Danae Olano is the winner of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2024 Breakthrough Jazz Artist Award!

Generously supported by Michael Bourgeois and Marilyn Legge, the award comes with a $10,000 cash prize to help further the career of an outstanding breakthrough jazz artist.

The winner was announced Wednesday night at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

The Grammy-nominated, Juno award-winning pianist and composer was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, being classically trained in music since the age of 7. She has recorded and toured internationally as a founding member of Jane Bunnett & Maqueque, an all-female jazz band that was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz album in 2017 and won a Juno award for Best Group Jazz Album of the Year in 2014 for their debut album Jane Bunnett & Maqueque.

She has shared the stage with musicians such as OKAN, Hilario Duran, Booker T. Jones and Marta Elena, just to name a few. Her debut album, Children’s Corner, was released earlier this year and co-produced by Hilario Duran.

“I want to thank Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council for helping fund my album – without them I wouldn’t be here,” said Dánae at the award ceremony.

The other finalists, Virginia Macdonald and Sanah Kadoura, received a $2,000 cash prize.

The award was established in 2014  and was previously called the Emerging Jazz Artist Award. As of 2024, the award was renamed as the Breakthrough Jazz Artist Award in recognition of the fact that many artists embark on a career in Jazz at various points in their life, not always defined by age. Previous recipients include Larnelle Lewis (2017), Joanna Majoko (2021) and Kae Murphy (2023). The Breakthrough Jazz Artist Award is presented every year at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Nominations for the 2025 Breakthrough Jazz Artist Award opens on September 4, 2024.