Allison Au Jazz Quartethttps://www.allisonau.com/
Allison Au refuses to be defined – or as All About Jazz reviewer David Wayne put it: “Au is an artist with a mind of her own. She panders to no-one.” Born to a Chinese father and a Jewish mother, and raised in multicultural Toronto, Allison soon turned to jazz as an outlet for self-expression and artistic experimentation. Her music weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of jazz, but skillfully laced with elements of classical, pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin and world music. A lot of Allison’s music is also drawn from images of nature.
A graduate of the Humber College Music Program, Allison was selected as one of eight international participants for the 2011 Metropole Orkest’s Arrangers Workshop held in the Netherlands. Her work has been featured by everyone from Hilario Duran’s Latin Big Band (Canada), to Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Roberta Gambarini and The WDR Big Band (Germany). Lance Liddle of the world jazz blog Bebop Spoken Here proclaimed, “Canada has found a new jazz ambassador.”
Since 2009, the Allison Au Jazz Quartet (Allison, saxophone; Todd Pentney, piano; Jon Maharaj, bass; Ethan Ardelli, drums) has taken its “imaginatively written and performed modern jazz” (Mike Gates, UK Vibe) across Canada and the U.S., and “with compositions as strong as you’ll hear coming from anywhere in 2016” (David Wayne), earned a JUNO Award for its album “Forest Grove”. (The band’s 2013 debut release, “The Sky Was Pale Blue, Then Grey,” also was nominated for a JUNO.). Allison says the latest recording allowed her to get in touch with feelings of nostalgia for her childhood, especially for “Forest Grove,” the beautiful Toronto neighbourhood where she grew up, surrounded by trees and nature.
This year, Allison made CBC Music’s first annual list of the 35 best Canadian jazz artists under the age of 35. Other recent honors include the 2017 TD Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the 2017 Stingray Rising Stars Award at the TD Halifax Jazz Festival, and a 2017 Finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.
The Allison Au Jazz Quartet was a standout at TD Sunfest ’17 and we’re thrilled to welcome the group to the Sunfest World Music & Jazz Series 2017-‘18.