Sandy Scofield – 2020

Sandy Scofield is a multi-award winning composer, musician and singer. She has studied classical, jazz, African, Indonesian gamelan and electro-acoustic music. A Métis from the Saulteaux and Cree Nations, she hails from four generations of fiddlers, singers and musicians.

Among her four recordings to date, she has won five Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, an Indian Summer Music Award (U.S.A.), a Western Canadian Music Award and received three consecutive Juno nominations. Over the years, she has mentored innumerable First Nations singers and songwriters in the way of rudimentary music theory, vocal techniques, songwriting craft and music-industry protocol. She has toured to festivals on five continents with the International Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo, 2011 making the fifth. She has composed for dance, film, television and theatre, with the Aboriginal Welcoming Song for the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, the highlight to date. It’s a long way from playing Cajun party music to a capella vocal arrangements of First Nations songs to composing music for theatre and for our own Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver. Sandy Scofield has invested a tremendous spirit, navigating and negotiating through a life dedicated to music, sometimes on her own, and sometimes with collaborators. She studied full-time at Vancouver Community College taking their two-year jazz music program. She completed her degree at the esteemed Simon Fraser University School for Contemporary Arts, studying composition under the likes of Owen Underhill and electroacoustic music with Barry Truax.Her passion for electro-acoustic music and sound design is not new for Scofield, who has been playing with sounds for a long time. In a feature in SOCAN’s Words & Music magazine in 2001, Alexander Varty talked to her about using noisemakers or toys, such as the toy piano on “Get High”, each time she embarked on a recording project.She has taken the tool box that she has enhanced as a touring musician, through her composition work at SFU, and from the young musicians she mentors and applied them to her sense of melody, harmony and rhythm, resulting in what writer Phil Paine described as “a high-level synthesis of jazz, blues, rock and pop” with First Nations traditions. “Her music is original, refined and intelligent.”

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