Shannon Graham and the Storytellers

Shannon Graham and the Storytellers are a ten person chamber jazz ensemble who bridge the realms of improvised music, through-composed music and song, merging the styles of large jazz ensemble, modern chamber music, and pop music. With an eclectic instrumentation of voice, strings, saxophone, brass, and jazz rhythm section, the Storytellers are constantly reaching for new textures, ranges of emotion, musical surprise and humor to provoke and delight the listener. The music is often programmatic in nature, telling stories and reflections of human experience to communicate and connect people, attempting to create a new genre of "narrative composition". Shannon’s music has been described as “art for those who want art and entertainment for those who want entertainment.”

Shannon Graham is a saxophonist/violist/vocalist/composer/band leader who has been contributing to the Toronto music scene since moving here in 2008. Her diverse background began with classical viola study, moved into the study of jazz saxophone and improvised music, and most recently pop and salsa music. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, she earned a diploma in performance from Grant MacEwan University in 2008, was recognized with the Rawlco Radio award and CARAS Fred Sherrat award, and played extensively in orchestras and string quartets. In 2011, Shannon completed her Bachelors of Music in jazz performance at the University of Toronto, where she won the Alumni Music Association award for two consecutive years and participated in the Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music. Aside from leading The Storytellers, Shannon performs frequently throughout the GTA with Castell Entertainment, studies composition with Roger Bergs, and is co-artistic director of the Spectrum Composers Collective, an organization dedicated to commissioning new music and producing concerts that feature Toronto’s emerging chamber jazz movement.

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