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Juno nominations for U of T musicians

The Juno-nominated Alex Goodman Quintet includes (from left) alumni Maxwell Roach, Dan Fortin, Alex Goodman and D'Arcy Myronu as well as saxophone player Nick Morgan (photo by Chris Lindhorst)

Alumni, faculty and resident ensembles from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music have received seven Juno nominations in five categories.

They're joined by a PhD student in English from the university: David Ritter (vocals, keys) is a member of The Strumbellas. The band, often described as indie/rock and alt-country, is nominated under Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (group) for the debut album My Father and The Hunter.

The Strumbellas are on tour in the Martimes, playing in New Brunswich Feb. 23 and Halifax Feb. 24. They will be playing in Toronto March 1, 2013 at Caplansky's Delicatessen.

It's a first Juno nomination for the Faculty of Arts & Science's Ritter. Also receiving his first Juno nomination is Associate Professor Terry Promane.

"I'd like to congratulate the great work of my fellow faculty members and acknowledge the tremendous support from the Faculty of Music," said Promane, coordinator of Jazz Studies at U of T.

The Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet's Volume One was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year. The album was produced by alumnus Roberto Occhipinti.

"The Octet has been a labor of love since the start," said instructor Young, a renowned bassist who has received eight Juno nominations throughout his career and who won the 1993 Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Recording for Fables and Dreams.

"We hope for the best at this point and extend hearty congratulations to our talented colleagues who have also been nominated for a Juno award," Young said.

Young and Promane's group includes colleagues Gary Williamson (piano) and  Mike Murley, a lyrical saxophonist who has won two Junos and played on 10 Juno award-winning recordings since 1991, including four for which he was leader or co-leader.

Murley's work netted two separate nominations this year in the Traditional Jazz Album of the Year category. Along with bassist Steve Wallace and guitarist Ed Bickert, Murley is also nominated for Test of Time, a recording released Dec. 7, 2012 at U of T's Upper Jazz Studio. 

The trio’s only other release, Live at the Senator, won the 2002 Juno Award for best mainstream jazz album.

"I am honoured and thrilled to be part of U of T's strong jazz presence among Juno nominations this year," Murley said. "Our world-class faculty and alumni are well represented once again."

Among the alumni recognized is a quintet that includes four recent graduates of the Faculty of Music. The Alex Goodman Quintet received a nomination for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year for Bridges.

Goodman, who graduated in 2010, was awarded the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award for the “student deemed to have the greatest potential to make an important contribution to the field of music.” The recipient of a 2013 ASCAP Herb Alpert Composers Award, Goodman is currently working on his first book of solo guitar music.

The list of U of T's Juno nominees includes:

CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Alex Goodman Quintet – Bridges
The quintet is led by guitarist Goodman (MusBacPerf 2010) and includes pianist D’Arcy Myronuk (MusBacPerf 2007), bassist Dan Fortin (MusBacPerf 2007), and drummer Maxwell Roach (MusBacPerf 2009).

TRADITIONAL JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet – Volume One
The Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet includes jazz faculty Young, Promane,  Murley, Williamson and alumnus Kevin Turcotte (MusBac 1991).

Murley, Bickert and Wallace – Test of Time
The album is led by jazz faculty member Murley.

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO OR CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Canadian Brass – Canadian Brass Takes Flight
The Canadian Brass is the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music in 2012-13.

Amici Chamber Ensemble – Levant
Amici consists of cellist David Hetherington, pianist Serouj Kradjian (MusBacPerf 1994), and clarinet faculty Joaquin Valdepenas.

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LARGE ENSEMBLE OR SOLOISTS WITH LARGE ENSEMBLE ACCOMPANIMENT

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra – The Galileo Project
The Galileo Project was conceived, scripted and programmed by Alison MacKay (MusBac 1974) for the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Baroque Orchestra in Residence at the Faculty of Music.

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL PERFORMANCE

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir – Handel Messiah
Handel Messiah was conducted by instructor Ivars Taurins of the Faculty of Music and features Brett Polegato (MusBacPerf 1994) as one of the soloists. Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is the Baroque Orchestra in Residence at the Faculty of Music.

Alumni and faculty contributed to a wide range of nominated albums. The Gryphon Trio, Ensemble-in-Residence, commissioned and recorded Alexina Louie's Echoes of Time, nominated for Classical Composition of the Year. The album also features clarinetist James Campbell (MusBac 1971). The Gryphons are also soloists in Equilateral, a triple concerto by Jeffery Ryan (MusM 1989) which is featured on the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's album, Fugitive Colours, nominated for Best Classical Album, Large Ensemble or Soloists with Large Ensemble Accompaniment.  Drummer Colin Kingsmore (MusBacPerf 2005) is featured on Rewind, which is nominated for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. 

The 2013 Juno Awards broadcast will be hosted by Michael Bublé and will air Sunday, April 21 on CTV from Regina’s Brandt Centre.