Soren Nissen is a professional bassist and educator living in Toronto. He has developed a unique voice on the acoustic and electric bass and is involved with many different musical projects split between many countries and genres. He is an in demand educator running a private lesson studio in Toronto and teaching at workshops and schools in Canada and abroad. His musical journey started in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but moving to Toronto to attend Humber College in 2008 is where his unique musical identity began to emerge. While at Humber, Soren was a three year member of the prestigious Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble and studied with incredible mentors such as Neil Swainson, Mike Downes, Pat LaBarbera, and Kirk MacDonald. He also performed with many visiting artists including Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Guido Basso, Bob Mintzer, and Dave Holland during this period. Soren received the Yamaha Canada Jazz Scholarship, the Toronto Musicians’ Association Moe Koffman Memorial Award, the Edward L. Frankel Award, and the Humber College President’s Award during his time at Humber College. He was also the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award just before graduating from the program in 2012.
Since graduating, Soren has been exploring many different aspects of music and life while watching his musical journey unfold. He has been playing with the Outer Bridge Ensemble (NYC), The Jeff LaRochelle Origins Ensemble, The Andrew McAnsh Quintet, Language-Arts and The David Occhipinti Trio while doing many freelance gigs and recordings in Toronto. He has performed with P.J. Perry, Oliver Jones, Cambell Ryga, Steven Bernstein and many other internationally renown artists. Soren has travelled and performed throughout Canada, South America, Europe, the United States, and India and recently performed at the Blue Note in New York City. He is currently on leave from Toronto for a few months and is based in New Delhi, India where he is a full time faculty member at the Global Music Institute. Soren recently performed at the Canadian High Commission in Delhi with a group of Humber Music graduates (Jon Kay, Andrew Kay, Mara Nesrallah) also based in India proving the power of music to transcend geographic and cultural differences and solidifying the lifelong connections formed at Humber.
Multiple award winning bassist Søren Nissen is a graduate from the prestigious Humber College music program. He has quickly become one of Toronto’s top call musicians in the jazz and indie music scenes. Søren has recently released his debut album Departures which features all original jazz compositions inspired from a 5 month journey through India. In addition to leading his own band, Søren performs as a side person with a number of groups including: David Occhipinti (Trio, Art Song, and Camera Ensemble), The Jeff LaRochelle Group, Barbra Lica and the Woodhouse, The Jacob Damelin Quartet and the Emily Rockarts Band. When he is not performing or touring with these regular projects, Søren maintains an active freelance schedule for live performance, recording and teaching.
Søren Nissen is a professional bassist and educator living in Toronto, Canada. He is a creative yet grounded bassist with a strong rhythmic propulsion, technical expertise and musical sensitivity that is recognizable across many musical genres and settings. Søren is an in demand performer and educator in Canada and abroad and is dedicated to embracing and sharing the lifelong learning process that music holds. Søren's musical roots formed in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where classical piano and acoustic bass lessons introduced him to the fundamentals of music. He left formal piano study after at the age of 14 to pursue the acoustic and electric bass with more focused study. By the age of 17, Søren was principal bassist of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra and had begun actively exploring other genres of music with a particular interest in jazz.
His passion for jazz grew while attending shows at the local jazz club, The Bassment and by connecting with mentors who generously shared the music with him. Two of these mentors were Mark DeJong and Dean McNeil who ran local jazz workshops, lectured at the university, and direceted ensembles which Søren participated in. They hired Søren for a weekly jazz gig allowing him to gain valuable playing experience in a challenging environment. This is where he began developing his ears, musicianship and true love for jazz and improvisation. After a brief stint of general studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Søren began studying music at Humber College in 2008. While at Humber, Søren was a three year member of the prestigious Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble and studied with incredible teachers such as Neil Swainson, Mike Downes, Pat LaBarbera, and Kirk MacDonald. He also performed with visiting faculty including Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Guido Basso, Bob Mintzer, and Dave Holland. Soren was a special guest performer and workshop participant at the Atina Jazz Festival in Italy in 2012 and attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in 2013 where he studied with Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, Esperanza Spalding, Stephan Crump, Ravi Coltrane and many other world renown artists. He has been a featured guest on Jazz.FM's Jazzology and has received the Yamaha Canada Jazz Scholarship, the Toronto Musicians’ Association Moe Koffman Memorial Award, the Edward L. Frankel Award, the prestigious Oscar Peterson Award and The President's Award during his time at Humber College. He has performed with Vincent Herring, Pat LaBarbera, P.J. Perry, Oliver Jones, Adam O'Farrill, Kavita Shah, Cambell Ryga, Wycliffe Gordon, Kirk MacDonald, Steven Bernstein, Jerome Jennings, David Occhipinti and many other internationally renown artists. Søren's performing and teaching has taken him throughout Canada, South America, Europe, India and the United States including an appearance at the Blue Note in New York City.
Søren is passionate about sharing his love for music with others and runs a private teaching studio in Toronto where he teaches lessons to all levels of acoustic and electric bassists who want to develop their skills and love for music. He is also a private bass instructor and ensemble director with the Humber Community Music Program in Toronto. He has been an international faculty member at Global Music Institute (GMI) in New Delhi, India teaching the official Berklee College of Music curriculum. He taught music theory, private lessons, bass masterclass, ensemble classes, and basic piano skills while at GMI. Søren is a returning faculty member at the TD Canada Trust Jazz Intensive each year during the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival and is a guest clinician at many schools and other musical organizations throughout the year.
Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music (2013)
Humber College - Bachelor of Music Degree (2012)
Atina Jazz Festival Workshop - Italy (2012)
University of Saskatchewan - Jazz History, Jazz Theory, Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Ensemble (2006-2008)
Awards and Distinctions
Toronto Arts Council - Recording Grant Recipient - 2017
Toronto Arts Council - Creation Grant Recipient - 2016
The Oscar Peterson Award - (Humber Music - 2012)
The President's Medal - (School of Creative and Performing Arts - 2012)
Yamaha Canada Jazz Scholarship (2011)
Edward L. Frankel Award (2010)
Toronto Musicians' Association - Moe Koffman Award (2009)
Performing Arts and Music Award - (Evan Hardy Collegiate - 2006)
Phillip W. McMeans Memorial String Scholarship (2005)