Summer Jazz Workshop Faculty
Jim Brenan established himself as a top-notch performer and educator in the North American jazz community before accepting the position of Coordinator of Jazz Studies at The School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Auckland where he wrote and administered New Zealand’s first undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies. Currently Jim the Chair of the department of Theatre, Speech and Music Performance at Mount Royal University.
Jim holds a Bachelor in Jazz Studies from St. Francis Xavier University and a Masters in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he studied with renowned master saxophonist Ralph Bowen. Along with formal study Jim performed extensively in the tri-state area, New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey. In this capacity Jim had occasion to create music with Michael Mossman, Ralph Bowen, Kenny Barron, Slide Hampton, Kenny Wheeler, Ravi Coltrane, Randy Brecker and Kenny Drew jr. among others. As well Jim performed with Phil Woods, Illinois Jacquet and Flip Philips for the New Jersey Jazz Hall of Fame concerts.
Jim has been heard across Canada the United States and Europe as the lead tenor saxophone with The Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau Band. As a member of this band Jim also performed with Ray Charles and Diane Schuur, and recorded for the Concord record label as a featured soloist on the “Michael Feinstein and Maynard Ferguson Big City Rhythms” big band album.
The release of Jim’s second CD, the self titled the Spectre, received rave reviews and was voted by Vue magazine as local Jazz album of the year. Jim is a very active performer, having presented concerts in New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Tahiti and Korea in the past two years. Jim’s latest release, the Throw Down with the band “the Brenan Brothers” featuring Geoffrey Keezer, Ralph Bowen, Dana Hall, Terrell Stafford, Craig Brenan and Rubim de Toledo, has been nominated for jazz album of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and received a 4 Star rating from downbeat magazine! This past year Jim Performed on Juno nominated Recording: Earl MacDonald, Re:Visions