Jane Bunnett

Maryjane Bunnett, "Jane," jazz musician (b at Toronto 22 Oct 1955). Jane Bunnett studied for a career as a classical pianist before turning at 20 to jazz and to flute and soprano saxophone. In 1983, she began leading a band in Toronto with her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer; its members often included noted US musicians (eg, pianist Don Pullen, saxophonist Dewey Redman) whose presence helped to bring Bunnett to international attention by 1990. Her work as a soprano saxophonist has drawn wide critical praise. She has led a peripatetic career, travelling frequently to Cuba and living from 1992 to 1995 in Paris, where she studied with the expatriate US saxophonist Steve Lacy. Among her more than a dozen CDs released during her career to date, the early New York Duets (with Pullen) and The Water is Wide reflected her interests in contemporary jazz, while Spirits of Havana (which received a Juno award in 1993), Chamalongo, Alma de Santiago, Ritmo + Soul and Cuban Odessey reveal her affinity for Afro-Cuban traditions that would dominate much of her music after the mid-1990s. Red Dragonfly (aka Tomb), released in 2004 and featuring the Penderecki String Quartet, however, saw her sampling a broader range of musical influences.

In addition to the Juno for Spirits of Havana, she has also won Juno Awards for Ritmo + Soul (Best Global Album, 2002) and Radio Guantanamo: Guantanamo Blues Project, Vol 1 (Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, 2006).

In 2005, Jane Bunnett along with Larry Cramer, Donnie Lester and Howard Rees founded "Art of Jazz," a not-for-profit organization dedicated to jazz education and performance situated in Toronto. The organization provides jazz education and mentorship programs to audiences of all ages, as well as presents year round programs that showcase Canadian and international jazz masters.

In 2005, Jane Bunnett was named an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA.