Joseph Shabason

Joseph Shabason is a Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist (sax, flute, clarinet, keys), composer and recording artist who combines lush synth-scapes, field recordings and effected woodwinds and percussion to create dense, meditative ambient jazz. He graduated as a saxophone major from the University of Toronto Jazz Performance program in 2006 and shortly after started playing in rock bands - starting in 2008 he played, recorded and toured in the bands Destroyer, The War On Drugs, Andre Ethier and DIANA. Two of the albums (Kaputt and Poison Season) were shortlisted for the Polaris Prize; the self-titled album from his own band DIANA was long-listed for the Polaris.

On top of writing and producing Joseph also works as a session player and has recorded saxophone and flute for Hannah Georgas, Dragonette, Jonny Nash, The Operators, The Born Ruffians, Allie X, The War On Drugs, Matt Barber, Rodney Graham, Bart, Peter Elkas, Jewish Legend, Ben Gunning, Jill Barber, Grounders, The Fembots and many more. His critically acclaimed second album, Anne, is a tonal essay on degenerative illness. Delicately and compassionately woven with interviews of Shabason’s mother from whom the album takes its name, Anne finds its creator navigating a labyrinth of subtle and tragic emotions arising from his mother's struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Across the nine vivid postcards of jazz-laden ambience that comprise the album, Shabason unwraps these difficult themes with great care and focus revealing the unseen aspects of degenerative diseases that force us to re-examine common notions of self, identity, and mortality.