Welcome to Durham Jazz!
The Durham Jazz band strives to inspire the jazz musicians of Durham region and beyond.
What’s important to us:
- Quality jazz education
- Musical excellence
- Skill and knowledge building
- Family atmosphere
- Variety of mentor and teacher approaches
- Building leadership
- Spreading musical awareness within Durham region
- Supporting local school music programs
History of Durham Jazz:
The Durham Jazz (DJ) Organization was founded in 2009. Originally DJ only offered a 16 piece jazz ensemble at the elementary age group. In our inaugural year we focused on participating in community events and local band festivals. As our members grew we kept getting requests to create another band. As the need to expand was clear in order to meet our member’s needs, in 2013 we added our Intermediate Band. This was the first opportunity for high school students to audition for DJ. 2015, brought the addition of the Senior band as well as a Jazz Combo. In 2016, DJ added a Vocal Jazz ensemble for the first time. Exciting things lie ahead for Durham Jazz.
Over the years, DJ has travelled all over Canada and the United States playing in festivals and music tours. In the past we have travelled to Vancouver, BC (2011), Banff, AB (2012), Halifax, NS & Ottawa, ON (2013), Banff, AB (2014), New York City, NY (2015), Denver/Boulder, CO (2016), Montreal/Ottawa, QC/ON (2017). An exciting trip is in the works for spring of 2018.
Musical Opportunities Available for the 2017-2018 Season:
- Durham Jazz Junior Band (up to grade 8)
- Durham Jazz Intermediate Band (grades 9&10 with some exceptions)
- Durham Jazz Senior Band (grades 11&12 with some exceptions)
- Durham Jazz Combo(s) (variety of ages)
Nicole Henning (Founder & Director of Senior Band):
Nicole has been teaching instrumental, vocal and musical theatre in the Durham and York regions for the past 8 years. She obtained her Music Education Degree from the University of Toronto. Nicole is the founder of the Durham Jazz Organization and has directed a band for the last 8 years. She continues to love each and every day with the DJ family and is excited to direct the Senior band again this year.
Andrew Cohen (Director of Junior Band):
Andrew was the first director on board in 2009 when DJ started. Andrew has been teaching music in Durham Region. Andrew holds a degree in Classical Piano from Australia and a Masters in Music Education.
George Karounos (Director of Intermediate Band):
George has been teaching in the Durham District School Board for 8 years. Prior to teaching, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, with a focus on jazz guitar and jazz trumpet. George has performed in a variety of jazz combos and large ensembles at various jazz festivals and jazz clubs throughout the GTA over the past two decades. Thomas Steele (previous member, Jazz Education student at University of Toronto) will be working with George this year in an assistant director role while learning about leading/directing a band.
Emily Snellings (Voice Coach):
Emily is the Voice Coach for our vocalists involved in the combos. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education as a voice major from the University of Toronto and has supply taught in the Durham District School Board for the last 4 years. When she’s not teaching around the Durham Region, Emily works as a private vocal and piano coach and is the lead singer for Toronto-based jazz-pop band Rhyme Jaws.
James Morris (Combo Advisor):
James joined the DJ team 9 years ago as a member of our very first band. Since then, he has continued to volunteer and work with the bands from year to year in a variety of aspects. As he attended O’Neill CVI’s Performing Arts program he was a great advocate for the DJ program within his school. James is now in the Humber College Jazz Performance degree program. James will be working with the combos again this year.