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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 new 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 (Jazz Excursion Records, 2007) is available worldwide.  Shirantha also performs as a sideman in groups led by Toronto artists Nancy Walker, Mike Downes, Alex Dean and Bruce Cassidy.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music (New York, USA). At Eastman, he was a student 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 (Georgia, USA) from 2006-2009, where he directed the CSU Jazz Band and taught courses in Music Theory, Ear Training, Jazz History and Jazz Composition.