Bio

Full-Length Bio

JUNO-nominated and Galaxie award-winning musician Shirantha Beddage is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto, Canada.  Drawing inspiration from jazz greats such as John Coltrane, Pepper Adams and Thelonious Monk, he is being hailed by critics as a fresh and powerful voice on the baritone saxophone.

His latest CD, Identity (Addo Records, 2012) was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year at the 2013 JUNO Awards.  Shirantha also earned the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his compositions “Baker’s Dozen” and “Winds of Change”, both from Identity.  The album features musicians from Toronto and New York, including Dave Restivo (piano), Nathan Eklund (trumpet), Mike Downes (bass), Mark Kelso and Larnell Lewis (drums).  Shirantha’s debut album, Roots and Branches, was released internationally by Jazz Excursion Records in 2007. In addition to his own groups, Shirantha currently performs and records with the Nancy Walker Quintet, the Mike Downes Parallel Streams Ensemble and Bruce Cassidy’s Hotfoot Orchestra.

Shirantha’s musical compositions have been featured by numerous ensembles across Canada and the United States, ranging from small group, 10-piece jazz ensemble and big band.  He has also written commercially for film and television; in 2014, he composed and performed original jazz quintet music for the FX original series “Fargo”, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, which aired in major markets across North America and Europe.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music (New York, USA), where he was a student of Ramon Ricker, Bill Dobbins and Harold Danko.  Past degrees include a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University (New Jersey, USA), and a Bachelor of Music degree from Humber College (Toronto, Canada), where he now serves as Head of Theory and Harmony in the Humber Music department.  He currently teaches courses in Music Theory, Pedagogy, Large Ensemble and Private Lessons.  Shirantha was previously Director of Jazz Studies at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music (Columbus, Georgia, USA).  He also adjudicates regularly at festivals throughout the country including MusicFest Canada, where he serves as Vice-Chairman of Instrumental Jazz.  

Shirantha is a Yamaha saxophone artist and performs on the YBS-62.

For more information, please visit www.shiranthabeddage.com

Short Bio

JUNO-nominated and Galaxie award-winning musician Shirantha Beddage is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto, Canada. Drawing inspiration from jazz greats such as John Coltrane, Pepper Adams and Thelonious Monk, he is being hailed by critics as a fresh and powerful voice on the baritone saxophone.

His newest CD, Identity (Addo Records, 2012) was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year at the 2013 JUNO Awards. Shirantha also earned the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for compositions from this album. As a composer for film and television, his original compositions have been featured on the FX television series Fargo (2014) starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman. He is the Head of Theory and Harmony at Toronto’s Humber College music program, where he teaches Music Theory, Pedagogy and Big Band. He also adjudicates regularly at festivals throughout the country including MusicFest Canada, where he serves as Vice-Chairman of Instrumental Jazz.

Shirantha is a Yamaha saxophone artist and performs on the YBS-62.

For more information, please visit www.shiranthabeddage.com

Press Releases / Interviews / Reviews

Winner of the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award, Montreal Jazz Festival (press release)

Interview for The Jazz Session podcast, hosted by Jason Crane, December 2013

Interview on CBC Fresh Air with Mary Ito, February 2013 (click link and scroll down)

Review of Identity in The Whole Note Magazine, March 2013

Review of “Roots and Branches” in Cadence magazine, 2007 (PDF)

Press Quotes

“Shirantha Beddage brings fresh ideas to the mainstream world and comes highly recommended.”
— Cadence Magazine

“Beddage has a well-developed identity on the demanding baritone, playing with real power…”
— The Whole Note Magazine

“…An example of what a powerful and modern bari tone could be… (Identity) has some of the hippest grooves I’ve heard on a jazz album in a while…”
— modernbarisax.com