Introduction

With an established reputation as one of Canada’s leading saxophonists, Kirk MacDonald cut his first record at the age of thir-teen. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, and has worked with many leading musicians in a variety of musical genres. He has performed on over fifty CDs as both leader and sideman, and has participated in numerous national broadcast recordings for CBC Radio. In addition to performing extensively throughout Canada, he has also performed in the USA, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Monaco, Australia, Korea, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.

For over thirty years Kirk has worked and recorded with many leading Canadian, U.S. and International jazz musicians including Claude Ranger, Dave Young, Sam Noto, Sonny Greenwich, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Harold Mabern, Walter Bishop Jr., Tom Harrell, Lorne Lofsky, Bob Mover, Pat LaBarbera, John Taylor, Ron McClure, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Jim McNeely, Bob Mintzer, Vince Mendoza, John Clayton, Chris Potter, Glenn Ferris, Maria Schneider, Dave Grusin, Danilo Perez, Adam Rogers, Dennis Mackrel, Nancy Walker, Barry Romberg, Andre White, Rob Smith, Brian Dickinson, Denny Christianson, Bernie Senensky, Phil Nimmons, James Moody, Rosemary Clooney, Humber College Faculty Ensemble.

Over 100 performances of his compositions appear on 24 CDs, both as leader on his own recordings as well as on recordings by other artists. Kirk’s most recent activities include the release of Family Suite (2008), an 11 part suite for jazz quartet on Romhog Records, and Songbook Vol. I (2009) – a collection of his compositions for jazz quartet, on ADDO Jazz Records, with Songbook Vol. II (2010). Kirk also leads the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra (KMJO), a 19-piece all-star ensemble dedicated to performing his original compositions and featuring arrangements by leading Canadian and U.S. Writers. The KMJO released its debut record-ing Deep Shadows in March 2011, and in May of 2012 released a re-working of Family Suite for Large Ensemble. In the fall of 2013 Kirk’s eleventh recording Symmetry was released, featuring jazz great Tom Harrell. His latest recording Vista Obscura was released in 2014 and features jazz legend Harold Mabern and special guest saxophonist Pat LaBarbera.

Kirk has been active as an educator for 27 years at leading jazz studies programs such as at the University of Toronto and McGill University. Kirk is presently a full time professor at Humber College in Toronto, where he holds a cross appointment in the Music Degree Program and the Community Music School. Kirk also acts as the Artistic Director for the “Youth Jazz Canada” project and directs the “National Youth Jazz Combo”. This project also hosts a 2 week workshop in the summer for high school and post-secondary students.

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Awards

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

As Leader or Soloist

  • 2015 Juno Award Winner – Best Jazz Recording Solo Artist (Vista Obscura)
  • 2015 East Coast Music Award – Best Jazz Recording (Symmetry)
  • 2015 Toronto Musicians’ Association – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2012 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Traditional Jazz Album (Deep Shadows)
  • 2011 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Traditional Jazz Album (Songbook Vol. II)
  • 2010 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Songbook Vol. 1)
  • 2009 – the Canada Council’s “Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award”
  • 2007 – Now Magazine –Saxophonist of the Year
  • 2005 – National Jazz Awards Nomination – Saxophonist of the Year
  • 2004 – National Jazz Awards Nomination – Saxophonist of the Year
  • 2003 – National Jazz Awards Nomination – Saxophonist of the Year
  • 2002 – Winner – 4th Concours International de Soliste de Jazz – Monaco
  • 2001 – Juno Award Nomination – Best Mainstream Jazz Album (New Beginnings)
  • 2001 – Canadian Indie Music Award Nomination – Best Jazz Recording (New Beginnings)
  • 1999 – Juno Award – Best Mainstream Jazz Album (The Atlantic Sessions)
  • 1999 – Jazz Report Awards – Album of the Year (The Atlantic Sessions)
  • 1999 – Jazz Report Awards – Tenor Saxophonist of the Year
  • 1996 – Nomination for East Coast Music Award – Jazz Artist of the Year (Reminiscence)

With Other Artists

  • 2009 – Juno Award Nominee – Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year (Existential Detective) (Random Access Large Ensemble)
  • 2003 – Montreal Jazz Festival Prix de Jazz (Nancy Walker Quartet)
  • 2001 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Vocal Jazz (This Is How Men Cry) (Marc Jordan) Blue Note Records
  • 2000 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Mainstream Jazz Album (New Horizons) (Bernie Senensky) Timeless
  • 1999 – Juno Award Nominee – Best Mainstream Jazz Album (Siren’s Song) (Maritime Jazz Orchestra) Justin Time
  • 1999 – Montreal Jazz Festival Prix de Jazz (Chris Mitchell Quintet)

EDUCATIONAL AWARDS

  • 2011 Humber College – Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2009 Humber College – College Innovation of the Year Award (Music Department)
  • 2008 Humber College – Teaching Excellence Certificate
  • 2004/05 Humber College – Award of Excellence for Outstanding Academic Contribution

GRANTS

Kirk MacDonald gratefully acknowledges the support of the organizations listed below for their ongoing support of his work.

