JAZZ.FM FEATURED INTERVIEW
As a recipient of a 2018 Mississauga MARTY Award for emerging artist, the Ron Lenyk Inspiring Youth Arts Award, Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist composer Mason Victoria is no stranger in the jazz community, from directing one of the largest big bands in Toronto, his 21-piece (and counting) big band, the Sonuskapos Jazz Orchestra (SSJO), to arranging and composing for several groups in the world including Japan's Keio Light Music Society, the Shaw Street Collective, Toronto Jazz Orchestra, UNIVOX choir, New Music Jazz Orchestra (based in New York), as well as ensembles from Humber College and the Los Angeles College of Music, Mason continues to inspire his generation. Other notable collaborations include 2015 prix Goyer Prize Winner, Philip Chiu, JUNO-award winners, Kirk Macdonald, and Emilie Claire-Barlow, and GRAMMY-award winners Pat Metheny and Larnell Lewis. Mason has also been awarded the Toronto Duke Ellington Society Composer Award as well as the Dave Stillwell Arranging Award.
During his first year at Humber College, Mason spared no time pursuing his passion as a composer and bandleader. He founded a 12-piece jazz ensemble called the Miniature Dance Band (MinD) and had his first show within months of meeting and rehearsing his band mates and collegues. His efforts as a composer led to being a finalist in Spectrum Music's New Voices Composer Residency where he had workshopped his pieces with New-York based composer Daniel Jamieson (DANJAM Orchestra, Metropole Orkest). Inspired by the workshop, Mason decided to expand the size of his ensemble. By the end of the year, Mason had began composing for big band at the age of 18 with over 30 original pieces within its first year of fruition.
Within a few years in his degree, Mason had become a highly recognized and demanded composer, arranger and copyist, studying with renowned composers such as John Macleod and Andy Ballantyne. Mason had help kick-start multiple projects including ART // THE BIG BAND, an 18-piece trip-hop big band featuring the music of the Toronto-based quintet, Masini McDermott's One Night Only Live, and The Rebirth of the Cool, a project that pays homage to the Miles Davis Nonet. As a trumpet player, Mason has studied with Alistair Kay, Brian O'Kane, Dave Dunlop, and Steve Crowe. Mason plays with his trio on a weekly basis around the GTA and performs with Nat Lazzarotto's Hardboptet, James Valdez and the NeoVintage, the Dennis Kwok Jazz Orchestra, the rock band Pallet Town and has regularly performed with Ten Meter Band.
Mason has released his first album "Imagine We're Sailing" with the help of partial funding from the Ontario Arts Council, and was a featured artist on Heather Bambrick’s Jazzology on Jazz FM. His original piece, “Willow Trees”, which is included on the upcoming album, was sought after for a live performance by the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. He also holds a position with Spectrum Music as an Artistic Producer.
For questions, or inquiries, contact Mason through his 'ARRANGER' page.