Monik Nordine

B.Mus (UBC), M.Mus (McGill)

Born in Karlstad, Sweden in 1966, saxophonist and composer Monik Nordine has lived on the West Coast of Canada for most of her life and spent her formative years on Salt Spring Island. Her first gigs at age 16 were at the Vesuvius Pub backing a local vocalist.

In 1984 she moved to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Community College where she studied saxophone with David Branter and met Alan Matheson. Working with Alan’s big band Monik met many of the important jazz players in and around Vancouver. During that time she was also introduced to Campbell Ryga, who became her main influence on the alto saxophone and who was a great mentor to her. Her projects there included her own bands and others, such as Fred Stride, Gary Guthman, Ian MacDougall, Jan Stirling, Mother of Pearl, Entropy, John Korsrud and The Hard Rubber Orchestra. Monik worked as a free-lance musician and went to school in Vancouver until 1993 when she finished her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia and decided to move to Montreal.

Montreal offered a broad range of artistic opportunities. There she worked with Holly Arsenault, Dinah Vero and the Diamonds, Mathieu Leger, Hassan Elhadi, Lilys Tigers, various latin bands such as A Comer and Barbara Barbara and the Amazons as well as her own groups which she presented at local Montreal jazz venues. In Montreal she became a composer through the mentorship of Jan Jarczyk, who was also her professor at McGill University and where she eventually completed a Masters Degree in Music in 1997. During those years she studied saxophone with Mike Allen and Remi Bolduc and recorded on three albums: Suite No.3: The Cycle of Life with the pianist Alex Clements, Twisted with Mathieu Leger and her own album not just to but over the moon, featuring her own compositions. On a Vancouver visit she also made an appearance on Cruel Yet Fair with The Hard Rubber Orchestra, which was later nominated for a West Coast Music Award.

Before returning to her hometown on Salt Spring Island to raise her child in 2000, Monik traveled to London to study with Evan Parker, Stan Sulzmann and Kenny Wheeler. She also made a brief stopover in New York with Jane Ira-Bloom. Since then she has become a grass-roots organizer and Artistic Director of the Salt Spring Jazz Festival. She also performed with Michael Bublé, Rob McConnell, P.J. Perry, Paul Horn, Mike Allen, Chase Sanborn, Hugh Fraser and VEJI, Tommy Banks, Brad Turner and Phil Nimmons and recorded four more albums: Blue Comedy with Pat Coleman, This Blue with Smilin Jack Smith, Departure with the band Departure and Three Days in Winter with The Jon Miller Quartet. She now lives and works in Victoria, BC where she runs the Victoria Jazz Orchestra and teaches at The Victoria Conservatory of Music.