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Durham Jazz: Inspiring Durham’s next generation of jazz musicians.

Who We Are

Durham Jazz is a non-profit community music program for middle and high school students in the Durham area, on the eastern edge of Toronto, Canada.

The program offers three big bands with a standard jazz band line-up (saxophones, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and drums), and several smaller jazz combos, which also include vocalists.

Durham Jazz is directed by a team of Durham music teachers, with support from music educators and professionals from across Durham and Toronto. The program is open to all students in middle and high school in the wider Durham area.

What We Value

We aim to:

  • Provide a challenging and rewarding music education experience for all members
  • Help students progress in their musical journey, including preparing for auditions into secondary and tertiary music programs
  • Support local school music programs and promote jazz education in the wider community
  • Have fun making great music together in a collaborative, family environment!

How it Works

Auditions – Students audition in late September for a place in one of the big bands. Selected members are invited to join one of the combos.

Rehearsals – We rehearse on Thursday evenings, October to May.

Performances – Ensembles perform at concerts, festivals, and community events throughout the year. Our annual 5-day trip gives members the opportunity to work with internationally-renowned jazz teachers and performers.

Fees – The traditional format annual fee ($500) covers the cost of music, uniform, and the November 3-day Retreat. Costs for the annual 5-day trip are offset by fundraising; limited scholarships are also available. It is the firm policy of the directors that Durham Jazz membership is open to all eligible students, regardless of financial constraints.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.


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Audition Information

Musical Opportunities Available for the 2020-2021 season:

While we are preparing to offer the ensembles below this season, we are waiting to make final decisions in accordance with the Public Health Organizations in Canada, Ontario and Durham Region in regards to COVID-19 protocols. Auditions this year will be virtual.  For more information see the audition pages.

  • Durham Jazz Junior Band (up to grade 9)
  • Durham Jazz Intermediate Band (grades 8,9&10 with some exceptions)
  • Durham Jazz Senior Band (grades 11&12 with some exceptions)
  • Durham Jazz Combo(s) (variety of ages)

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