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Ori Dragan

Voted NOW Magazine’s 2013 “Best Male Vocalist” and winner of a CBC Radio 1 competition that named him “Canada’s Next Top Crooner,” Ori Dagan’s life changed at the age of 18, upon hearing Ella Fitzgerald’s genius scat solos. Following a decade of classical piano and a few years writing poetry while attending the University of Toronto’s English program, he decided to devote his life to jazz music. Dagan spent a decade studying privately, at York University and Humber College before releasing his debut album. “S’Cat Got My Tongue” (2009) garnered critical acclaim for the singer’s sense of musical adventure, as Dagan surrounded himself with 15 of Toronto’s greatest jazz musicians, including pianist Bernie Senensky, bassist Brandi Disterheft, drummer Norman Marshall Villeneuve and saxophonist Chris Gale. JazzTimes called him “a budding Kurt Elling” and The Los Angeles Jazz Scene proclaimed that the album is “a major step forward for Ori Dagan, who in a few years will likely be very well known in the jazz world.” On Dagan’s sophomore release, “Less Than Three,” the vocalist explores new territory, including reimagined classics by Elton John and Elvis Presley, a scat roller coaster ride on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” the original ode to search engines “Googleable” and selections in his native tongue of Hebrew stirred into the mix. Featuring guest appearances by the Eric St-Laurent Trio and legendary saxophonist Jane Bunnett, the recording has garnered him a 2012 Toronto Independent Music Awards nomination in the Best Jazz category. Maintaining a busy performance schedule, when Ori Dagan is not singing jazz music, he is writing about it for his monthly “Jazz in the Clubs” column in Toronto’s Concert Goers Guide, “The WholeNote.”