Joining the SJW faculty for the first time as a member of the Mentor Fellowship program, Jenny Xu is a Canadian pianist and a graduate of Berklee College of Music (BM ’16), which she attended on full-scholarship, as well as the Manhattan School of Music (MM ’19), which she attended on partial scholarship. She holds a Royal Conservatory of Music ARCT Diploma for Classical Piano Performance, a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance (summa cum laude) and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Arts (summa cum laude). At MSM, Jenny held the piano chair in the institution’s Latin Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra both years of her degree in addition to having worked closely with NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera in his Irakere Combo.
Best known for her work with FRIENDSHIP, her brain-child trio, Jenny’s group boasts a critically acclaimed tour and two albums of her original music: Project Sock Retrieval (October 2020) and Ghost Stories (February 2021). In 2018, she self-released her first two albums as leader: Standards Vol. I and Live at the Silk Purse. Both of which feature Canadian heavyweights André Lachance (bass) and Bernie Arai (drums) as sidemen. 4-time Juno Award winner Campbell Ryga (sax) appears as a guest on her debut album.
Jenny is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the MSM Outreach Award (2019), Stingray Rising Star Award (2018), Downbeat Award (2018), Berklee Jazz Performance Award recipient (2016), Dal Richard’s Scholarship (2014), Yamaha Kando Award (2014) and was the first individual ever offered a full renewable scholarship to Humber College in Toronto. She has experience performing at over a dozen music festivals and has had the immense privilege of having worked with Buster Williams, Ingrid Jensen, George Garzone, Eddie Gomez, Kendrick Scott, Dave Liebman, The New York Voices, Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo O’Farrill.
On piano, Jenny has shared the stage with the likes of Harold Mabern and Cándido Camero, in addition to having toured with world-renowned saxophonist, George Garzone. In 2018, she opened for Herbie Hancock at the 2018 TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival as part of the TD Ottawa Youth Summit.