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Toronto-based saxophonist, composer and educator Kelly Jefferson has a Bachelor of Music from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

Kelly has performed with the The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Ray Anderson, Kenny Werner, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Michel LeGrand, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, as well as Ray Brown, Sonny Fortune, Randy Brecker, Renee Rosnes, Johnny Mathis, Russell Malone, Joey DeFrancesco, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others.

Kelly has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, Japan, Thailand, Europe, South Korea and China, including a nine-month tour in 2000 as the tenor saxophonist with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.

The Kelly Jefferson Quartet release Next Exit, was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. Kelly was also a five-time nominee for Saxophonist of the Year by the National Jazz Awards.

Along with trombonist/composer Kelsley Grant, Kelly co-leads the Jefferson-Grant Quintet, winners of the Opus Award for Jazz Album of the Year for their 1999 debut release "JGQ". Their second disc entitled "As One" was released in June of 2002. The band has performed across Canada and was a nominee at the 2003 National Jazz Awards for Acoustic Group of the Year.

Kelly is presently on faculty at York University in Toronto, with previous teaching positions at Humber College in Toronto and McGill University in Montreal.

Mr. Jefferson has also adjudicated at music festivals across Canada and has given numerous workshops throughout Canada, the United States and China.

An active freelance musician, Kelly performs regularly with groups that include the William Carn Quintet, Manteca, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Time Warp, the Artie Roth Quintet, the Shuffle Demons, Mark McLean’s Playground, the Chris Tarry Group (2008 Juno Award Winner, Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year) Denzal Sinclaire and Barry Romberg’s Random Access.