“Concerts of this caliber aimed at children are very rare and are a truly wonderful introduction to the world of music performance.”Ontario Arts Review
Comprised of trombonist Janice Owens, pianist Vanessa May-lok Lee and clarinettist Quinsin Nachoff, Ensemble SOL is a unique chamber group. While the ensemble spends most of its time creating and performing quality educational concerts for children and families, it is equally at home performing mainstream concerts featuring arrangements of works to showcase their unusual instrumentation.
NYC-based Canadian saxophonist, clarinettist and composer Quinsin “Nachoff is one of the truly bright younger jazz minds hereabouts” (GLOBE&MAIL). He has toured nationally and internationally as both a leader and sideman with a multitude of diverse projects. He has released four discs as a leader and his newest project, Flux, will feature New Yorkers Dave Binney, Matt Mitchell and Kenny Wollesen. Nachoff’s recent commissions include an extended work for The Penderecki String Quartet with Nachoff’s trio featuring bassist Mark Helias and drummer Dan Weiss; a Violin Concerto for Montreal violinist Nathalie Bonin; a bigband work for the Toronto Jazz Orchestra; a work for clarinetist Peter Stoll and the Cecilia string quartet and a Suite for Australian trumpeter Peter Knight for brass quintet, saxophone and drumset which was premiered at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. www.quinsin.com
photo – bohuang.ca
Having made her Carnegie Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium) debut in June 2014, Vanessa May-lok Lee is much sought after as a collaborative pianist. Ms. Lee’s most recent CD Reflections with Gordon Wolfe, principal trombone of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, was released in February 2015. Featured on this recording are two new Canadian works: Gary Kulesha’s Sonata for Trombone and Piano and Ian McDougall’s Devil or Angel? Her debut CD Bleu et Or was released in August 2012 with flautist Miguel Ángel Villanueva (Mexico) and violist Elodie Guillot (France). Recorded on the Quindecim label, this CD features the works of Mexican, French and Canadian composers including the commissioned piece Prism by Canadian composer Erik Ross.
Ms. Lee graduated with a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto where she studied with Marietta Orlov, and a Master’s in Music from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England with Michael Young. In May 2014, Ms. Lee completed pre-doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music with John Forconi through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Upcoming highlights include her Kennedy Center debut with the Manhattan School Chamber Choir, with Kent Tritle conductor, in Washington, DC in April 2016.
Ms. Lee currently resides in NYC where she serves as a staff pianist at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School and is on the piano faculty at Third Street Music School Settlement. www.vanessamayloklee.com
As a freelance orchestral and chamber musician, trombonist Janice Owens has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet of Canada, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Windsor Symphony. Currently playing at the Stratford Festival in Carousel and Sound of Music, she has also played in several musical theatre productions including the North American premier of The Wizard of Oz in Toronto, and in previous seasons at the Stratford Festival. She can be heard on the Canadian cast recordings of Stratford Festival’s production of Carousel, released in July 2015, as well Evangeline, from the Charlottetown Festival. Prior to settling in Toronto, Janice toured as a member of the Monumental Brass Quintet, performing for the Columbia Artists’ Community Concert Series in all 48 of the contiguous United States and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She performed on and edited the quintet’s CDs, Christmas Presence and Monumental Goes to the Movies. Janice performed recitals at the Washington (DC) National Cathedral, and throughout the northeastern U.S. Janice served as Chair of the Wind and Brass Department at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC, where she and members of the Monumental Brass Quintet built a thriving brass chamber music program. She has taught low brass and coached brass chamber groups at Levine, at Peabody Conservatory, Preparatory Division in Baltimore, at St. Mary’s College in southern Maryland and has conducted trombone masterclasses at schools in five states and in Toronto. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Janice earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in trombone performance from Michigan State University.