Sax Bryan Qu / 曲知白 曲知白 is a bandleader, producer, and saxophonist who works in music and sound to create transcendent experiences, artworks, and meaningful communities. Qu is currently active in North America, Europe, and China, and was trained in New York through both studying at the New School and collaborating with leading musicians of our time.
Bass Julian Anderson-Bowes Julian Anderson-Bowes is an acoustic and electric bassist hailing from Toronto, Canada. Growing up in a musical family, he became infatuated with listening and playing from an early age. After being heavily involved in music at his local high school, he attended the degree program in music performance at Humber College from 2009-2013 where he studied with Mike Downes and Neil Swainson. The summer after graduating, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Banff Centre’s Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. While there, he had the opportunity to study with some of the world’s finest jazz musicians, including Esperanza Spalding, Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Ravi Coltrane and others. Since then, he has been building his reputation as an active member of Toronto’s vibrant music scene, and has performed across Canada, the US, Italy, and many countries in South America. He co-leads the group JabFung, in which he has performed with Canadian jazz icons Kirk Macdonald and Kelly Jefferson as well as American saxophone legend George Garzone. He has also shared the stage with Dave Liebman and toured with the Canadian jazz group, The Shuffle Demons. He plays regularly with the Juno-nominated Tara Kannangara group, the Luan Phung Quintet, Luis Deniz Quartet, and Jesse Ryan’s Bridges. Julian regularly composes and performs his own music and hopes to record some of this in 2018.
Vocal Mingjia Mingjia is a vocalist, improviser, composer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, & active contributor to the ever-growing Toronto arts scene. From composing music for her 13-piece chamber ensemble Tortoise Orchestra & singing at venues in, around, over & under the city, to visual art, pedagogy & sneaking jokes into her biography, Mingjia continues to explore different ways to create.
Recognized for her technical & stylistic versatility as a vocalist, her box-breaking, label-smudging sound as a composer, & her lively energy as a collaborator, Mingjia has performed with, composed for & recorded with a plethora of musical groups. These include James Fernando, the science of what ?, David Occhipinti, Juliet Palmer, GREX (led by Alex Samaras), Pleasurecraft, SonuSkapos Jazz Orchestra, Obselete Vernacular (led by Trevor Giancola), Makes Shapes, Celeste, Andi, & more. She has performed at various Toronto venues, namely the Rex Hotel, the Music Gallery, Aga Khan Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Burdock & Heliconian Hall. She has produced 2 releases as a band leader. Feel Seen, her most recent EP, is described by the WholeNote as “beautiful, mature and exceptionally coherent”.
A graduate & the Oscar Peterson Prize recipient of Humber College's Bachelor of Jazz and Contemporary Music program, Mingjia has had the incredible good fortune of studying with some of Canada’s most innovative artists, such as Christine Duncan, Geoff Young, Shannon Gunn, Alex Samaras, & David Occhipinti. She has been commissioned by Grammy-Award-Winning Ensemble Roomful of Teeth through the American Composer’s Forum. In 2017 She participated in the Banff Centre’s Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music led by the effervescent Vijay Iyer, where she made music, conversation & dessert platters with some of the world’s leading voices of contemporary music such as Tyshawn Sorey, Stephan Crump, Jen Shyu, & more.
Piano Chris Pruden Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Chris Pruden became interested in jazz after completing high school and attending the contemporary music diploma program at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan College. Chris was then accepted into the prestigious jazz program at the University of Toronto where he completed his undergraduate degree in piano performance while studying under Geoff Young, Gary Williamson and Chris Donnelly. Chris feels at home in a wide variety of genres and has gained vast amounts of experience performing across Canada at jazz festivals in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa as well as such venues as the Rex Jazz Bar in Toronto, Koerner Hall, Lula Lounge, the Mod Club and many more. Chris currently performs around Toronto in a number of diverse groups including: Falcon Punch, Chloe Charles, Rachael Cardiello and the Warm Electric Winter Band, Tara Kannangara Group, Adam Teixeira's Texture, Lydia Persaud Group, Nick Teehan, Tequila House Band, Future Machines, Ronley Teper and the Lipliners, and more.
Drums Mark Ballyk Mark Ballyk is a Canadian improvisor and composer living in New York City. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Jazz percussion from the Manhattan School of Music in 2017. As a performer, Mark has been featured in concerts and festivals across Canada, including the Victoria Jazz Festival, the Campbell Bay Music Festival, South Country Fair and Sappy Fest. His debut album with the collaborative band Dystil was released by Clean Feed Records in the summer of 2018. Mark currently manages the New Music venue Spectrum in New York City. His art is dedicated to the development of criteria which serve to transcend boundaries of culture and artistic practice toward an expression of highly personal and innovative aesthetic experiences.