Jazz talent Marika Galea joins Brandon University’s music school

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Marika Galea has joined Brandon University’s faculty as she takes her next step as an educator.

Best known as a bassist, Galea will teach in the Brandon University School of Music’s jazz and contemporary popular music department.

“I look forward to bringing my extensive on-the-ground experience into the classroom as nourishment for students’ own artistic development,” Galea said in a news bulletin published by Brandon University. “The music industry and its role in our broader society are constantly changing. My purpose as an educator is to empower students to meet that challenge by building the fundamental skills and awareness they need to navigate their musical lives long after their time at BU.”

Galea holds a bachelor of music from Berklee College of Music and a master of music from McGill University. Previously, she has taught at Berklee, McGill, the McGill Conservatory, the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival.

An alumnus of the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band, Galea has gone on to work with artists such as Terence Blanchard, Cyrus Chestnut, Warren Wolf, Ralph Peterson Jr. and Jean-Michel Pilc. In 2017, CBC Music named Galea among their 35 best Canadian jazz artists under 35.

“Marika is a fabulous musician and educator,” Greg Gatien, Dean of Music at Brandon University, said in a statement. “The energy and experience that she brings really adds to the School of Music, and our students will enjoy learning from her.”

Working with artists across several musical genres — including jazz, pop, rock and hip hop — Galea has collaborated on projects that have won or been nominated for Juno Awards, Golden Globes, Academy Awards, the Polaris Prize and more.

Galea participated in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band from 2009 to 2011.

“I loved the sense of community,” she said in a follow-up interview in 2017.