff is a B.C.-raised, Toronto-based pianist, composer and educator with six albums to her credit. As a bandleader and side-woman, she has performed across the country and abroad, and has been the recipient of such honours as the Montréal Jazz Festival Grand Prix de Jazz, the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award and a JUNO nomination for her 2016 album Words. As an educator for almost 20 years, Amanda has mentored students at her home studio and various music institutions, including Humber College’s Community Music School and Bachelor of Music programs. She has been a featured lecturer at many universities and arts councils, including the Canadian Jazz Summit at the University of Manitoba and the Canadian League of Composer’s workshop series in 2020. Amanda is also the co-founder of an online education company, Music Arts Collective, where she has been working on courses, an artist interview series and several projects that feature and highlight women in jazz. Amanda holds a BA in Jazz Performance from Capilano University and an MA in Musicology/Music Theory from the University of Toronto.
Andrew Scott
Dr. Andrew Scott is a guitarist, writer and educator.
Andrew Kesler
Andrew Kesler is an award-winning Canadian musician, composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer based in Los Angeles.   As a multi-instrumentalist music director and sideman his credits include industry heavyweights David Foster, Pentatonix, Michael Bublé, Seal, John Mayer, Babyface, Jacob Collier, Jennifer Holliday, Tom Scott, Jeff Hamilton, Michael Orland, Sara Niemietz, Dennis Chambers, and two seasons in the America’s Got Talent house band.    In the studio, Kesler shifts his focus to writing, arranging and producing with established artists including Arturo Sandoval, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Take 6, Lalo Schifrin, The Manhattan Transfer, Siedah Garrett, Mervyn Warren, and Jorge Calandrelli in addition to composing for film & media (“I Wanna Dance with Somebody [2022]”, Netflix, TLC, Comedy Central, Google, Disney, Butter Music, Bigger Story Music, Sony/BMG).   Often referred to as the "gadget man" for his ability to work seamlessly in many roles, Kesler has credited contributions on hundreds of recordings spanning all genres. Kesler has had the privilege to work with the WDR Funkhausorchester, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, Guy Barker’s Jazz Orchestra, and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.   Kesler serves on the board of directors for the American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers (ASMAC) and is proud to endorse Nord Keyboards, Fury Guitars, Dingwall Basses, John Pearse Strings and 64 Audio. Kesler received his Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Humber College in Toronto studying jazz piano and music production and went on to earn his Master’s Degree with Distinction from the University of Chichester, England studying orchestration for film, television and video games.   Kesler has held residencies as a music educator at post-secondary institutions throughout North American and Europe including The Royal Northern College of Music (UK), USC Thornton School of Music (CA), University of Oregon (OR), Humber College (Toronto), McGill University (Montreal), Guildhall School of Music & Drama (UK), Chapman University (CA), and Tiffin University (OH).   Watch the session video for "Tango de Mango" by Andrew Kesler.
Andrew Mullin
Andrew Mullin is an audio engineer and educator who is passionate about capturing and shaping sound and empowering musicians to realize their artistic vision. Whether running a large-format console in a commercial studio or operating his mobile recording rig in a one-car garage, Andrew is distinguished by his ability to enhance the creative potential of those around him. Andrew completed a bachelor’s degree in music in 2006 at McGill University and went on to earn a master’s degree in sound recording in 2008. During this time, he studied with George Massenburg and completed post-production work with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. As a freelance audio engineer, Andrew has been fortunate to collaborate with a wide range of artists including The O’Pears, Justin Dunlop, Bear Mountain, The Wooden Sky, Nick Doneff, Vivienne Wilder, Gord Hyland, Union Duke, Georgian Bay, The Ladom Ensemble; with projects by Amanda Tosoff (Words) and Mark Kelso (The Chronicles of Fezziwig) earning Juno nominations. Andrew joined the music production team at Humber College in 2010 as a staff engineer, recording and mixing over 50 student EPs before transitioning to teaching full time.
Andrew Marzotto
Andrew’s interest in music began at an early age, with a curiosity about Mozart and Beethoven. At around the age of nine, he wanted to be part of his older brother’s garage band, so he picked up the guitar and they partcipated in local festivals, shows and Battle of the Bands events. While attending a performing arts high school, Andrew discovered jazz and fell in love with it. He was very fortunate to be a part of the Jazz FM Youth Big Band, which introduced him to other like-minded teens. At the suggestion of Anthony Fung, Toronto drummer extraordinaire, he auditoned for the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop with Terri Lyne Carrington. This eventually led to him being accepted as an undergrad. After graduating from Berklee in 2016 with a full scholarship, Andrew became involved in the Toronto music scene, accompanying world-class artists and vocalists such as Justin Nozuka, Joanna Majoko, Dayna Stephens, Andrew McAnsh and Jesse Ryan, to name a few. With Justin Nozuka, he had the opportunity to tour extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. Andrew is continually learning new musical ideas and concepts and sharing them with others is his passion. He has honed his teaching methods and has developed a strong group of students from Toronto and around the world. Recently, Andrew has accepted a teaching position at the prestigious Humber College. As a session musician, Andrew has contributed to many albums, ranging from award-winning rap to cutting edge modern Jazz. With the help of his 2022 Toronto Emerging Jazz Artist award, he is recording on an album featuring original compositions to be released later this year. 
Anthony Panacci
Anthony Panacci attended the Humber Music jazz program from 1976 to 1980 and has also received his grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He is currently on faculty at Humber teaching jazz piano and in the recording studio department. Since 1976, he has been playing extensively in the Canadian music scene both live and in the studio. Anthony is a very versatile musician who plays jazz in festivals and clubs across Canada, notably in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. In 1986, he toured Canada with classical guitarist Liona Boyd. He has played and recorded pop and country with David Clayton Thomas, Petula Clark, Shirley Eikhard, the Mersey Brothers and Pete Wade, and Latin jazz with the Montuno Police, Robby Ameen and his own project, Eclectica Latino, featuring Raul Pineda and Roberto Viscaino. Anthony also owns a full digital recording studio in his house where he engineers and produces for bands, singers and music for TV, radio and many different jazz projects, including his own, Eclectica Latino and Blues for Jazz, and his wife Mary’s Her Perfume. In 2016 and 2017, Anthony played in the house band for the CBC Canadian Screen Awards with Norm MacDonald and Howie Mandel. He was Mississauga's musician of the year award in 1999 and received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mississauga.
