BFA, M.Mus.

Instructor, Jazz Studies
School of Performing Arts

604.984.4911 ext. 4911
Fir Building, room FR116


M.Mus. (Composition), School of Music, University of Victoria, 2009.

BFA, Jazz Studies, Concordia University, 1995.

Diploma, Jazz Studies, St. Francis Xavier University, 1981.


Jill Townsend (M.Mus., University of Victoria, 2009) is a prolific composer and arranger, as well as the conductor and artistic director of the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra (JTJO). JTJO has released two critically acclaimed CDs and maintains a regular performance schedule. Several guest artists have appeared with JTJO including internationally renowned artists Dr. Lonnie Smith, trombonists Jiggs Whigham and Ian McDougall.

Townsend's music has been recorded and performed throughout North America by the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Calgary based Prime Time Big Band featuring award-winning saxophonist PJ Perry and Vancouver based Touch of Brass Quintet. She is a featured composer with the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, and has served as co-musical director for two seasons. She has also been a featured conductor and arranger with the Victoria Jazz Orchestra.

As well as being part of the Capilano University Jazz Studies faculty, Townsend directs the Douglas College Big Band. She has completed several independent composition residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. The National Jazz Awards has twice nominated the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra for Best Large Ensemble.

As a composer and arranger, my influences range from jazz masters such as Kenny Wheeler and Gil Evans to contemporary artists such as Maria Schneider and Christian McBride.

I love to learn, and love to share what I've learned. My professional experience as a performer, composer and arranger has contributed to my versatility in teaching jazz arranging and composition, as well as directing large and small ensembles.