Drew Jurecka is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who is comfortable in many genres. He produced Payadora Tango Ensemble’s first two records and is now playing bandoneon in the ensemble. Trained classically, he studied with Lorand Fenyves during his teens and with David Updegraff at the Cleveland Institute of Music for his undergraduate degree. Drew has spent the last ten years playing jazz, pop, rock and other contemporary styles in Toronto. Though violin is his primary instrument, he also works frequently as a performer and recording sideman on viola, saxophone, clarinet and mandolin. An in-demand soloist, session player and sideman, Drew can be heard frequently in clubs and theatres around Canada with his own group or as a part of one of his bands, The Hot Jazz String Quartet and the Hogtown Syncopators.
Drew has played and recorded with a broad spectrum of artists in many genres, including Dave Brubeck, Stevie Wonder, Russell DeCarle, Jim Cuddy, Bahamas, Sarah Slean, Ron Sexsmith, Chris Whiteley, Justin Hines, Jesse Cook, Rita Chiarelli, David Buchbinder, Lynn Miles, Cindy Church, the Good Lovelies, Jully Black. For five years Drew played with Jeff Healey as part of his Jazz Wizards band, which toured extensively across Canada. Drew can be heard on three of Jeff Healey’s CDs, including the Juno- Nominated "Last Call".
Drew has also toured nationally and internationally with The Polyjesters, Jesse Cook, Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe, Alex Pangman, the Bebop Cowboys and Jill Barber. He is currently a member of Jill Barber’s band, where he plays violin, saxophone and clarinet. He co-wrote five songs on Jill’s recent album “Mischievous Moon”, which spent six weeks as Canada's best selling jazz album after its release in April 2011. Drew took on the role of producer, arranger and orchestrator for Jill’s album “Chansons”, which spent 6 weeks as Canada’s best selling Jazz record after its release in 2013. He also co-wrote, arranged and co-produced her latest album “Fool’s Gold”, released in mid 2014.
Drew’s playing can be heard on numerous TV, movie and radio soundtracks including most recently Franklin, Republic of Doyle, Make the Politician Work, Gunless, Degrassi, The Age of Persuasion, Flashpoint, Combat Hospital and Little Mosque on the Prairie. He has worked closely with TV and Movie composers as an arranger, soloist and improviser to help bring greater depth to their musical ideas.
As a composer and arranger, Drew has worked with many artists and producers. His string and horn arrangements have been used on countless records for artists across Canada, the United States and Europe. Drew has written original scores for eight stage plays, including seven for Vancouver-based ‘Monster Theatre’ and one for Tracey Erin Smith’s play The Burning Bush, which has been performed extensively in Toronto and New York City. He has also written and produced music for film, including the award winning documentary Cuba Libre and the recent shorts An Insignificant Man and Sidestep Goosestep.
Drew currently teaches violin at Humber College, where he has helped to create the only specialized jazz strings post-secondary program in Canada. In seven years, the program has quadrupled in size and now includes ensembles, technique and master classes in addition to private lessons. His students have gone on to win international jazz awards and to perform and record in Canada, the US and France.