Brad Klump
Music educator, musicologist, composer/songwriter, producer, author and guitarist, Brad Klump received his master's in music education at Indiana University (studying with David Baker) and undertook PhD work in ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (with Bruno Nettl and Lawrence Gushee) and York University (with Rob Bowman). As a guitarist, he has performed with such jazz artists as Bob Mintzer, Steve Houghton, Orin Isaacs, and Sam Rivers among others. As a composer, Brad has scored music for film and commercials, produced dance remixes, and wrote songs for many artists including Speech of the Grammy-award winning group Arrested Development. Brad was hired full time in 2004 to design, implement and oversee Humber’s innovative Bachelor of Music degree. He became the first professor in Canada to offer a credited course in bluegrass music.
Brian O'Kane
M.Mus. (Jazz Performance) - University of Toronto B.Mus. (Jazz Studies) - Thompson Rivers University Diploma (Honours Music) - Humber College Brian is very active in the Canadian music scene, having performed and recorded with groups including the Rob McConnell Tentet, The Boss Brass, John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra (Juno Award 2010), Hilario Duran’s Latin Jazz Big Band (Juno Award 2006), the Bernie Senensky Quintet and the Barry Elmes Quintet. He has also backed up a lengthy list of international artists including Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka, Diana Krall, and has appeared on dozens of radio/television jingles as well as theatre productions. Brian has also performed with a variety of classical ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and True North Brass. He has performed at jazz festivals around the world, most recently as a featured artist in Daejeon, South Korea. It was an honour for him to perform as an artist/clinician at the 33rd Annual International Trumpet Guild Conference held in Banff, Alberta.Brian loves working with young musicians and has been a guest performer/clinician at numerous colleges and universities nationwide. He is an Endorsing Artist for the Edwards Brass Instrument Company (Elkhorn, WI) as well as the Gard Instrument Bags (Kolkata, India).
Dave Neill
Born and raised in Ottawa, saxophonist Dave Neill moved to Toronto in 1995 to pursue a jazz performance degree from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Alex Dean and Mike Murley. Working as a performer, adjudicator and clinician, Dave is active on the freelance scene, including jobs with Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, Frankie Valli, Regis Philbin and Nikki Yanofsky. He has adjudicated at festivals across Ontario, including the national Musicfest finals, and has given a clinic at OMEA entitled “Breaking Down Barriers for Jazz Improvisation.” Now a full-time professor at Humber College, Dave teaches a variety of courses, including Business for Creative Industry and Song Materials, as well as private lessons in the woodwind area. Previously, he taught at the University of Toronto from 2004-2016 and the Humber College Community Music School from 2000-2015, as well as mentoring the next generation of performers at the Youth Jazz Canada’s Summer Jazz Workshop and the IMC Jazz Camp. Dave completed his master’s in jazz performance at the University of Toronto, and has released two CDs as a leader. His debut quartet CD, All In, featured his original compositions, while his follow-up CD, Daylight, was named as one of the top Canadian Jazz CDs of 2014 by Peter Hum of the Ottawa Citizen.
David French
David French has played with several artists including Louis Simão, Dan Fortin, Michael Davidson, Fabio Ragnelli, Harley Card, Allison Au, Aline Homzy, Morgan Childs, Jon Maharaj, Devon Henderson, Joshua Van Tassel, Alex Samaras, Trevor Giancola, Amanda Tosoff, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Reg Schwager, Perry White, Phil Dwyer, Kevin Turcotte, Neil Swainson, Jim Vivian, Don Thompson, Dave Young, the Queer Songbook Orchestra, The Sea And Cake, STARS, the Sam Roberts Band, Broken Social Scene and La Force, to name a few.  Media appearances include the Juno Awards, JazzFM.91, First Play Live, Q, Drive, Big City-Small World, Global Village, The Strombo Show, CTV Breakfast Television, Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW (NPR), Live On KEXP, MTV, MuchMusic, CBS This Morning, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and La Blogothéque. French has taught woodwinds and jazz ensembles at the Humber College Community Music program since 2002 and has taught woodwinds, wind ensembles, and Community Band at the Regent Park School of Music since 2011.
Dylan Bell
In a word: multifaceted. Juno Award-nominated Dylan Bell’s musical curiosity has kept him effortlessly crossing and blurring musical boundaries. Since he first discovered his parents’ eclectic Beethoven-to-Bob Dylan record collection, Dylan’s musical curiosity has kept him effortlessly crossing and blurring musical boundaries. Dylan is a mainstay on the Canadian music scene, having sung with many of Canada’s premiere vocal ensembles such as Cadence, Hampton Avenue, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, The Watch, the eclectic FreePlay Duo, and the 1980s-era vocal pop group Retrocity. When he’s not singing, he freelances as a keyboard player and bassist, working with varied artists from world-music’s Autorickshaw, to veteran rockers Honeymoon Suite, to his own Police tribute band, Synchronicty III, as well as studio and theatrical work. Behind the mixing board, Dylan has produced or engineered several award-winning albums, including a Juno co-nomination as Best Engineer for the Cadence album Twenty For One, the album Ferris Wheels with the world-renowned Swingle Singers from London, England, and the most recent, Juno-nominated album with the a cappella legends The Nylons, Skin Tight. Dylan’s work as a composer and arranger has garnered international recognition, as winner of the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award. When it comes to vocal arranging, Dylan wrote the book… literally. His major work, A Cappella Arranging (co-written with Deke Sharon), was published by Hal Leonard Music in 2013 to international acclaim. His choral compositions can be heard in such varying contexts as the Victoria Scholars, the Canadian Chamber Choir, and Cadence. Dylan is also in demand worldwide as an instrumental teacher and vocal/choral clinician. Visit Dylan at
Erica Procunier
