Saxophonist/Teaching Artist/Composer Jeff Antoniuk was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1965. He lived in Benin City, Nigeria as a child, and began his musical education there studying classical piano. Since 1986, however, he has spent most of his professional time in the USA. Jeff, his wife Terry, and their son Aidan, live in Annapolis, MD.
After graduating from Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton, Canada, Jeff attended the renowned University of North Texas, where he earned two degrees, culminating in a Master of Music in Jazz Performance and West African ethnomusicology. He composed for and played with the famed One O'Clock Lab Band for three years, recording as many CD's with the group. Further, he directed one of the school's big bands and taught saxophone and improvisation in the UNT jazz department.
Upon graduation, Mr. Antoniuk co-founded the Unified Jazz Ensemble, a quintet that became the flagship of the National Endowment for the Arts “Rural Residency” artist-in-residence program. For four years, he taught, composed and performed full-time under the auspices of the NEA. During this time, the Unified Jazz Ensemble also toured Canada, the United States, Korea, Japan and Okinawa. Jeff and the UJE played before the National Arts Council, performed for the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), and were adjunct faculty at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa for two years.
Jeff, during his 12 years with the band, composed for and performed on all five CD's produced by the UJE, including New Slant, released internationally on IGMOD Records in 1997. In May of 1998, his composition “Hypothesis” won the Billboard Songwriting Contest for “Best Performance,” and he was a winner of the 1996 JAZZIZ Magazine “Woodwinds On Fire” saxophone talent search. Aside from the UJE, Jeff has performed and toured with talents as diverse as Freddie Hubbard and Doc Severinsen to Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers and Natalie Cole. For his composition “Borrowed Time,” Jeff won the 1999 “Sammy Nestico International Big Band Composition Contest” sponsored by the U.S.A.F. Airmen of Note. He was then commissioned by the USAF to write the band an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s classic “Come Sunday.”
A dedicated educator, Jeff has worked for many years as a Teaching Artist with the Washington Performing Arts Society. With his two professional groups, The Jazz Update and "Groove Nation," Jeff brings traditional jazz into the elementary classrooms of the DC-Virginia-Maryland metro area. Each year his quartet plays Monk, Ellington, Jobim and Coltrane for more than 12,000 school age students. Currently a faculty member in the jazz department at Towson State University near Baltimore, MD, Jeff teaches undergraduate and graduate jazz saxophone, as well as performing numerous yearly concerts as a member and composer for the Towson Faculty Jazz Ensemble.
Jeff is the owner of Jazz Band Masterclass, an adult jazz education coaching company. He is also founder and Director of Maryland Summer Jazz, one of the few adult/amateur jazz camps in the country. He is a longtime member of the rock/funk show band Sound Connection, a ten-piece group that travels internationally for clients such as Donald Trump and Bellagio in Las Vegas. Jeff works with his own jazz quartet "Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update," a band comprising some of the best musicians in the area (Tony Martucci, Tom Baldwin, and Wade Beach). A dedicated freelance musician and recording artist, Jeff can be heard throughout the DC/VA/MD metro area.
As a musician for over 30 years, and a working pianist for 10, I've had many experiences with teachers from classical to jazz. Mr. Antoniuk is simply put, awesome. His ability to communicate his message of improvisation is inspiring.” -Rodney B.
"There are few great players--and fewer great teachers. Imagine the odds of finding both in one person! Jeff is that unique combination of both. In this respect he compares to Cannonball Adderley and Branford Marsalis. He inspires with his awesome playing and has a unique gift of guiding you to new levels you never thought possible..." -Owen D.