"...engaging, carefully crafted jazz."
- Glen Hall, Exclaim! Magazine
"Allison has a distinctive and conversational tone that sets her apart from the crowd..."
- Hobart Taylor, KUCI Radio
"...an exceptionally cohesive band that has internalized all of the music's intricacies. Au's playing is spirited and confident throughtout."
- Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen
"Imaginatively written and performed modern jazz."
- Mike Gates, UK Vibe
"...a musician with such an erudite voice, a saxophonist with so distinctive a tone..."
- Raul Da Gama, Toronto Music Report
"Canada has found a new jazz ambassador!"
- Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here
Juno-award winning Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger, Allison Au (pronounced "ow") refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother, and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Allison found music as a young child. Exposed to a wide array of musical styles, she was captivated by the unhinged freedom of Jazz. Jazz became Allison’s lab for self-expression, exploration, and musical experimentation. Her work weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of Jazz but skillfully laced with elements of Classical, Pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music.
Au’s music transports you to a place where instrumentals ring bold and emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms. Her writing showcases the color and character of each instrument, while providing ample room for her band mates to push her compositions to new heights.
Au earned her first Juno nomination for her debut album, “The Sky Was Pale Blue, then Grey” in 2013, and in 2016 seized the Juno for "Best Jazz Album of The Year: Group" for “Forest Grove.” In 2019, she garnered another Juno nomination for "Best Jazz Album of the Year: Group" for "Wander Wonder."
Formed in 2009, the Allison Au Quartet has toured extensively in Canada and the US. The group was awarded the TD Jazz Fellowship Scholarship (2011), The Alfred and Phyllis Balm Scholarship (2012), and The Margareta and Benno Nigg Scholarship (2013) for three consecutive artist residencies at the Banff Centre.
The Allison Au Quartet has won the 2017 Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Prix de Jazz, received the 2017 Halifax Jazz Festival Sting Ray Rising Star Award, and was named a 2017 Finalist for Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award.