Adrian Cho is a veteran of the tech industry. He taught himself to write software and build electronics at an early age, before computers became widespread. After leaving school he landed consulting work as a software developer and eventually spent over thirty years in the tech industry. Along with his “tech insider” view and deep understanding of the tech and business aspects of the computing world, Adrian also has a “consumer” view of the world and a “content creator” view as a professional musician and professional nature photographer. Along the way he provided direct leadership and advice to many small and large companies including IBM, Shopify, Proctor & Gamble, Bosch, Bankers Trust, and Fujitsu, and many more indirectly through his writing and speaking.
In the arts world he is most well-known for founding and leading the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, and most recently, the online music performance platform and virtual venue syncspace.live. In over 40 years of performing music, Adrian has played a number of different instruments, and now performs primarily as a jazz bassist. Since 2006 he has been the Artistic Director of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra. Combining his experiences in arts and business, Adrian developed The Jazz Process, an execution-oriented framework for collaboration, innovation, and agility that can help teams in any domain improve their performance. His book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation and Agility, published by Addison-Wesley in 2010, has been endorsed by a diverse collection of thought leaders. Read more at adriancho.com.
Adrian has offered several online lectures for our program now, and has even managed to incorporate online live collaborative musical performances, by inventing new software! Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Adrian’s Winter 2021 online lecture series, “Further Explorations of Jazz”:
- I was enthralled! The vast array of material linked together in a cohesive way. The responsiveness of Adrian to comments/questions in the Chat box without allowing these to get him off track. … I also really liked the information about the music that we had listened to and the lists of similar music for us to explore.
- Adrian presented an excellent lecture series. He has a deep musical and historical knowledge of the subject. His lecturing style is conversational. He engages and responds to the participants well. He maintains control of the direction and momentum of the lectures well. His follow up notes are really valuable.
- Adrian Cho is so knowledgeable & skilled in the world of jazz! And he is so very humble! He just wants to share all this knowledge & excitement about jazz. This makes him easy to listen to & motivated to learn more. Also appreciated the follow-up emails with his notes & lists of musicians!
- Adrian was great! And this lecture series was wonderful! Interesting, presented well, very easy to listen to, always enjoyed this lecture and the various jazz pieces that were played! Loved the live concerts! … Excellent lecture series! I learned a lot!!
- Adrian Cho is a wonderful guide to lead jazz exploration. He is very knowledgeable as a musician, orchestra leader, and techno wizard. He obviously prepared his lectures very carefully. He was attentive to questions or comments on the chat. He made each lecture informative, entertaining, and even challenging!
- Adrian has a nice way to make us discover every facet of the world of jazz. He is a caring and giving lecturer that really wants us to learn, appreciate and discover the world of jazz. During the lectures Adrian plays a lot of different types of jazz from different eras to enhance our knowledge. We took 2 jazz series and enjoyed both. Thanks Adrian for your dedication. We really enjoyed it and looking forward to the next one.
- Adrian is a gifted musician and so knowledgeable about many areas of jazz. He has a warm, engaging manner and loves his subject matter. I looked forward to his lectures every Friday morning and hope he offers another series in the future.
- Adrian Cho was able to be both organized and responsive. His words were illuminating but he was approachable and very capable of managing to produce the musical/film content, react to comments and maintain our attention. I loved the subtitles and text, very helpful.
- Adrian is an excellent, accomplished lecturer. He responded very comprehensively to questions. I loved the online format. So much easier than driving to Carleton U.
- Adrian was always well-prepared, very respectful of answering people’s questions promptly, has an amazing use of technology, is extremely knowledgeable on the topic.
- The lecturer Adrian Cho clearly has encyclopedic knowledge of his subject matter yet presents it in a manner equally enjoyable and informative to those who already have considerable familiarity of the subject and those who don’t.
- Adrian Cho is the perfect lecturer for this series and study. Incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, thinking and reflective, and a musician / practitioner. Much impressed also by his syncspace.live trials and initiative. I would definitely consider attending some Artist-in-depth, or genre-segment, in detail lecture series, if he were to offer them.
- Loved everything about this series. It was a great introduction to music I don’t know much about. Adrian is a natural lecturer.
Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Adrian’s Fall 2020 online lecture series, “A Brief History of Jazz”:
- Although I have listened to jazz for many years, I really learned a lot about jazz and was able to also hear a lot of jazz. The online concerts that Adrian gave us were really great.
- Loved how he integrated the music, both recorded and live (what a fabulous surprise that was!) into the lecture.
- [I appreciated] the Zen-like quality of the lecturer to roll with all the multiple demands – presentation of his prepared material/ technology with Zoom interface when I suspect he might prefer in person classrooms/ offering Live music with all those aspects of transmission to consider. And just dealing so respectfully with all those Chat questions which were peppering the page! He is a very dedicated lecturer and good with adult learning. He pitches it to a wide range of understandings without being the teeniest bit patronizing.
