Kelly Jefferson


Jazz Improvisation

Small Jazz Ensemble

Juno Award winning saxophonist Kelly Jefferson has a Bachelor of Music from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has performed with the The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Ray Anderson, Kenny Werner, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Michel LeGrand, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, as well as Ray Brown, Sonny Fortune, Randy Brecker, Renee Rosnes, Johnny Mathis, Russell Malone, Joey DeFrancesco, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others.  Kelly has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, Japan, Thailand, Europe, South Korea and China, including a nine-month tour in 2000 as the tenor saxophonist with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.  


His quartet recording “Next Exit”, was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. Kelly was also a five-time nominee for Saxophonist of the Year by the National Jazz Awards. Mr. Jefferson has also adjudicated at music festivals across Canada and has given numerous workshops throughout Canada, the United States and China.  


An active freelance musician, Kelly performs regularly with groups that include the William Carn Quintet, Manteca, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Time Warp, the Artie Roth Quintet, the Shuffle Demons, Mark McLean’s Playground, the Chris Tarry Group (2008 Juno Award Winner, Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year) and Barry Romberg’s Random Access.  Kelly is thrilled to be on faculty at The University of Toronto.