Canadian saxophonist/composer Jacob Chung is a dynamic young jazz musician whose commitment to swing has charmed audiences in his hometown Toronto and in New York City, where he is currently based. Having established himself as one of the most exciting players in Toronto with residencies at the Jazz Bistro, the Rex, and Poetry Jazz Café, he relocated to NYC in 2022 to study with Vincent Herring at Manhattan School of Music on a scholarship. Jacob has since performed with the Mingus Big Band.
The Jacob Chung Quintet’s performance on their 2022 debut album Epistle has been received with critical acclaim for its embodiment of the spirit of jazz; “A bunch of swingers that know the history without the baggage, they zip the ears open with a delightful sound that uplifts while it makes you smile” (Chris Spector, Midwest Record). Jacob’s aesthetic direction has drawn comparison to that of the 1990s neo-bop renaissance. Will Chernoff (Rhythm Changes) writes that “Jacob and the band are part of a full-on second generation of Young Lions,” a sentiment expanded upon by Jamie Lee Rake (Shepherd Express): “What they are about is connecting the dots between the sophisticated heat of jazz royalty such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie with a post-bop drive.”
Jacob has garnered several Canadian accolades including the 2021 Hnatyshyn Foundation Oscar Peterson Grant, the 2019 Prince Edward County Jazz Festival Rising Young Star Award, and acceptance into the 2018 National Youth Jazz Combo. He is the recipient of the 2018 Yamaha Passion and Performance Award and the 2017 Rico Golden Reed Award from Musicfest Canada. Jacob has performed with the likes of Robi Botos, Jodi Proznick, Mike Murley, Carn-Davidson 9, Ethan Ardelli, and Nick Fraser. He is featured on Jacob Wutzke’s 2019 EP Stop & Go and Thomas Steele 10tet’s 2020 album 10tet. He also appears on the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra’s 2020 album Embargo.
During his time completing a B.Mus at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, Jacob was 2018 BMO National Scholar and twice received the Norman and Joan Promane Jazz Scholarship (2019, 2020). He was also the recipient of the 2021 Jazz Arranging Prize. A budding educator, Jacob served as an assistant faculty member at Interprovincial Music Camp in 2019, directed the 2019/20 Hart House Jazz Combo under the supervision of Ernesto Cervini, and teaches private lessons at Classical Music Conservatory in Toronto.jacobchungmusic.com