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Jesse Dietschi

This week’s featured artist is bassist Jesse Dietschi, who participated in Jazzology in 2012.

A versatile musician and composer equally versed in jazz, classical, and popular music, Jesse earned a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Composition from Brandon University.

Proficient on both acoustic and electric bass, he has toured and performed with Celtic, R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues, reggae, and funk bands at various venues across Canada. He has performed with Lina Allemano, Nick “Brownman” Ali, Robi Botos, Ernest Dawkins, Ken Lavigne, Richard Underhill, Irene Torres and the Sugar Devils, Tunnel Six, and the Headstones, and appeared with numerous ensembles including Markham’s Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Tapestry New Opera, and Edmonton Opera.

As an educator, Dietschi is a former bass faculty member at Brandon University and the International Music Camp and he currently teaches bass in Toronto and Oakville. He is also an Artistic Producer with Toronto’s Spectrum Music concert series and has appeared on international broadcasts including the CBC’s “Sounds of the Season” and NBC’s hit television show “Hannibal.”

As a leader, Jesse runs a hybrid ensemble that blends aspects of classical and jazz music, and has been featured in Jazz Winnipeg’s Nu Sounds concert series. He has also performed in the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and Toronto’s Beaches International Jazz Festival, and Mexico’s Northern Lights chamber music festival.

Jesse took some time to discuss his experience in the Jazzology program as well as his more recent musical activities:

1) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?

I enjoyed getting the chance to chat with Brad about my musical past and process, and especially enjoyed getting to craft a custom radio program of some of the recordings that have influenced me most deeply.

2) What is your strongest memory of the Jazzology program? Are there any funny stories or incidents that come to mind?

I remember the surprise on Brad's face when I mentioned the fact that I also played for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team and the hilarious line of questioning that followed.

3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to young musicians because it gives them a rare glimpse behind the scenes at one of Canada's only jazz radio stations.

4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?

I have had several people mention hearing me on the program afterwards, and it has added to my CV, so yes I would say it has had a positive impact on my professional development.

5) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

I would say thank you for supporting an initiative that gives young musicians a chance to be heard in Canada's largest jazz market.

6) Why is music education important?

Music is a key component to Canadian culture, and therefore a musically-educated society will bring about a more vibrant arts culture, which will create benefits for many other aspects of our economy.

7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing?

Since I was on Jazzology, I graduated with my Masters of Music degree in Performance from the University of Toronto, and now work steadily around Toronto as a bassist in jazz, classical, new music, blues, and rock settings. I have appeared in Mexico's Northern Lights chamber festival twice, toured internationally with both contemporary jazz groups and classical ensembles, and can even be spotted on an episode of NBC's Hannibal. I also appeared on CBC's 2013 Sounds of the Season broadcast, and will be appearing on the upcoming recording from the Headstones.

8) What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?

I recently discovered the classical bass soloist Ovidiu Badila, and have been listening keenly to several of his recordings. I have also been checking out other forms of bass solo recordings, including much of the work of Avishai Cohen and Adam Ben Ezra, a bassist I also recently discovered. I find it fascinating to hear the many different ways players are finding to use the bass in both conventional and unconventional settings.

9) What are your plans for the future?

I hope to eventually be able to sub with the many excellent orchestras around Toronto, as well as perform regularly within the jazz scene. I also look forward to continuing to tour regularly with a variety of ensembles, and I am currently in the process of establishing a Suzuki Bass teaching studio throughout the GTA.

10) How can people learn more about you and your activities?

I can be found online here:
Twitter: @jessedietschi

11) Is there anything else that you want to add?

Thank you JAZZ.FM91 for continuing to give young musicians like me much needed exposure through this program!

Jazzology is proudly sponsored by RBC Emerging Artists Project.


About RBC and the Arts
RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Proud to support events and passions that resonate with our clients and all Canadians, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world; and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition, part of our commitment as the Official Bank and major sponsor of the world’s top public film festival – the Toronto International Film Festival®.

Learn More about the RBC Emerging Artists Project

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