My Story



Jaelem Bhate is a conductor, composer, and bandleader from Vancouver, B.C. whose musical diversity has come to define his career. Jaelem is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at UBC under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Girard. He previously received his undergraduate degree in percussion performance where his principal teachers included Vern Griffiths, Dr. Robert Taylor, and Fred Stride. He graduated first in his class and received a prestigious Wesbrook Award for academic achievement and leadership. He has conducted many ensembles throughout the lower mainland and is heavily involved in new music projects. 

Jaelem was named the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Philharmonic, after a season serving as assistant conductor of the 2018 National Academy Orchestra of Canada under Maestro Boris Brott. He recently appeared as a conductor at the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival and the Canadian Music Center New Music series. Jaelem has pursued his conducting studies at a number of professional masterclasses as a participant. These include the New York Conducting Institute in Manhattan studying with Paul Nadler of the MET Opera company, and the University of Oregon conducting masterclass with Maestro Neil Varon of the Eastman School, and Dr. David Jacobs. He also was an assistant conductor at the Pacific Regional International Summer Music Academy with Maestro Arthur Arnold of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. 

As a composer, Jaelem has been praised for possessing “a personal and highly effective voice” (Canadian Music Center, 2018)and has written music for a wide array of ensembles and soloists. He has been commissioned by a number of schools throughout British Columbia for new jazz and wind ensemble music. He founded and directs the 45thAve Jazz Band, a 17-piece jazz orchestra that exclusively performs his compositions. He will be releasing an album of all original works for jazz orchestra featuring a who’s who of instrumentalists from across the Lower Mainland, in March 2019.  His works have been performed on recital programs throughout Canada and the US, and his music was featured as part of the 2018 Jean Coulthard Readings, presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Another original score will be featured as part of VSO’s 2019 iteration of the competition. His music was also accepted by the International Society of Jazz arrangers and composers as part of their call for scores, to presented at their 2019 conference in Colorado. 

Jaelem is a dedicated educator and believes in bringing music into the lives of as many people as possible, no matter their previous experiences or social circumstances. He is proud to be involved as an instructor with the St. James Music Academy, an el sistema inspired program for disadvantaged youth on the downtown East side of Vancouver. He also spent two years educating young children and teens at the UBC Summer Music Institute, where he was a senior staff member and instrumental ensemble assistant.