“Wielding a fluid saxophone with an appealing allure, Jerrold Dubyk and his amazing quintet deliver[music that is] very accessible and highly entertaining.” Edward Blanco, All About Jazz
“A solid voice who performs with a sense of musicality and maturity that I expect from anyone who I perform with .” Victor Lewis, acclaimed jazz drummer
For over two decades, saxophonist and composer Jerrold Dubyk has had his feet planted firm in a polarity of worlds. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Dubyk is a consummate saxophonist with a warm, self-evident tone that is distinctly his own. In addition to performance and composition, he lives in the world of music education where is he is very respected. Always in a continuous search to find the truth in the music, a push towards the depth of the music has guided Jerrold to study with his current mentor and teacher, Branford Marsalis in Durham, North Carolina. As Branford clearly explained to Jerrold, “The pursuit for the new sound is through the old…The study of melody and tradition (both jazz AND classical) is the suitable new sound.”
Dubyk’s first introduction to music was through the violin, which he picked up at age five before eventually moving on to the saxophone. Dubyk went on to graduate with a degree in music from Grant Macewan University (Edmonton) and St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia). Upon graduation, Dubyk went on to perform continuously throughout Western Canada in the mid-1990’s.
2003 marked a musical shift. It was at this time that Jerrold moved to New Jersey to pursue a Master of Music degree at Rutgers University under the tutelage of Ralph Bowen. Bowen had a profound effect on Dubyk as a musician since his formidable years. “His sound, his craft, his thoughtfulness in his music, his teaching…Ralph really challenged me as a musician and pushed me to places I didn’t know existed musically. His method of teaching really ended up showing me how to search and diagnose my musical challenges. On top of that, he taught me how to be a better academic as well. I use a lot of analogies in my teaching to this day because of him. It was an absolute blessing to study under him.” says Dubyk.
While living in the tri-state area, Dubyk substantially built his musical resume. The late guitarist Vic Juris, trumpeter Sean Jones, the late pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Kenny Davis, and saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Seamus Blake are just some of the esteemed musicians Dubyk played beside during this period. This was a time of great musical creativity for Dubyk. “New York allowed me to hear the music on an entirely different level. I’d never heard anything like that before.” he says.
In 2006, Dubyk self-released his debut album “The Way You See It” and embarked on a Canada Council for the Arts tour the following summer across eight Jazz Festival circuit cities. In 2008, Dubyk formed a new Quartet with drummer Jesse Cahill, organist Chris Gestrin and Juno-award winning trumpeter Brad Turner. Their 2009 release “The Maverick” won the 2009 Western Canadian Music Award for Jazz Recording of the Year. More success followed in January 2014 with Dubyk’s release of “Invitations”, which featured Cahill and Turner alongside Juno-award winning bassist Jodi Proznick and Grammy-nominated trumpeter Terell Stafford. The album received critical acclaim and was nominated for a 2014 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Jazz recording.
In 2014, Dubyk co-formed PREQUAL, his Edmonton-based project featuring pianist Chris Andrew, bassist Josh McHan and drummer Bill George. Featuring semi-improvised music, the group was nominated for an Edmonton Music Award in 2015. That same year, Dubyk was chosen to participate in the prestigious Saxophone Master Class, a weeklong intensive saxophone workshop headed by NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman. The time spent with Liebman reaffirmed many of the fundamental skills Dubyk had acquired to that point and profoundly influenced his playing onward. In the fall of 2015, Dubyk was selected to perform as a guest soloist with the Macewan Faculty Jazz Orchestra under the Grammy Award winning guest arranger, composer and conductor Gil Goldstein. Goldstein’s music arranged for the Michael Brecker Quindectet was brought in and Dubyk was a featured saxophonist for the evening on Brecker’s and Goldstein’s music.
In 2016, Dubyk embarked on a successful Edmonton Arts Council tour performing for ten days between Northern Ireland and Dublin with local jazz musicians. “What an incredible experience to connect musically with people I had never met before. I’m walking downstairs into the club in Belfast and I hear the rhythm section rehearsing my music. 30 minutes later, we hit the bandstand and the music just takes off…what a thrill! It was like that every night we played!”
April 2017 saw Dubyk receiving additional support from the Edmonton Arts Council to have his music arranged for jazz orchestra. International, national and local jazz arrangers and composers were commissioned to take his music and turn it from quartet to jazz orchestra. With the music arranged by Gil Goldstein, Florian Ross and Allan Gilliland, a new project has been put in place to have a recording of the jazz orchestra music for a future project.
In collaboration with the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, Dubyk was a soloist and bandmate with guest artist and Grammy-winning jazz composer and arranger Maria Schneider in January 2018.
After being invited in 2018 to perform at the Havana Jazz Festival, the Jerrold Dubyk Quartet performed five concerts in Cuba with his Quartet in January 2019. Playing at different jazz clubs to concerts in the Main Square in Havana has led to Jerrold being invited back to play with the group in January 2024.
Most recently, Jerrold went back to Northern Ireland in August 2023 to perform for a week with his music being received with much enthusiasm, warmth and an open invitation to return on his occasion.
Currently, Dubyk is the Director of Music at Strathcona High School as well as serving on the faculty of Macewan University where he teaches saxophone and ensembles. He is also a proud member of Avenue Magazine’s Annual Top 40 Under 40 from 2012 for his contributions to music and music education in Edmonton.
Jerrold is a Silverstein Ligature Artist.
By Lydia Liebman/Jerrold Dubyk 2023