The Canadian Jazz Saxophonist: Jane Bunnett

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

Let’s talk about Jane Bunnett, the Canadian jazz sensation and the canadian jazz saxophonist known for her killer improvisation skills, mad technical prowess, and all-around musical brilliance.

The canadian jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett born on October 22, 1955, in Toronto, Jane initially danced with classical piano but switched things up due to a bout of tendinitis. No worries, though – she rocked it on wind instruments at the Royal Conservatory.

The Canadian Jazz Saxophonist: Jane Bunnett

In 1979, the jazz bug bit her, and she dived into jazz studies at York University in Toronto, inspired by the legendary Charles Mingus and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. San Francisco also played a role in this musical love story.

The Early Years of Jazzing Around
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Racking Up Awards Like a Pro

Let’s talk awards! Jane’s got a shelf full of them – MacArthur Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Grammy nods, Alpert Award in the Arts, and a couple of “Echo” awards from Germany. And oh, she’s been Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last ten years according to Downbeat Magazine. Street cred? Check!

Cuban Adventures and Transformative Turns

In the mid-1980s, The Canadian Jazz Saxophonist Jane’s life did a 180 when she explored the vibrant music scene of Cuba with her husband, Larry Cramer. Captivated, she went all in, learning from local musicians and immersing herself in Cuban music traditions. She even formed a group, “The Spirits of Havana,” featuring talented Cuban musicians.

From Canada to Cuba: Musical Fusions Galore

Jane’s musical journey continued with “Rendezvous Brazil-Cuba” and the acclaimed “Chamalongo.” The latter is her musical baby, showcasing her love for exploring and fusing Afro-Cuban roots.

Maqueque: A Five-Year Marvel

Fast forward to Maqueque, Jane’s extraordinary jazz project. Starting as a mission to record and mentor talented young female musicians from Cuba, it’s now a major player on the North American jazz stage. From Juno Awards to Grammy nominations, these ladies are killing it.

Maqueque A Five Year Marvel
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The Unstoppable Jane Bunnett

With five Juno Awards, three Grammy nominations, and a bunch of accolades like the Order of Canada, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Premier’s Award for Excellence, Jane is a musical force to be reckoned with. Plus, she’s been recognized as one of the top ten jazz groups by DownBeat magazine.

Read also: Greatest 21st Century Pianist Vijay Iyer

From the Streets to Jazz Festivals Worldwide

This lady’s taken her unique sound to jazz festivals worldwide, showing off her skills as a flutist, saxophonist, and pianist. There are even two documentary films about her work – “Spirits of Havana” and “Embracing Voices.”

Educator, Spokesperson, and Social Activist

The Canadian Jazz Saxophonist Jane’s not just about the music. As an educator, spokesperson, and social activist, she’s fearlessly pushing boundaries in her pursuit of excellence. Jane Bunnett and Maqueque are the musical dream team, featuring Jane on soprano saxophone and flute, along with a crew of incredibly talented musicians.

So, if you haven’t jumped on the Jane Bunnett bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for? This jazz dynamo is not just a musician; she’s a musical force of nature!

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