Sean Irvine

Sean Irvine


Sean Irvine has rapidly gained recognition as a top-tier performer, composer and woodwind expert. Although his primary focus is on the saxophone, Irvine is also recognized as a flautist, clarinetist, and oboist.

As the director and composer for the Sean Irvine 5tet, the ensemble debuted in Spring of 2020 with their album, “Sean Irvine Quintet: The Oak in Alley Chapter.” Featuring exclusively original compositions, this project delves into the diverse textures of woodwinds, brass, vocals, and rhythm section instruments, bringing to life the material composed throughout seven years of Irvine’s musical journey.

Irvine’s versatility and skill in capturing the essence and tone of various woodwind instruments have led to collaborations with artists such as Royal Canoe, David Braid, Derrick Gardner, and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. In live performances, Irvine has accompanied renowned acts like the Dirty Catfish Brass Band, Ron Paley Big Band, Jeff Presslaff Septet, Papa Mambo, Kiko Freitas, Jon Gordon, Jimmy Greene, and Scotty Barnhart. In addition to his work as a session musician, he plays significant roles in projects such as the Winnipeg Jazz Collective, Still Crazy: Paul Simon’s Tribute, Big City All Stars Band, and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.

A highly sought-after educator, Irvine consistently engages with various ensembles and students as an adjudicator, leader, and mentor. His educational positions include Professor of Saxophone Studies at the Canadian Mennonite University, Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto, Educator in the Pembina Trails School Division, and Director of Woodwinds with the Winnipeg El Sistema music outreach program in collaboration with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Irvine’s educational focus encompasses theory, ear training, jazz composition and arranging, jazz pedagogy, ensemble instruction, and private instruction.

While working with El Sistema—an initiative that introduces elementary students to orchestral woodwind instruments—Irvine contributed significantly to the program’s development by structuring the woodwind education format, introducing oboe studies, and refining the program testing methods.