  • 2011 – Ontario Arts Council – Recording for Family Suite for large ensemble
  • 2010 – Ontario Arts Council – Recording for Deep Shadows
  • 2009 – Canada Council – Rehearsal and Concert Production for Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra
  • 2009 – Toronto Arts Council – Compostion for new works for jazz quintet
  • 2009 – Canada Council – Career Development Grant for web site “kirkmacdonald.com”
  • 2009 – Ontario Arts Council – Recording Grant for Songbook Vol. I  – Kirk MacDonald Quartet
  • 2009 – Canada Council – composition
  • 2008 – Canada Council – Rehearsal and Concert Production for Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra
  • 2008 – Canada Council – Recording Grant for Family Suite – Kirk MacDonald Quartet
  • 2004 – Canada Council Grant to perform original music for the Kirk MacDonald Big Band at The Atlantic Jazz Festival
  • 2002 – Canada Council Travel Grant to participate in the 4th Concours International de Soliste de Jazz
  • 1998 – Canada Council Grant to compose new works for quintet and septet
  • 1998 – Canada Council – Recording grant for New Beginnings – Kirk MacDonald Sextet
  • 1994 – Factor Loan for Reminiscence – Kirk MacDonald Quartet
  • 1992 – Canada Council “B” Grant to study composition with composer/pianist Garry Dial in New York City
  • 1982 – Canada Council “B” Grant to study saxophone and improvisation with Lee Konitz in New York City

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Educational

Summary

Kirk has been active as an educator for over 25 years at leading Canadian jazz studies programs including McGill University (1988) and the University of Toronto (1993-2005). He also taught at Ottawa University and Carleton University. Since 2005 Kirk has held a full time professorship at the renowned music program at Humber College in Toronto, where he holds a cross appointment in the Music Degree Program and the Community Music School. In addition to his teaching at Humber College Kirk also acts as the Artistic Director for the Youth Jazz Canada project and has directed the Greater Toronto Area Honour Combos (2009-2012) and the National Youth Honour Combo ( 2012-2013). The Youth Jazz Canada project also hosts a 2 week summer workshop for high school students aged 14 to 18 in Toronto (2010-2013). Kirk is in high demand as a clinician and has conducted master classes in saxophone, improvisation, and composition throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

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 Master Classes Conducted at the Following Canadian Institutions

  • Capilano College, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
  • University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Grant McEwan College, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta
  • York University, Toronto, Ontario
  • Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto, Ontario
  • McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Creative Music School, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
  • University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
  • Mount Alison University, Sackville, New Brunswick
  • The Music Room, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba
  • University of Manitoba Winnipeg Manitoba

 Master Classes Conducted Internationally

  • Escuela de Música Creativa, Madrid Spain
  • Institute Valencia de art Modern, Valencia Spain
  • Escuela di Musica. Alicanté, Spain
  • Escuela di Musica. Lerida, Spain
  • Seoul Jazz Academy, Seoul, Korea
  • PaekChe Institute of the Arts Seoul,Korea
  • Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • State University of New York, Crane Music School, Potsdam, New York

Jazz Camps & Workshops Instructor of Saxophone, Improvisation, Composition & Ensembles

  • 1993 – 2003: National Music Camp, Orillia, Ontario
  • 1996, 1997: Saskatchewan Band Camp, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1999: Inter-provincial Band Camp, Parry Sound, Ontario
  • 2010-2013: Youth Jazz Canada Summer Workshop, Humber College, Toronto (Artistic director)

Guest Performances with Various Large & Small Ensemble Student Groups

  • May 2003: Tour of Nova Scotia, P.E.I. with Community Music School Ensemble
  • 2004 – 2012: The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, Toronto, Ontario, with Community Music School Ensemble(s)
  • July 2004: Performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague, Holland and the Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia with Community Music School Ensemble
  • March 2005: 10 O’Clock and 11 O’Clock Jazz Orchestras, McMillan Theatre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Original compositions for Jazz orchestra)
  • 2008: International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) with Community Music School Ensemble, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2010 – 2011: Music Fest Canada with GTA Honour Combos (Toronto, Ottawa)
  • November 2011: 10 O’Clock Jazz Orchestra, Walter Hall, University of Toronto (Original compositions for Jazz orchestra)
  • 2010 – 2012: Toronto Jazz Festival with GTA Honour Combos
  • 2012: Music Fest Canada with National Honour Combo, Ottawa, Ontario
  • January 2012: Institute Valencia de Art Modern Jazz Orchestra, Valencia, Spain (Original compositions for Jazz orchestra)
  • January 2012: Escuela de Música Creativa Jazz Orchestra, Madrid, Spain (Original compositions for Jazz orchestra)

Educational Awards

Humber College School of Creative & Performing Arts

  • 2004/05: Award of Excellence for Outstanding Academic Contribution
  • 2009: College Innovation of the Year Award (Music Department)
  • 2011: Distinguished Faculty Award

Links

Humber School of Music
Humber Community Music
Youth Jazz Canada

Download Kirk MacDonald’s Educational Resume (PDF)