Jaelem Bhate is a conductor, composer, and bandleader from Vancouver, B.C. whose musical diversity has come to define his career. He was named to the CBC's 2019 '30 under 30 hot classical musicians. Jaelem completed his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at UBC in 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Girard. He previously received his undergraduate degree in percussion performance at UBC where he graduated first in his class and received the prestigious Wesbrook Award for academic achievement and leadership. His most recent invitations to perform include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony, Nanaimo Symphony, and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
Notable 2019-2020 appearances as conductor include taking part in the 2019 Conductors Showcase with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vern Griffiths' Wall to Wall Percussion concert, and at the 2019 Italian Conducting Competition in Bordighera, Italy. From Italy, he will head to Bucharest, Romania to compete in the 10th Jeunesses Musicale Conducting Competition. He also debuted with his own ensemble that he founded and serves as Artistic Director, Symphony 21. In 2020, Symphony 21 launched a digital season, featuring in large part works by underrepresented and unknown composers over two series: 'Canadian Creators' and 'Beyond Backstage'. The ensemble was featured in 'The Vancouver Sun' and 'Calgary Herald' as a result.
Jaelem has pursued training as a conductor, in addition to his Master Degree, with some of the most prestigious pedagogues in the world, and has participated in a number of high profile positions and programs. He was the sole apprentice conductor of the highly competitive 2018 National Academy Orchestra of Canada under Maestro Boris Brott, and was a conducting fellow at the 2019 Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina where he worked closely with Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Other programs include the New York Conducting Institute in Manhattan studying with Paul Nadler of the MET Opera company, and the University of Oregon conducting masterclass with Maestro Neil Varon of the Eastman School, and Dr. David Jacobs. He was also assistant conductor at the Pacific Regional International Summer Music Academy with Maestro Arthur Arnold of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted at the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival, the Canadian Music Center New Music series and the 2019 Pacific Rim International Music Festival.
As a composer, Jaelem has been praised for possessing “a personal and highly effective voice” (Canadian Music Center) and has been described as “...a rising star”. (The Midwest Record). He founded and directs the Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece jazz orchestra that exclusively performs his compositions and was recently interviewed by CBC Radio 1 for his ensemble’s premiere of his original suite for Jazz Orchestra ‘The Nameless’ featuring the poetry of underrepresented, disadvantaged and discriminated against communities. He recently released his debut album for jazz orchestra ‘on the edge’, featuring a who’s who of Vancouver jazz instrumentalists, and has been hailed for its “polished and confident arrangements” (All About Jazz, 2019). 'On the Edge' won the 2020 Julian Award for excellence in Jazz, presented by Patrick Julian and The Jazz Spectrum. His works have been performed on recital programs throughout Canada and the US, and his music was featured as part of the 2019 and 2018 Jean Coulthard Readings, presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as by the Victoria Symphony in their 2019 Hugh Davidson sessions. His music was accepted by the International Society of Jazz arrangers and composers as part of their call for scores, to presented at their 2019 conference in Colorado. Other notable performances and commissions include a premiere as part of the Sonic Boom Festival hosted by Vancouver Pro-Musica, 2 works for the Brazz jazz ensemble, a performance by the Hard Rubber Orchestra, and from Maestro Arthur Arnold for the 2018 PRISMA festival. He is currently working on releasing his most recent project—an arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen Suites for jazz orchestra. Jaelem has studied composition with Vancouver’s Fred Stride for the past 6 years.
Jaelem is a dedicated educator and believes in bringing music into the lives of as many people as possible, no matter their previous experiences or social circumstances. He is proud to be involved as a substitute instructor with the St. James Music Academy, an el sistema inspired program for disadvantaged youth on the downtown East side of Vancouver. He also spent two years educating young children and teens at the UBC Summer Music Institute, where he was a senior staff member and instrumental ensemble assistant. He was named the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Leadership Award from UBC for his diverse work serving the community.
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