Amanda Tosoff

Jazz pianist’s mini-tour touches down for reunion at Langley music school

Amanda Tosoff showcases her new album while on a trip through Western Canada that includes a stop on familiar ground.

It’s a bit like a homecoming for Amanada Tosoff, when she stops off  in Langley later this month.

The B.C.-raised but Toronto-based pianist, composer, and band leader is back in B.C. to celebrate her latest album, Words.

And part of that trip includes touching base with old friends at the Langley Community Music School (LCMS), performing in a con.

Tosoff, who grew up in White Rock and taught jazz piano at the school for a time.

“I spent a good amount of time in Langley,” Tosoff said, noting she was living in Vancouver at the time. “I was there for a few years teaching.”

She has been back since, including a visit last fall where she played a duo piano concert with faculty member Marcel Bergmann.

It was “so much fun,” Tosoff recalled. “what a great musician and great faculty that LCMS has, actually. It’s really special that a school can offer lessons with such top musicians, who are also really passionate about music and education. This is rare,” Tosoff said, admitting she’s pretty excited to be coming back for another visit.

“It has been a while since I’ve been back to the school, so I’m so looking forward to this show,” she told the Langley Advance.

She hopes to reconnect with some of the LCMS faculty, some old students and friends, “and awesome listeners, who come to support us. It’s a special place,” Tosoff added, “and I’m so looking forward to sharing my new music there.

Tosoff has five albums to her credit and has performed with such internationally recognized artists as Ingrid Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Phil Dwyer, Christine Jensen, Kelly Jefferson and Jodi Proznick.

She will be performing at the Langley Community Music School’s Rose Gellert Hall as part of what she’s calling a mini-tour across Canada’s West Coast.

The trip will start in Langley, on Sunday, Oct. 30, with her concert from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., and she will wrap up in Invermere on Remembrance Day, with stops in between in Vancouver, Courtenay, Port Alberni, Sechelt, Edmonton, and Calgary.

Tosoff will be showcasing her latest releases with a handful of what she describes as “incredibly talented artists.”

On this first leg of her tour, she will be accompanied by musicians, Lydia Persaud (vocals), Jon Maharaj (bass), Morgan Childs (drums) and, of course, Tosoff (piano).

Tosoff and her group have recorded for CBC Radio programs Hot Air, Tonic, Jazz Beat, Canada Live, as well as the Espace Musique’s series and Portraits Jazz.

Over the course of four earlier albums, she has established herself as one of the “most exciting new talents on the Canadian jazz scene,” said promoter Poppy Miers.

In her latest release, Tosoff made what she calls “an adventurous leap beyond the confines of conventional jazz.”

She has taken poems and lyrics that possess a personal resonance for her and framed them in original new compositions that utilize vocals for the first time (sung by highly-regarded singer Felicity Williams of such bands as Hobson’s choice, Broken Social Scene and Bahamas).

The result is a “stunning and eclectic collection, incorporating elements of pop, art song, classical, folk and jazz,” she said.

Tickets are available through the music school’s website at www.langleymusic.com.

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