Jaelem Bhate is a conductor, composer, and bandleader from Vancouver, B.C. whose musical diversity has come to define his career. Jaelem completed his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at UBC in 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Girard. He previously received his undergraduate degree in percussion performance at UBC where he graduated first in his class and received the prestigious Wesbrook Award for academic achievement and leadership. His most recent invitations to perform include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony, Nanaimo Symphony, and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
Jaelem won the position of assistant conductor of the Vancouver Philharmonic, after a season serving as assistant conductor of the highly competitive 2018 National Academy Orchestra of Canada under Maestro Boris Brott. He has conducted at the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival, the Canadian Music Center New Music series and the 2019 Pacific Rim International Music Festival. He was selected as a conducting fellow at the prestigious Eastern Music Festival in the summer of 2019, where he will work closely with acclaimed Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Jaelem has pursued his conducting studies at a number of prior professional masterclasses. 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 was 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 and was recently interviewed by CBC Radio 1 for his ensemble’s premiere of his original suite for Jazz Orchestra ‘The Nameless’ featuring the poetry of underrepresented, disadvantaged and discriminated against communities. He recently released his debut album for jazz orchestra ‘on the edge’, featuring a who’s who of Vancouver jazz instrumentalists, and has been hailed for its “polished and confident arrangements” (All About Jazz, 2019). His classical 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, as well as performed by the Victoria Symphony. 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. Other notable performances and commissions include his upcoming premiere as part of the Sonic Boom Festival hosted by Vancouver Pro-Musica, 2 works for the Brazz jazz ensemble, and from Maestro Arthur Arnold for the 2018 PRISMA festival. Jaelem has studied composition with Vancouver’s Fred Stride for the past 6 years.
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. He was named the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Leadership Award from UBC for his diverse work serving the community.