Erica Procunier is a Canadian composer for film and other media. Her credits include scores for film, television, theatre, advertisement and interactive productions. She was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Toronto International Film Festival to compose the score for DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver, a live film-concert for the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. The film premiered live in concert with the TSO and toured across Canada to be performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. Erica recently scored Apple TV+'s Emmy-winning show Ghostwriter. For the CBC, she has scored the rowdy comedy series Little Dog and the children’s series Detention Adventure. Erica has worked on critically acclaimed films such as Pat Mills’ hit misfit comedy Don’t Talk to Irene, starring Geena Davis, and Thyrone Tommy’s anxiety-ridden drama Mariner, both official selections at the Toronto International Film Festival. Her composition, "Precipice," was the centrepiece of Seneca College's Nuit Blanche exhibition in Toronto, which included artwork by over 60 students and faculty all inspired by the same piece of music. Erica was selected to attend Berlinale Talents 2019 and is an alumna composer of the Canadian Film Centre’s Slaight Family Music Lab. She is on the board of directors of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and holds a Master of Music Composition from Western University.
Hannah Barstow
Hannah Barstow (b. 1994) is a pianist, vocalist and composer in the Toronto music scene. As a performer, she is firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz and is strongly influenced by the classic trios and quartets of Shirley Horn, Ahmad Jamal and Blossom Dearie. As a composer, her jazz, classical, pop and Latin music influences come through. She composes and arranges tunes for a range of ensemble sizes from trios to women's choirs and big bands. Hannah has an ARCT in piano performance (Royal Conservatory of Music), a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance on piano from the University of Toronto (U of T) and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance on piano from U of T. She is an alumna of Community Music School and happily returned in 2019 to teach. She is also a sessional lecturer at U of T. Hannah has performed with a number of renowned artists including Emilie Claire Barlow, Kris Davis, Mike Murley, Steve Wallace, Pat Collins, the Brian Barlow Big Band, the Greg Runions Big Band with the Kingston Symphony, and she was featured as a guest arranger and performer with the Kingston women's choir She Sings. In November of 2018, she performed on a short tour in Santiago and Viña del Mar, Chile, with Mike Murley. Hannah has released three jazz EPs: Hannah Barstow Trio, as well as Christmas for Two and Snow with Toronto jazz vocalist Kalya Ramu. She will release her first full-length album, Beneath, in the summer of 2021.
Haruka Nagata
Haruka Nagata is an audio engineer based in Montréal, Canada. Holding a master’s degree from McGill University, she focuses her work in the field of classical music.
Hilario Duran
Canadian Screen Award nominee (2021 Achievement in Music - Original Song for The Cuban) and winner of the Louis Applebaum Composers Award, Hilario Duran is well recognized for his piano playing and composing skills.The Cuban-born Hilario Duran grew up in Havana into a musical family surrounded by various musical influences. His first work as a professional musician was Cuba's Los Papa Cun-Cun Ensemble. Later on, in the 70s, he was Chucho Valdés' chosen successor in Cuba's most modern big band, Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna. Hilario was also a pianist, arranger and composer of Arturo Sandoval Group. In 1990, Hilario was the director of the band called Perspectiva, formed with the remained members of Arturo's band when Sandoval immigrated to the US. After making his mark in Cuba, Duran continued to essay his skills as a pianist, composer, arranger and musical director of remarkable virtuosity. He is one of Cuba's premier exponents of Latin jazz. Since arriving in Canada, Hilario has made a name for himself. He is a multi-Canadian Juno Award winner and nominee; an American Grammy nominee; a multi-Canadian National Jazz Award winner and nominee; and the proud recipient of the 2007 Chico O'Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award, from Latin Jazz USA, for his outstanding contributions to Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz. In addition, he has recently been recognized as the winner in the Latin jazz category of the Latin Awards Canada 2020, 6th Edition. Cuban-Canadian jazz pianist Hilario Duran is a fixture on the Toronto music scene. Duran immigrated in 1998 to Canada and was named One of the Ten Most influential Hispanic Canadians in 2009. Also, Hilario has been named Best Artist of the Year 2013 by the Toronto Musicians' Association and the 2014 Best Vision Award Winner (Premio a la Trayectoria). Hilario Duran represents an essential aspect in contemporary Cuban music and Cuban music history; he is a virtuoso player, arranger, composer, and bandleader in his own right.
Jacob Damelin
Jacob is a pianist and music teacher based in Toronto, Ontario. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2013, he has established himself as a performer and educator in several genres, including jazz, rock, soul, and pop. He released an album of his original music entitled Old Soul in 2015, and has collaborated with local artists such as Pat Labarbera, Lady Be Good, and The Kount.
Jesse Ryan
Jesse Ryan is a JUNO-nominated saxophonist and composer with a keen interest in the connections between jazz and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions. He’s the 2020 recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Jazz Artist Award and currently serves on the board of directors for the Toronto Arts Foundation. Ryan grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, surrounded by a rich heritage of music and is the grandson of one of the islands’ calypso veterans, the late Clifton Ryan, aka the “Mighty Bomber.” He’s studied at Berklee College of Music, Boston, and Humber College, Toronto, where he received a B.Mus. Degree in Contemporary Music. He’s currently pursuing an MFA in Music Composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts. “…a new jazz artist in the diaspora reconnecting with his roots to seal the idea of Caribbean music beyond a dance accompaniment.“ — Caribbean Beat Magazine, 2021
Johnny Griffith
Johnny Griffith is a multi-Juno Award-nominated saxophonist, composer and producer who has played and recorded with numerous artists including Don Thompson, Hawksley Workman, Jeremy Pelt, Charlie Hunter, The Wailers, Fishbone, Ernesto Cervini’s Tune Town, Alex Dean, Laila Biali, Al Henderson Quintet, Brandi Disterheft and Terra Hazelton, to name a few, and is a member of the popular Canadian funk/hip hop group the Pocket Dwellers. He has toured extensively across Canada, the United States, and Europe performing at all the major Canadian music festivals as well as several international venues, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.   Johnny co-leads the Griffith Hiltz Trio (GHT) with guitarist Nathan Hiltz, arriving on the scene with the 2009 album Now & Then, produced by and featuring Canadian jazz legend Don Thompson. Their debut album was selected by Terry McElligott at Jazz FM 91 as Jazz Album of the Year and was nominated for a Grand Prix du Jazz from the Montreal Jazz festival. Their second, more experimental release, This is What You Get, was produced by Canadian cult icon Hawksley Workman and sat at #1 on the national jazz charts for three weeks in 2013. Amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, GHT released its third album, Arcade, a nostalgic chiptune-jazz fusion nod to the music of film and video games of the 1980s.   The Johnny Griffith Quintet is the artist’s first solo venture and launched with Dance with the Lady in 2015. Featuring NYC’s Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, the album was the featured release on WBGO Jazz radio New Jersey. 