Jeff Antoniuk

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Jeff Antoniuk
Born (1965-10-06) October 6, 1965 (age 49)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Genres Jazz, funk, fusion
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Tenor, soprano, and alto saxophone

Jeff Antoniuk (born October 6, 1965) is a Canadian composer, musician, recording artist and music educator. Best known as a modern jazz and hard bop aficionado, he is conversant in many styles of jazz and funk. Antoniuk directs several important adult jazz education outlets in the Mid-Atlantic, including Jazz Band Masterclass, inDepth Jazz and Capital City Voices, which serve instrumentalists and vocalists from surrounding states. In 2005, Antoniuk co-founded the Maryland Summer Jazz Camp,[1] which draws students from across the U.S.[2] The festival is held in Rockville, Maryland. He serves as artistic director.


Antoniuk holds a master of music degree from the University of North Texas, where his course work focused on jazz performance and West African ethnomusicology. He began his undergraduate work at Grant MacEwan University in Canada and completed his bachelor's degree at the North Texas. He is a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts "B Grant," and used it to study with Blue Note recording artist Tim Hagans.


Antoniuk began touring internationally while a student at UNT. He then spent a decade touring and recording in the U.S. with the Unified Jazz Ensemble. Several of those years were spent touring under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He also toured extensively with rhythm and blues and funk band Sound Connection playing dates from The White House to Las Vegas.

In 2004, he founded the Jazz Update quartet.[3] It includes bassist Tom Baldwin, pianist Wade Beach and drummer Tony Martucci. They perform their own compositions and works by Coltrane, Ellington/Strayhorn, Monk, Shorter, Joe Henderson and Kenny Dorham. The group has received many commissions for theme concerts and clinics. For their two albums, the group received extensive airplay and praise from critics in the United States and Canada. "Brotherhood" was released in 2010 and "Here Today" in 2007.

In 2013, Antoniuk co-founded The MARS 4-tet, a collective group of top-flight east coast musicians. The name is an acronym for the members' last names (Max Murray - bass, Jeff Antoniuk - sax, Frank Russo - drums, Donato Soviero - guitar). The band began by focusing on the great improvised music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, with John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Weather Report and Keith Jarrett as strong influences. They often incorporate rock and funk influences, including Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Gino Vanelli and others. MARS released their freshman CD "The Blind Watchmaker" in May 2014 on the Summit Records label.

Antoniuk also plays in other musical settings in the Washington DC area, including numerous Brazilian jazz groups. In the U.S. Antoniuk has worked with jazz musicians such as Marcus Miller, Jeff Coffin, Zaccai Curtis, Mike Pope, Leonardo Lucini, Alison Miller, Najee, Alex Norris, Walt Weiskopf, the late Wayman Tisdale and Kenny Werner. He has worked with Canadian greats such as Ralph Bowen, David Foster, Ingrid Jensen, PJ Perry, Senator Tommy Banks. He has also appeared with Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, and Kenny Rogers.


A busy educator, Antoniuk taught at in the jazz program of Towson University for seven years, and developed his adult education programs to fill the hole he saw in jazz training opportunities for adults.[4] He is also a master teaching artist with Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS). Antoniuk is central to their Capitol Jazz Project, in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis. Through WPAS, he introduces thousands of Washington, D.C. area students every year to the work of jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane.

Critical reception[edit]

“The (MARS 4-tet’s) performance was one of the tighest, most powerful I have heard by any jazz artists at any venue.” Glenn Angus, Baltimore Jazz Alliance.[5] “Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update are frequent and admired contributors to the Washington, DC jazz scene. This is a quartet steeped in a 21st century style of hard bop that still values solid melody lines, probing improvisation, and, when called for, sheer beauty.” George Fendel, Jazzscene [6]

“Brotherhood stands as a boldly affirmative statement regarding the health and well being of modern jazz in the early 21st century.” Dave Wayne, Jazz[7]

“Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update have proven themselves to be a quartet to be reckoned with. They unleash their mastery over 10 songs that will leave your searching for their first album, Here Today, in an effort to buy everything they have on the shelves.” Doug Morrissey,[8]

“His sense of the global world of jazz is present with every note.” Jordan Richardson, Canadian Audiophile[9]

“Antoniuk and pianist Wade Beach showcase their considerable chops.” Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times [10]

“A creative spark that never lets up.” Ron Netsky, Rochester City Newspaper [11]

Selected discography[edit]

As leader

With the MARS 4-tet

  • The Blind Watchmaker

With the Jazz Update

  • Brotherhood (2010)
  • Here Today (2007)

With Unified Jazz Ensemble

  • Make A Joyful Noise (1998)
  • New Slant (1997)
  • Small Town Stories (1995)
  • Now We Are Five (1994)
  • Unified Jazz Ensemble (1993)

As sideman

With Veronneau

  • Jazz Samba Project (2012)
  • Joie de Vivre (2011)

With Najee

  • Rising Sun (2008)

With Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra

  • Two Seconds to Midnight (2003)

With Tad Robinson

  • A New Point Of View (2007)
  • Did You Ever Wonder (2004)

With Ben Patterson Sextet

  • The Prowl (2003)

With Sound Connection

  • Sound Connection Live (2005)

With Darrel Nulisch

  • Times Like These (2003)

With Lou Pride

  • Keep On Believing (2005)
  • Words Of Caution (2002)


  1. ^ "Maryland Summer Jazz Festival Offers Cool Entertainment in the Heat of Summer". Marketwatch. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Jennifer (2004-05-20). "Giving Jazz Students Support and a Stage". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ "Artist - Jeff Antoniuk - Jeff Antoniuk and The Jazz Update, Jazz Band Annapolis Maryland MD Canadian Jazz Edmonton Education Annapolis Baltimore Washington Virginia". Jeff Antoniuk. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  4. ^ Thomas-Lester, Avis (2006-07-30). "A Summer Camp Where Play Time Isn't Just for Kids". The Washington Post. p. C11. 
  5. ^ Glenn Angus (July 3013). "Mars 4-tet at 49 West". BJA Newsletter.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ George Fendel (June 2006). "Brotherhood, Jeff Antoniuk, tenor and soprano saxes". Jazzscene. 
  7. ^ Dave Wayne (2010). "Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update". 
  8. ^ Doug Morrissey (2010-06-20). "Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update:Brotherhood". 
  9. ^ Jordan Richardson (2010). "Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update:Brotherhood". Canadian Audiophile. 
  10. ^ Bill Milkowski (2010). "Brotherhood: Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update". Jazz Times. 
  11. ^ Ron Netsky (2010-06-01). "Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update:Brotherhood". Rochester City Newspaper. 

External links[edit]