2023 Stingray Jazz Youth Summit

The 2023 Stingray Jazz Youth Summit participants from left to right: Mike Tremblay (Program Director): Mason Jeffrey-Off (bass); Dylan Cudmore (drums); Omar Yazaw (tenor sax), Leah Reavie (alto sax), James Greer (piano), Duncan Hunter Neale (trumpet), Joel Oppong-Boateng (drums), Ramel Bautista (guitar), Eric Wallace (baritone sax), and Petr Cancura (Ottawa Jazz Festival Programming Director).

Nine students selected for a once in a lifetime musical journey…

Music students from high schools and universities across Ottawa were invited to apply and participate in The Stingray Jazz Youth Summit, an intensive program for young musicians that ran during the Ottawa Jazz Festival (June 23 – 30). Members were selected by an audition process (with pre-recorded auditions). This program provides training and workshops by visiting international artists and performance opportunities at the Ottawa Jazz Festival for young hopeful Canadian jazz musicians.

They were given the chance to work on original material and attend masterclasses by acclaimed visiting international artists. Past clinicians have included Ethan Iverson, John Hollenbeck, Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider, Tim Berne & Aurora Nealand, Joel Frahm, John Hollenback, Michael Winograd to name a few.

Only nine students, ranging from ages 16 to 23, are selected for this unique adventure. At the end of the journey, four out of the nine receive bursaries from Stingray Music in contribution to advance their education in music.

Their journey culminated with a Main Stage performance opening for Herbie Hancock on June 30th.

2023 Stingray Music Prize Recipients:

Stingray Jazz Youth Summit Prize Winners with Program Director Mike Tremblay and Ottawa Jazz Festival Programming Director Petr Cancura.

After the Show…

The Participants had the unique opportunity to meet and chat with the legendary Herbie Hancock backstage after his show. He patiently answered their questions and offered words of wisdom for their future careers.

Mike Tremblay, Program Director

With more than 30 years experience in the music industry, woodwind specialist Mike Tremblay is an associate performance faculty member at Carleton University. He teaches saxophone, ensembles, jazz improvising and has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and many other ensembles.

Some of his performance credits include Natalie Cole, Alanis Morissette, Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, John Pizzarelli, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin. Some of his theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (International tour) and Billy Elliott (International tour), to name a few.


Immersing budding young musicians into this intense program creates deep friendships that often leads to professional partnerships. Previous graduates of the program have gone on to their own critically acclaimed careers. it was very poignant and ‘surreal’ when Autobahn returned to perform at the Festival and conduct their own masterclass for the next generation.