2018 saw the release of The Lion, Camel and Child, again with Pelt, previewing at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2018.    In 2015, Johnny created the non-profit independent jazz label G-B Records and has gone on to produce and/or engineer Nathan Hiltz’s Songs Poetic and Samways, Whitney Ross-Barris' The Bright Lunch Trio, Graeme Stephen’s Projector Trio, Adrean Farrugia/Joel Frahm’s Blued Dharma, Chris Wallace’s Many Names, Andy Ballantyne’s Play on Words and UK’s NeWt Trio’s “Drip.” Johnny is also an active film and television composer. He has composed the scores for the films Still to Go and The Recipe, both films appearing in the Toronto International Film Festival, the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival. He is also a freelance composer for the Bell/CTV media group. Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Johnny has a Bachelor of Music from Humber College, a master’s degree in jazz performance from University of Toronto, and for the past 12 years, he has been a Humber Music faculty member.  Johnny Griffith currently lives and performs in Toronto, Canada.
Justin Gray
Justin Gray is a producer, bassist, composer, and educator based in Toronto. As a producer, recording, mixing and mastering engineer, Justin has worked with artists from across the globe in a diverse range of musical styles ( As a Dolby ATMOS mix and mastering engineer, Justin is also a leader in the field of immersive audio production ( As an electric bassist, double bassist, and Bass Veena player, Justin performs in a variety of traditional and contemporary musical ensembles from around the world. Additionally, Justin leads his own contemporary world music ensemble, Justin Gray & Synthesis ( Over the course of his career, Justin has received a number of awards and distinctions, including: nomination for World Music Album of the Year (CFMA 2020), nomination for Best Solo Artist (CFMA 2018), recipient of Emerging Jazz Artist Award (Toronto Arts Foundation 2015), recipient of Shanti Chakravarty Award for Excellence in Indian Classical Performance (York University 2015). As a performing artist, Justin is proudly endorsed by Godfrey Guitars, Markbass, D’Addario Canada, Radial Engineering, Lava Cable and Source Audio.
Kelsley Grant
Trombonist, composer and arranger Kelsley Grant received his bachelor of music from McGill University and completed his graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. Shortly after leaving New York, he joined Maynard Fergusonʼs Big Bop Noveau and toured the United States, Germany, Switzerland and England. Kelsley has performed with Aretha Franklin, Jackie Richardson, Frank Sinatra Jr., Michael Buble, Maria Schneider, Michel LeGrand, Nicholas Payton, Sophie Milman, Ranee Lee and Nikki Yanofsky. He toured with Forever Swing and took part in the Toronto productions of Annie, Romancing The One I Love, Ainʼt Misbehavinʼ, The Rat Pack, Kinky Boots, Matilda and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He has played on several movie soundtracks including Born to Be Blue, Cirque de Soleil Alegría and Les Triplettes De Belleville. Kelsley has been twice nominated for trombonist of the year by the National Jazz Awards. The Jefferson-Grant Quintet won an Opus Award for their first recording and was nominated Acoustic Ensemble of the Year by the National Jazz Awards. Kelsley has served as a faculty member at McGill University, University of Montreal and University of Toronto. He has given master classes and clinics at universities across Canada and is currently a full-time faculty member at Humber College
Kevin Lau
Described as a “self-assured voice” (Barczablog) with a “masterful control over his idiom” (Classical Music Sentinel), Kevin Lau is one of Canada’s most sought-after composers. Awarded the 2017 Canada Council’s prestigious Victor Martyn Lynn-Staunton Award, Kevin’s work has been commissioned and performed by ensembles across North America, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Made in Canada, Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Afiara String Quartet, the Dior String Quartet, and the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. His work has been performed abroad in countries such as Denmark, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. In 2021, he assumed the role of Composer in Residence of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.   In 2016 he composed the score for the National Ballet of Canada’s full-length ballet Le Petit Prince, featuring choreography by NBOC Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté. His second ballet (Dark Angels), commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and also choreographed by Côté, was described as “riveting” (Ottawa Citizen) and “extraordinarily accomplished and expressive” (Artsfile). One of his most recent large-scale works, an oratorio-film hybrid (Bound) commissioned by Against the Grain Theatre, was hailed by the Globe and Mail as “a brilliant creation.”  Kevin’s discography includes two JUNO award-winning albums: Detach (Redshift, harpist Angela Schwarzkopf) and Mosaïque (Ensemble Made in Canada.) Other albums include Solo Seven (ATMA Classique, violinist Marc Djokic), which won Best Album at the 2020 East Coast Music Awards; the JUNO-nominated Spin Cycle (Centrediscs, Afiara Quartet and DJ Skratch Bastid); and Encount3rs (Analekta, National Arts Centre Orchestra.) His recent composition Little Feng Huang is featured on the album Lumena (Redshift, Topaz Duo) which was voted among the “best 22 classical albums of 2022” according to CBC.  Born in Hong Kong, Kevin received his doctorate in 2012 from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Christos Hatzis; shortly after, he was appointed Affiliate Composer of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra till 2015. He is also an active film composer, and has written the scores to over a dozen films, including Charles Officer's acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince (2018).  Watch the Toronto Symphony Orchestra perform Kevin Lau's "For Home."
Kevin Li
It's been about 9 years since I started my first sound engineering job. Currently I'm working as a sound enginner and the studio managerat Desert Fish Studios, where I've worked since graduating from the Music Technology and Digital Media master's program at University of Toronto over four years ago. I've had opportunities to work with some of the best talents in Canada and China, such as Geddy Lee, Simu Liu, Manteca, Loreena McKennitt, Tyler Shaw, Sa Dingding, to name a few. I'm also an influential music content creator with 428k subsribers (as of September 2023) to my video channel on I've been creating contents since July 2021, and have a total number of 42 videos to date, among which seven of them have reached over one million views. My channel specializes in vocal and guitar performance, as well as finely produced sound and advanced video editing. I also co-teach the sound recording courses for the Music Technology and Digital Media program at University of Toronto.
Kim Ratcliffe
