York music instructors nominated for National Jazz Awards

Five jazz musicians who teach in York’s Department of Music have been nominated for Canada’s National Jazz Awards being presented in Toronto April 10. Led by alumnus Mike Murley (BFA ‘86), an instructor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts with three nods for awards, the nominees include Barry Elmes, professor in the Jazz Program at York, and instructors Barry Romberg, Lorne Lofsky and Kevin Turcotte.

Mike Murley

Left: Mike Murley

Recognized as one of Canada’s finest jazz artists playing in various formations from duo to septet, Murley has been nominated for Saxophonist of the Year – an award he has won six times – and Musician of the Year. He shares the nomination for Acoustic Jazz Group of the Year with his septet, which includes fellow instructor Turcotte, Tara Davidson, Terry Promane, David Braid, Jim Vivian and Ted Warren. Since winning his first Juno Award in 1991, Murley has appeared on numerous other Juno Award-winning recordings and received 20 nominations for other albums as both a leader and a sideman. He has taught part-time in York’s jazz program since 1995.

Barry Elmes

Right: Barry Elmes

Elmes, professor of music in the Faculty of Fine Arts and a member of York’s Jazz Quartet in Residence (see story in the Oct. 26, 2005 issue of YFile), is nominated as Drummer of the Year. His Cornerstone Records Inc. is nominated as Record Label of the Year. A total of 15 Cornerstone recording artists are nominated for National Jazz Awards this year, including Elmes, Murley, and Turcotte. All three were winners at the 2005 awards. Elmes has been a mainstay of the Canadian jazz scene since the early 1980’s winning dozens of awards and playing around the world. His work has been documented on more than 50 jazz CDs and he has performed or recorded with many renowned jazz artists.

Kevini Turcotte

Right: Kevin Turcotte

Turcotte, nominated for Trumpeter of the Year, is regarded as one of Canada’s top players and has crisscrossed the globe, from North and South America to Italy and Russia, playing with various groups.

Lorne Lofsky studied at York from 1974-1975 before joining the Jazz Program as an instructor. In addition to the many appearances he has made with top jazz artists, he toured with the Oscar Peterson Quartet from 1994 to 1996. Lofsky has been a Loren Lofskyjazz instructor at York since the late 70’s and played with some of the top jazz artists in the world such as Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Tal Farlow, Johnny Hartman and Rosemary Clooney. He is nominated for Guitarist of the Year.

Right: Lorne Lofsky

Jazz percussionist Barry Romberg, who has been playing drums for 34 years, is nominated, along with his band Random Access, for Electric Jazz Group of the Year. In addition to playing with his own ensemble, The Barry Romberg Group, this former York student has also formed a new band with Lofsky called Inside Out.

Barry Romberg

Right: Barry Romberg

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the National Jazz Awards recognize contributions to jazz excellence in Canada. The nominees are selected by a committee of industry leaders to honour outstanding Canadian achievements. The awards presentations will take place on Monday, April 10, at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto. York jazz fans can visit the National Jazz Awards voting Web site until midnight, March 31, to cast their vote for their favourite York nominees.