12:00 - 3:45 pm
Each year the Big Band Slam brings together high school bands from across the Greater Toronto Area for an afternoon of trumpet blasting, trombone sliding, sax squealing excitement. The Slam is not a competition; it is instead a chance to showcase some of the outstanding music being made by high school music students across the city. This year's participating ensembles are:
- St. Aloysius Gonzaga Jazz Band, under the direction of Julia Jung
- Brooklin High School: Prospect Park, under the direction of Amy Peck
- O'Neill Collegiate jazz band, under the direction of Duane Bronson
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School jazz band, under the direction of George Taylor
Saxophonist, composer and educator Andy Ballantyne serves as special guest for the 2018 Slam, rehearsing with each band in advance and performing with each band at the Slam.
The Big Band Slam is a free, all-ages event, and is generously supported by Long & McQuade, the Ken Page Memorial Trust and The Asper Foundation.
Canadian saxophonist, composer, and arranger Andy Ballantyne is a graduate of the Humber College music programme, and also has a degree in jazz performance from the University of Toronto. He is a regular member of several prominent Canadian jazz groups including Juno award-winning ensembles the Rex Hotel Orchestra, and the Neufeld/Ochippinti Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). Andy has also performed with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Carla Bley, Sam Rivers and Bill Mays, among others; leads his own 11-piece jazz orchestra, The Andy Ballantyne Large Ensemble, which recorded and released their debut recording in 2007. Andy’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by professional and school jazz ensembles across the country. Andy is currently on faculty at Humber College in Toronto teaching woodwinds, composition, arranging and jazz pedagogy. He is also a Jupiter Canada artist.