Kim Ratcliffe’s experience covers a wide variety of musical endeavors. As a teenager in Victoria, he was playing six nights a week in bar bands, studying classical guitar, and discovering jazz. Known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays mandolins in the Toronto production of Come From Away and co-leads the jazz/rock band 13go, which has featured special guest Vernon Reid. He has been a member of Paul Delong’s fusion group One Word, the Walrus Guitar Quartet (chamber music with David Occhipinti, Ted Quinlan and Roddy Elias), the jazz quartet Rat4, and toured or recorded with singers Holly Cole, Colm Wilkinson, Ron Sexmith and others. He has been a member of genre-bending new music ensemble Hemispheres and avant funk band Gotham City, studied and performed with composers David Mott and James Tenney, worked in theatre and played in many of Toronto’s top dance bands. Kim has taught at Humber and Mohawk Colleges, and currently has a couple new projects on the way.
Kirk MacDonald
With an established reputation as one of Canada’s leading saxophonists, Kirk MacDonald cut his first record at the age of thirteen. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, and has worked with many leading musicians in a variety of musical genres. He has performed on over fifty CDs as both leader and sideman, and has participated in numerous national broadcast recordings for CBC Radio. In addition to performing extensively throughout Canada, he has also performed in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Monaco, Australia, Korea, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. For over 30 years, Kirk MacDonald has worked and recorded with many leading Canadian, American and international jazz musicians including Claude Ranger, Dave Young, Sam Noto, Sonny Greenwich, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Harold Mabern, Walter Bishop Jr., Tom Harrell, Vic Juris, Peter Bernstein, Adam Nussbaum, Rich Perry, Kurt Elling, David Virelles, Ralph Bowen, Dick Oatts, Ben Monder, Seamus Blake, Jonathan Blake, Lorne Lofsky, Bob Mover, Pat LaBarbera, John Taylor, Ron McClure, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Jim McNeely, Bob Mintzer, Vince Mendoza, John Clayton, Chris Potter, Glenn Ferris, Maria Schneider, Dave Grusin, Danilo Perez, Adam Rogers, Dennis Mackrel, Nancy Walker, Barry Romberg, Andre White, Rob Smith, Brian Dickinson, Denny Christianson, Bernie Senensky, Phil Nimmons, James Moody, Rosemary Clooney, and the Humber College Faculty Ensemble. Over 100 performances of Kirk MacDonald’s compositions appear on 25 albums, both as leader and on recordings by other artists. Kirk has established a substantial body of original work as a saxophonist/composer over the past three decades. As a followup to his award-winning recordings Symmetry, with Tom Harrell, and Vista Obscura, with Harold Mabern, MacDonald released Common Ground, a double CD of his compositions arranged by Joe Sullivan for Jazz Orchestra, and Silent Voices, a co-led quartet outing with renowned saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, featuring American jazz great Adam Nussbaum on drums. MacDonald’s 2019 recording, Generations, brings him back full circle to his roots in a program of jazz standards and the Great American Songbook. Generations features three generations of musicians: the legendary pianist Harold Mabern at age 82 and MacDonald’s wonderfully talented daughter Virginia MacDonald, at age 23, on clarinet. Kirk's latest CD, Trane of Thought, co-led with Pat LaBarbera received a 2021 Juno nomination for best jazz recording. Kirk MacDonald has been active as an educator for 30 years at leading jazz studies programs such as The University of Toronto, Humber College and McGill University. Through his work with these programs, numerous live performances, recordings, master classes and workshops throughout Canada and internationally, Kirk has become one of Canada’s most respected and in-demand educators. For close to three decades, MacDonald has been a leader in his field of performance, composition and education and has had a huge and lasting influence on many of Canada’s younger generation of musicians. Many former students have gone on to forge national and international careers in many genres of music. Professional highlights as a leader: 16 CDs as Leader/Co-Leader 2 JUNO Awards, 7 Nominations 1 East Coast Music Award, 2 Nominations 2 Jazz Report Awards Toronto Musicians’ Association Life Time Achievement Award SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award for Composition International Jazz Soloist Award - Monaco Over 100 performances of Kirk MacDonald’s compositions appear on over 25 recordings Professional work/education: Over 40 CDs as Sideman with 4 JUNO Nominations 2 Distinguished Faculty Awards
Larnell Lewis
Larnell Lewis is a Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, producer, and educator. Based in Toronto, he has established himself among the most diverse and in-demand drummers in the world.  Since 2012, Larnell has been playing with three-time Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy. Larnell leads successful ensembles of his own and has toured the globe with highly reputable contemporary musicians, including Quincy Jones, Laila Biali, Jeremy Ledbetter, Etienne Charles, Gregory Porter, Benny Golson, Lalah Hathaway, Jacob Collier, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Lisa Fisher, Kurt Elling, Gary Burton, and more. Larnell’s immense talent, fierce creativity, and evolving musical style keep him in demand as a collaborator for artists internationally.  In June 2018, Larnell independently released his debut album, In The Moment. This project explores Larnell’s deep connection to jazz, fusion, and his Afro-Caribbean roots. The album features performances from a wide range of musicians such as fellow Snarky Puppy band mates Shaun Martin, Mark Lettieri, Juno Award-winners Mike Downes, Robi Botos, and many others. His latest release, Relive The Moment (2020), is a reimagining of his compositions from In The Moment, with new drum performances, recorded at Jukasa Studios. In addition to his success as recording artist, performer, and director, Larnell is a dedicated music educator. He is a professor of music at Humber College, Canada’s most respected institution for post-secondary music education.  Whether performing on the world stage with internationally acclaimed artists, or playing local gigs in Toronto, Larnell Lewis is consistently a passionate and joyful creator, as well as one of the most skilled, musical drummers today. Larnell Lewis is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian, Promark, Evans, D’Addario, Prologix, and Latin Percussion.
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.
Lucian Gray
Lucian Gray has established a reputation, both domestically and internationally, as one of Canada’s leading guitarists, and is integral to Toronto’s jazz scene as both sideman and leader. Born into a musical family, Lucian’s musical journey began with piano lessons from his mother at the age of three. His father, Charlie Gray, is one of Canada’s foremost trumpet players and his mother, Madoka Murata, is the head of her own music school, Discovery Through the Arts. Lucian’s interest in music, particularly jazz, was immediate and he knew very early on that he wanted to be a professional musician. In addition to his primary instrument, guitar, Lucian also doubles on piano and both upright and electric bass. From touring internationally to playing local clubs regularly, Lucian’s experience as a performer across a variety of genres and styles is extensive. He feels at home playing a plethora of genres and is a veteran of both stage and studio.

