Even before making his official recorded debut, Daron McColl looks poised to make an impression on Canada’s jazz scene.

The 24-year-old guitarist, composer and bandleader frequents Toronto jazz clubs like the Emmet Ray and The Cavern as the leader of the Daron McColl Trio, and he’s landed notable gigs like Tune Up Toronto and Nuit Blanche North. McColl has also been active as a sideman, including recurring performances with Sam Ruttan‘s quintet and a gig last summer with Shadowpath Theatre at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

McColl honed his craft at York University, working with Canadian greats such as Lorne Lofsky, Mark Eisenman and Kevin Turcotte. More recently, he  completed a master’s degree in composition at York. For his thesis, he wrote a collection of pieces for a guitar quartet, a studious undertaking that was heavily inspired by Claude Debussy’s string quartets and Anthony Wilson’s guitar quartets.

Among other achievements, the up-and-comer has been honoured with the Duke Ellington Award in Jazz, the Ella Fitzgerald Award for Jazz Performance and the Oscar Peterson Scholarship.

McColl also teaches privately and at the Guitar World Oakville, with students ranging from beginners all the way to university prep.

McColl participated in our Jazzology program in 2017. “Jazzology basically launched my professional career,” he says. “It was one of the first chances I got to really think about who I am as an artist.”

We asked the young guitarist, composer and bandleader to tell us more about what inspires him, when we can expect his debut EP, and how Jazzology helped him get a running start in the music industry.