Multi-instrumentalist Brenden Varty and his unique blend of contemporary and chamber music has been piercing the Toronto music scene in recent years. After many years of performance and musical study in and around his hometown, Brenden decided to continue his musical studies at Humber College (which he graduated from with highest honours is 2016), immersing himself in an environment that fosters both a jazz and contemporary-classical tradition.
While at Humber, Brenden gained proficiency in many instruments, including, but not limited to, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone, and his teachers include Alex Dean, Pat LaBarbera, Andy Ballantyne, David Occhipinti, and Shirantha Beddage.
Brenden is also an ambitious composer and arranger, and works to combine contemporary jazz with chamber music, similar to those attempts made by John Zorn, Jim Hall, and Brad Mehldau. While he retains a passion and performance schedule for works from the standard jazz repertoire, his recent focus has been on the composition and performance of music that reaches into the future while reflecting the jazz tradition.
Recently, Brenden completed a big band arrangement for Humber College's 2016 Spring Artist Showcase featuring New York Organist Larry Goldings. This chart is based on Golding's composition 'Pegasus' and is now featured on the album "Tuesday Night Live," featuring a performance by the Humber College Studio Jazz Ensemble.
Brenden has also taken part in numerous workshops and clinics around the GTA, including: "Music From Scratch," hosted by Contact Contemporary Ensemble; "Opus:Testing," hosted by Musica Reflecta; and was a participant in Spectrum Music's Young Composers workshop, during which he received tutelage from New York composer/arranger Daniel Jameson.
Currently Brenden teaches at Merriam Music in Oakville Ontario, where he teaches private piano and woodwind lessons. He has also been featured in performances and as a masterclass host during his time there.
Photographer: Brenden Mariani