Matt Newton
Matt Newton is a Toronto-based pianist, composer and educator, and has been teaching at Humber's Community Music School since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto jazz program and has attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music where he studied with world renowned trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas and pianist Deron Johnson (Miles Davis). He is a member of the Harley Card Quintet and has performed with such respected artists as Melissa Lauren, Petr Cancura, Chris Gale, Rebecca Hennessy, Karl Silveira, Allison Au, Tim Shia, and Beverly Taft among many others.
Michael Pelletier
A multi-talented leader who brings a unique and comprehensive range of skill sets and experience to the Canadian music industry landscape. Music Industry Professional (25 years). Expertise with label and artist management, marketing, sales, and negotiation have created a proven and consistent track record of successes. A willing problem solver fluent with decision-making and conflict resolution has created long-standing relationships with creatives and business partners alike. Educator (8 years). Leads students towards exceptional achievement while creating and delivering authentic learning situations tailored to their career goals. Dedicated to developing and mentoring future music inustry leaders.  Musician (35 years). Developed a high level of diverse music expertise through multiple areas and aspects of the working musician. Extensive experience with live performance, music direction, composition and producing. Professional-level fluency in a number of genres.  
Rebecca Pellett
Rebecca Pellett is an arranger, orchestrator and composer living and working in Toronto, Canada. She arranges extensively for symphony orchestra; her work has been featured by premiere orchestras across the continent, including the Cincinnati Pops, Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She is an enthusiastic collaborator, arranging and orchestrating for a vast variety of artists and ensembles including Rosanne Cash, Joe Henry, Common, Ron Sexsmith, Adam West, George Takei, the USO, Aoife O’Donovan, Measha Brueggergosman, Natalie MacMaster, the Leahy family, The Barra MacNeils, Sarah Slean, The Rankin Family, Sultans of String, Hawksley Workman, Rose Cousins, Chris Hadfield, David Myles, Dan Mangan, Jenn Grant, Stars, Whitehorse, Kuné, Matt Andersen, & Ria Mae. Rebecca has also been commissioned to write original works for many prominent Canadian ensembles and artists, including Quartetto Gelato, Colin Maier, the Sultans of String, and the Viceroy Brass Ensemble.  Rebecca has significant experience orchestrating for the screen, and has worked with many iconic filmmakers and composers, including Norman Jewison, Dan Petrie, Don McKellar, Guy Maddin, Jonathan Goldsmith, and Michael Small. Also at home in the recording studio, Rebecca has worked as an engineer and producer on many notable recording projects; she was an engineer on eight Toronto Symphony Orchestra recordings, one of which was nominated for a Juno award.  Recently Rebecca has written several pieces which will bring to the stage books published by Scholastic and Penguin Random House. In 2022 a recording of her new composition inspired by Bobby Orr's children's book, Bobby Orr and the Hand-Me-Down Skates, and featuring narration by Peter Mansbridge, was released.
Shirantha Beddage
Two-time JUNO-nominated musician Shirantha Beddage is a baritone saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto, Canada. His original music combines hard bop and modern jazz to create a sound that is both accessible and sophisticated. He has released three critically-acclaimed albums as a leader: Roots and Branches, Identity (2013 JUNO nominee) and Momentum (2017 JUNO nominee). As a sideman, he has been featured on recordings with the Order of Canada Band, Suzie Arioli, Laila Biali, Nancy Walker, Mike Downes and many others. His compositional skills have won him accolades such as the Montreal Jazz Festival Galaxie Rising Star Award, recognitions at the Canadian Songwriting Competition, and placements in the Emmy-winning TV series “Fargo”. Shirantha currently serves as Head of Theory and Harmony in the Humber College Bachelor of Music program, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Pedagogy, and Ensemble. He was previously Director of Jazz Studies at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music (Columbus, Georgia, USA). He also adjudicates regularly at festivals throughout the country including MusicFest Canada, where he serves as Vice-Chairman of Instrumental Jazz. His innovative teaching methods have earned him national recognition as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music (New York, USA), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University (New Jersey, USA), and a Bachelor of Music degree from Humber College. Shirantha is a Yamaha saxophone artist and performs on the YBS-62. For more information, please visit
Thom McKercher
A 31-year veteran of the music business, Thom has taught music, managed mega-retail stores, worked for Universal in sales, promotional and marketing capacities, led fundraising campaigns for his favourite arts organizations, and ran his own consulting business specializing in the promotion and marketing of classical and jazz music. He is thrilled to be part of the Humber team working with the next generation of music business leaders.
Thomas Francis
Thomas Francis is one of Toronto’s leading pianists and is well known for his extensive background in jazz and soul-based musics. Thomas played with Canadian artists such as Juno Award-winning music icon and jazz vocalist Kellylee Evans, Alexis Baro (Juno-nominated jazz artist), Dan Talevski (MMVA nominee), Melanie Durrant (Juno-nominated R&B artist), KC Roberts & The Live Revolution (Toronto funk band), The Reklaws (CCMA-winning country duo), George St. Kitts (Juno-nominated Toronto soul icon), and many more.  Thomas completed his diploma in Jazz Performance at Humber College, and bachelor of fine arts at York University. In 2017, he completed his master's in Composition at York where his work focused on the relationship between jazz and hip-hop histories and musics and a new breadth course he created, “Hip Hop: A Study of Blackness.” His works received grants such as the 2019 Special Projects grant by the Toronto Jazz Festival and the 2021 Music Recording Project – EP Category grant from Ontario Arts Council. Additionally, he is well known for his musicianship skills in writing and arranging for strings, having established his own contemporary string ensemble, The Four Strings.   Thomas is the host of The Jazz Gene, a weekly one-hour show on Toronto’s online jazz radio platform, Thomas has spent the last five years working as a professor of music at Centennial College and is looking forward to joining Humber’s music program as a full-time faculty member this year.
