On Thursday, April 28, 2022, as part of the TD Jazz series, Arts Commons Presents and JazzYYC made history with Canadian National Jazz Orchestra: Premiere Performance in the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Conceived and produced right here in Calgary, this Canadian National Jazz Orchestra performance was an ambitious showcase of the best in Canadian jazz musicians, composers, and arrangers. Canada has a rich history of developing elite jazz talents since the beginning of the art form, but there had never been a country-wide union of jazz artists of this scale.
In this debut performance, the Canadian National Jazz Orchestra celebrated our world-class musicians and their unique Canadian perspective and talents – together, on the same stage.
Under the artistic direction of multiple award-winning and world-renowned big band leader Christine Jensen, the Canadian National Jazz Orchestra featured new works composed by Jensen, Philippe Côté and Marianne Trudel from Quebec, Brian Dickinson from Ontario, Derrick Gardner from Manitoba, renowned expat Darcy James Argue (based in New York) and Jaelem Bhate – the inaugural Canadian National Jazz Orchestra Emerging Composer – from British Columbia.