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Ms. Sienna Dahlen, MM

Part-time teacher, Music

Ms. Sienna Dahlen, MM
Website(s): Sienna Dahlen's Official Website
Bandcamp Website
Availability: I am available 5 days a week during regular teaching hours.


Sienna Dahlen is a Juno award-winning vocalist, having garnered the award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year alongside guitarist and collaborator, Mike Rud for his album « Notes On Montreal » in 2014. Sienna is also a music educator, an instrumentalist and a composer of six albums of original folk and jazz music to date. Her album, « Verglas », received wonderful reviews and was signed to the longstanding Montreal jazz label, Justin Time Records.  Her last record as a leader, « Ice Age Paradise » was released in the fall of 2016. The repertoire, which is played by a group of ten classical and jazz musicians, has been performed in several festivals and notable venues since the release, including the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In October of 2020, Sienna was given the carte blanche in Montreal's Off Festival de Jazz to put together a group of her choosing, which included herself, Claire Devlin, Ana Dall'Ara Majek, and Veronique Marengère to promote the group Døttir. Over the past decade, Sienna has toured her music extensively across Canada, Europe, and parts of the US in addition to numerous appearances in Mexico and South America. Sienna has also collaborated on several national and international projects as a co-leader/lyricist with musicians such as Joel Miller and his album « Dream Cassette » (Canada), Mads Baerentzen’s « Lifelines »project (Denmark), Lebanese pianist and composer, Wassim Soubra's « Dunes » album (France) and Paris-based Canadian drummer, Karl Jannuska’s « Streaming » and « The Halfway Tree » records.  Sienna also appears on Karl's album, « Midseason » alongside Toronto vocalist, Denzal Sinclaire. In addition to these collaborations, Sienna has been a guest vocalist on several occasions with L'Orchestre National de Jazz de Montreal where she performed Christine Jensen's extended work, the « Under the Influence Suite » (Prix Opus, Disque de l'année 2018) for which she also penned the lyrics to the music. The orchestra also made arrangements of Sienna's compositions from her « Ice Age Paradise » album and several concerts were given of the music. Finally, Sienna is the featured vocalist on the soundtrack for the 2007 Oscar-winning animated short, The Danish Poet by Torill Kove (music by Kevin Dean). Sienna will be releasing a new album entitled « Balladextrous » in the spring of 2023 on the Cellar Music Group label with Vancouver-based guitarist and composer, Bill Coon.

"Sienna Dahlen has made a beautifully compelling record that is soulful and unique."  
Ron Sexsmith (acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter)

"...Verglas goes from the good to the great with “Carrie,” the last of its seven cuts and a stunningly memorable, rage-filled anthem against an impending death."
Peter Goddard (Toronto Star) 4/4 stars

"...une auteure-compositrice-interprète folkie, pianiste et guitariste dont la connaissance du travail harmonique propre au jazz, aussi aux musiques classique ou contemporaine, s'avère nettement supérieure à la moyenne chansonnière." 

Alain Brunet (La Presse)


Teaching activities

Teaching techniques

Having written, recorded and performed my own music professionally for over twenty years, with six albums of original music as a leader in both folk/contemporary and jazz styles to my name, I feel I am able to bring a very wide range of knowledge to students of varying backgrounds, ages and interests. I was also trained in extended vocal techniques under the tutelage of Toronto-based vocalist, Christine Duncan and over the past decade or so have performed and recorded experimental music of this genre in many select settings.  

My approach to teaching, (which has developed extensively over nearly 15 years of teaching jazz voice, jazz and popular music ensembles, songwriting and business of music classes and ear training labs at 5 different post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, Ontario and Québec collectively) is to guide a student in various conventional and sometimes non-conventional directions for the purpose of achieving the greatest amount of musical success on all pertinent levels. At the same time, I also strive to embrace what each student expresses as a need or desire in the areas of their own music-making. In doing so, I am able to work in tandem with that student with the hope of nourishing their artistic growth while achieving a high level of respect, balance and understanding for one another in the lesson setting. Je parle aussi le français et par le passé j'ai eu pleins d'élèves Francophones! J'aime beaucoup m'exprimer dans cette langue et j'ai beaucoup de respect et intérêt pour la musique francophone.  

Research activities

Artist Residency- Centro Rural de Arte, Patagonia, Argentina

May 2010


Three week international artist residency in collaboration with visual artist, Nadine Bariteau. Site specific work using found objects and sounds plus live experimental voice work. Audio sampling, editing, projection using plastic megaphone sculptures made from discarded water bottles.

Artist Residency- 360 Xochi Quetzal, Chapala, Mexico

May 2015

Month-long international residency- topics covered included songwriting, audio sampling and montage, poetry-writing, collaboration with local musicians and other artists, organized concert and exhibition.

Artist Residency- Skalar Sound Art, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

May 2016

Time Sense

Month-long collaborative residency with DJ/electronic sound designer, Marie-Hélène Brousseau in Iceland. Topics included research-related excursions, text-writing, field recordings, audio montage, composition and pre-production for an album. 

Sound and Movement workshop with Susanna Hood, Montreal

November 2019

Open Source Forms - Improvisation structures using movement, voice, drawing and writing. 


Your Voice - Invitation des intransigeantes (Yves Dorison and Simona Calder)

Past Performances

Notable Past and Future Performances

July 22/23rd, 2023
Music By the Sea Festival
Bamfield, BC and Victoria, BC
Duo with Bill Coon and other artists

February 4th, 2023
Shadbolt Center for the Arts
Jazz@theBolt Series
Vancouver, BC
Duo with guitarist, Bill Coon

October, 2020
Off Festival de Jazz, Montreal, QC
"Carte Blanche" with Dottir et amies. 

July, 2019
Festival de Lanaudière, Lanaudière, QC
L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal
"Under the Influence Suite", Composer and Conductor, Christine Jensen

August, 2019
Théatre de Verdure, Montréal, QC
L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal
"Under the Influence Suite", Composer and Conductor, Christine Jensen

August, 2019
Rimouski Jazz Festival, duo with François Jalbert

July, 2019
"Sleeping Rough" a modern opera, marionette and theatre piece performed in Ottawa at the Great Canadian Theatre. 

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