Tom Ionescu
Tom Ionescu (MMus, BEd) is a Canadian musician, recording artist, composer, and visual artist. Over the last decade he has celebrated a multifaceted career as a live performer (Jane's Party, Shad, Dwayne Gretzky, Devin Cuddy Band), recording artist (Shad, Jane's Party, Andrew Hyatt, Ferraro), film composer and songwriter (Akilla's Escape, Barbara Anne, Kim’s Convenience, Burden of Truth, Hockey Night in Canada), graphic artist (Sam Roberts Band, Heavyweights Brass Band, Dwayne Gretzky) as well as producer, engineer/mixer and music video director/editor for his own band, Jane's Party. Tom’s work with Jane’s Party has included four full-length albums, collaborations with Ewan Currie (Sheepdogs, BROS), Leland Whitty (BADBADNOTGOOD) and Skratch Bastid among others, and multiple singles on regular rotation on Indie 88.1, 102.1 The Edge, and CBC Radio 1 and 2. The band has opened, toured and/or played alongside Blue Rodeo, Arkells, Tom Odell, Sam Roberts Band, Jefferson Starship, LIGHTS, Matt Mays, and Stars among others. In 2011, Tom attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music led by Dave Douglas. Tom holds a master of music in jazz guitar performance from the University of Toronto and a bachelor of education from York University.
Trevor Giancola
Named one of Canada’s Best Jazz Musicians Under 35 by the CBC in 2017, Trevor Giancola continues to perform and tour as a guitarist, band leader and educator. Trevor’s first album, Fundamental (2016), has been described as “one of the most assured and interesting jazz albums of the year, with an incredible cast of supporting musicians” (, and his “deep feelings for music are obvious in the breadth and emotional resonance he brings... playing with innate grace and beautiful, loping lines, Giancola plays wise beyond his years” (Da Gama, WholeNote Magazine). Trevor’s second release, Sonnet 18, on TQM Records was released in the fall of 2019 and features Seamus Blake on saxophone, Rick Rosato on bass, and Adam Arruda on drums. The album was very well received by peers and critics alike with WholeNote Magazine praising Trevor for his “intelligent compositions, and [for being] the tie that binds the music together, playing with clarity, intelligence and [an] enviable tone, from the album’s most sensitive moments to its most aggressive.” Notably, Trevor has shared the stage with Seamus Blake, John Abercrombie, Donny McCaslin, and many other Canadian artists, namely Sophie Milman, Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, Kelly Jefferson, Tia Brazda, and John Macleod. Currently, Trevor is completing a master’s degree in music composition at York University and is part of the music faculty at Humber College.
Will Jarvis
Toronto-born musician Will Jarvis is a busy freelance bassist, composer and educator who has been performing professionally since 1980. He is a graduate of the Humber College/TRU Bachelor of Music program and holds a Master of Arts in Composition from York University in Toronto. Will has gained a reputation as a very versatile player and is equally comfortable playing jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, and jazz fusion as well as Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music. Will has had the pleasure of performing with Latin jazz artists Tito Puente, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito D'Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Hilario Duran, Luis Conte and Dave Valentin. He has also performed and recorded with many outstanding Canadian artists including David Clayton-Thomas, Vernon Dorge, Bruce Cassidy's Anti-Gravity Machine, The Code, Jackie Richardson, Carlos Del Junco, Louise Pitre, Trevor Dick Band, Sinal Aberto and many more. Along with his own group, Will currently performs and records as a member of the multi-award-winning group Manteca. In 2015, Will released his debut recording as a leader, Con Gracias, featuring some of Canada’s premier musicians including Hilario Duran, Bill McBirnie, Luis Orbegoso, Rosendo Chendy Léon Arocha, Kevin Turcotte and Don Thompson. The award-winning recording features a collection of all-original Latin jazz compositions based on an array of contemporary and traditional Afro-Cuban styles containing beautiful melodies and sizzling grooves. As an educator, Will has been teaching at the college and university level for over thirty years. In addition to teaching at Humber College he is also on the music faculty at Mohawk College with previous positions at McMaster University and York University.
Yvette Tollar
A staple in Canada’s music scene for over three decades, versatile, veteran vocalist Yvette Tollar has performed for audiences across Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Yvette’s CD, Ima, was nominated for a JUNO Award (Best Vocal Jazz Album). Known for her velvety rich tone, keen musical instincts and soulful delivery of the lyric, Yvette transports audiences to unexpected places and keeps them coming back for more. She is a featured vocalist on numerous recordings including those of Canadian jazz, soul, folk and world music elites such as Elizabeth Shepherd, Michael Occhipinti’s Shine On project, Kevin Breit, John MacMurchy, Marito Marquez, Maryem & Ernie Tollar, Dominic Mancuso and Rich Brown’s Rinsethealgorithm. Yvette has shared stages with jazz masters Sheila Jordan, Dave Holland, Kenny Werner and Don Thompson. Tollar has composed, produced and sung extensively for film, television and radio. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, scholarships and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, Banff Centre, Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council which awarded her the illustrious Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Inspiring generations of young musicians for over 25 years, Yvette has taught voice, piano, songwriting and ensemble performance. As well, she has acted as advisor for recording projects, coached audition hopefuls, conducted masterclasses and workshops, and offered detailtd and insightful feedback as a sought-after adjudicator. Uplifted by her personalized and passionate approach, Yvette’s students have gone on to nominations and coveted wins at The Grammy Awards, JUNO Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards, Indigenous Music Awards, Dora Awards, and more. Since 2015, Yvette has been a faculty member at Humber College where she has taught numerous subjects in the Bachelor of Music, Music Composition and Introduction to Commercial Jazz programs.

