Joel Toews is a contemporary Canadian composer, arranger, songwriter and pianist from Toronto, CA. He studied at Berklee College of Music from 2012-13, and received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music from MacEwan University in April 2018.
During his time at MacEwan, Joel had the opportunity to write and arrange for string quartet, choir, jazz big band, piano trio, a Cappella ensemble and much more while studying under acclaimed faculty Dr. Allan Gilliland, Kent Sangster, and John McMillan. In 2018, Joel’s work “Influence” for classical piano trio placed fourth in the International Keuris Composers Contest. In February 2019, he premiered his orchestral work “Ra’ah'' with the Borealis Orchestra in Edmonton. In the summer of 2019 Joel composed an original score for the film “The Transit Lodge” directed by Kalyan Acharya.
In 2021, Joel was accepted into the Explore the Score program put on by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This included mentorship from affiliate composers and conductors with the TSO, as well as a recorded reading session of his newest orchestral piece, “Athabasca.” Later that year, he was commission by MacEwan University to write an original Big Band piece to be recorded at the University as part of their project, “Generations.” He went on to collaborate with Canadian cellist Sahara von Hattenberger to write three short pieces for piano and cello inspired by blending elements of Canadian and Japanese culture. This project, funded by Canada council for the arts, will pair audio recordings of the compositions with visual accompaniment.
Joel currently lives and works in Toronto, ON. He is a modern and classical piano teacher for children, youth and adults; works as both a freelance composer and a freelance songwriter for local artists; and is actively performing and writing original music with the band X62. He is currently writing and recording an EP of piano solos and duets featuring Canadian musicians.