Christine JensenArtist in Residence

Christine Jensen

Montreal-based alto and soprano saxophonist, composer and conductor Christine Jensen is an original voice on the international jazz scene, and is regarded as one of Canada’s most compelling composers and improvisers. She has won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Rising Star Big Band, Arranger, and Soprano Saxophonist, as well as being honoured by the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2017 with the Oscar Peterson Prize. She currently leads her own jazz orchestra as well as other diverse ensemble projects. “Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind.” –Downbeat.

Jensen has won two Juno Awards for her recordings with her jazz orchestra, including Habitat (2014) and Treelines (2011). Four of her albums have been nominated with Quebec’s ADISQ awards. Habitat received five stars in Downbeat, along with being included at the top of several international critic’s polls, including Jazz Album of the Year in 2014. She was also profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered for her work with Habitat. A two-time recipient of the Hagood Hardy Prize from SOCAN, she has also received two Quebec Opus Awards for her big band recordings and concerts. Her recent collaborations as conductor and composer with Orchestre National Jazz Montreal have included conducting Terence Blanchard, Oliver Jones, The Music of Carla Bley, as well as recording her suite Under the Influence, which won the 2017 Prix Opus for jazz recording of the year.

As a leader, Jensen has led numerous small groups. Along with her sister, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, she has co-led Nordic Connect, where they released two recordings, as well as touring Canada, US, and Scandinavia numerous times. Their latest recording Infinitude featuring Ben Monder on guitar was nominated for a 2017 Juno Award.

Jensen’s music has taken her all over the world, where she has received numerous commissions and conducting opportunities with jazz orchestras in Canada, the US and Europe. Recent guest artist residencies include Frost School of Music, The New School, Dartmouth College, University of Michigan, UMO Jazz Orchestra (Finland), Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, and Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra.  Collaborators have included Phil Dwyer, Ben Monder, Gary Smuylan, Geoffrey Keezer, Lenny Pickett, and Donny McCaslin.

Teachers and mentors include Kenny Werner, Jim McNeely, Dick Oatts, Remi Bolduc and John Hollenbeck. She is currently on faculty at McGill University where she teaches composition and is Artistic Director of Jazz Orchestra 1.