A New Home for Humber Music

Top talent should have access to top tools and spaces. The Humber Cultural Hub offers music students:

  • 140-seat professional-level recital hall with high-quality acoustics
  • Atmos-ready recording studio attached to the recital hall for live audio recording
  • 70-plus instrument practice rooms, including a dedicated percussion wing and keyboard labs, and large-ensemble practice rooms
  • Open spaces for jam sessions and impromptu performances

And that’s just at the opening of Phase One in Fall 2024! Learn more about future developments at the Hub.

Hear From Our Alumni

Tamara sitting in front of a grand piano

“It's not just reading from a book, or someone isn't just teaching you the theory of something. They're teaching you actually how to do what needs to be done. That was a really great aspect of the program: people who are already doing it are teaching you what to do.”

— Tamara Tatiossian, Music Business Graduate

Otis playing the drums

“Humber was integral in my preparation for now because it taught me different styles of music and theory. Theory especially helped me with the understanding of chords. I’ve been in situations where I led bands from the drum chair and was able to communicate chords for arranging purposes. Humber also taught me the importance of discipline. Applying yourself is key to any type of development. Figuring out what or who you want to be, then focussing on that path. With hard work and dedication, you’ll achieve your goals.”

—Otis Williams, Bachelor of Music Graduate

Kristina looking over her shoulder in front of a piano

“I chose Humber because for so many years, it has had the reputation of having the best professors (who are acclaimed musicians themselves) and producing some of the best musicians in Toronto, who go on to make big news in Canada and the world. I really wanted to be a part of that. The fact that the Intro program is only one year was also perfect for me and my plans.”

—Kristina Bijelic, Introduction to Commercial Jazz Music Graduate

student playing the saxophone

Watch the video to learn more about the Humber Community Music Program.

More About Community Music

The Community Music School (CMS) provides accessible music education to children and youth in the GTA. Founded in 1980 and operating out of Humber’s Lakeshore Campus, the School offers weekly private lessons and small-group classes to children and youth of all musical experience levels.

Over the past 40-plus years, CMS has established an international reputation as a leader in jazz and children’s music education, helping thousands of students develop their talent and pursue their aspirations in music.