- Adrian is an excellent musician. I liked the fact that he used different visuals such as the white board, the keyboard. I also liked that he invited excellent musicians for the live music sessions.
- Adrian is clearly extremely scholarly and well-informed about Jazz, including from an historical/societal perspective.
- I registered for this series knowing nothing about jazz, but liking listening to nice quiet jazz, both vocalists and instrumental. I learned about its basic structure, history, and the styles of some of the great names, musicians and vocalists, scat. Got to listen to good jazz, watch Adrian and band with singer, got recommendations for jazz listening as examples of Adrian’s topics. The necessity for communication within band while playing, sharing, leaving space for solos and improvisation. And more.
- Adrian was so adept at incorporating “the chat “as he lectured. Amazing!!! At the same time he kept his lecture on track. I loved the way he used his piano, blackboard and bass in such a relaxed manner. He never missed a beat :) The musicians that he invited emphasized his lectures. I can’t wait for the winter series.
- Excellent analysis of the structure and rhythms in Jazz and how they facilitate communication, soloing and improvisation. Also great analysis of groundbreaking albums and what made them special. Great recommendations for further listening.
- Adrian Cho is such an incredible lecturer. I have now taken four offerings with him and I’m signed up for Further Explorations in Jazz in the winter term.
- It was all very well done – minor glitches were quickly dealt with. The use of the blackboard and keyboard to explain points was helpful and well done. The use of music to support points was terrific. The concerts were amazing. It was a well-paced, informative, highly enjoyable lecture series. Many thanks!
- I knew very little about jazz before taking Adrian’s lecture series. Thanks to Adrian (and all of his musical collaborators), I now have a better understanding and greater appreciation of jazz. Perhaps most importantly, I find that I am listening to all genre of music much more critically.
- Adrian was able to reach all levels of participants, from the ones who already know a lot about jazz to those who are just learning. The pace and information was well-timed.
- Adrian’s knowledge of course is outstanding. He is clearly practiced at presenting because it was very progressive and fascinating. I love jazz, but with this series I learned how to better appreciate it and also understand more about the music and the musicians. Outstanding!!!
- Adrian’s obvious depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject area, and his obvious skill/musicality on the bass. I also am most impressed by Adrian’s responsiveness to questions. He went above and beyond by bringing in fellow artists and jamming with them live on-air. Adrian’s supreme technical expertise made real-time performance possible. That was truly OUTSTANDING! Further, I could not have attended this series in person. Adrian’s use of technology and that of his support team with Zoom made it possible for me to attend this offering.
- Excellent series. Excellent lecturer. Kudos to Adrian. Really enjoyed the Zoom jamming sessions. Thank you.
- [I appreciated] Adrian’s ability to makes us discover and appreciate the world of jazz and its history. We really enjoyed the live music and understanding the challenges of doing live music during the pandemic. Received very useful references after each lecture.
- I found Adrian to be very passionate and knowledgeable on the topic and I enjoyed hearing all the challenges with live performances and how the musicians engage. The live performances and discussions were really interesting.
- Adrian Cho is so very talented but he’s very approachable too. He responds to questions very well in a way I could understand. I felt comfortable asking questions even though I don’t have the musical training & background he has.
- Again a big thank-you to Adrian for all he did to make this on-line experience great. Especially all the work he put into doing a jam session with musicians in 3 locations. The music definitely brightened my Tuesdays.
Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Adrian’s Fall 2018 lecture series, “A Brief History of Jazz”:
- This was incredibly well structured and presented. I really learned a lot about a subject I knew very little about. Adrian was very generous in presenting us with an in-house concert and it was an absolute delight to interact with him and his fellow musicians. I would highly recommend this series be repeated as often as Adrian can fit it into his future endeavours.
- Adrian Cho is a very knowledgeable and engaging lecturer who kept the series interesting from beginning to end.
- Enjoyed the live performance immensely. It was truly enjoyable to have such talented musicians and vocalist play for us and talk about their craft, as well as improvise different timing and techniques. Also enjoyed the choice of jazz examples and Adrian’s passion and in-depth knowledge about not only the history of jazz but the local scene. I came away with a better understanding and some of that passion rubbed off!
- I was most satisfied with the lecturer’s ability to deliver information in detail without use of notes or just reading from the screen. He was truly an expert with tremendous communication skills and the ability to break down the content to all types and levels of learners.
- Adrian lectures from experience and passion but along the way he throws in practicality. What does happen when the musicians get lost?? I also particularly liked the use of the bass by Adrian in the first lecture and the live music event in the 5th week.
- Adrian Cho is a great lecturer – knowledgeable, organized, funny, and engaging. Loved his insights into what and how musicians play solos/improv. The quartet playing on week 5 was such a bonus. Thank you.
- Lecturer was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and had a great teaching style. Enjoyed lecture pace and appreciated that various music terms or musical styles were demonstrated with live performances or pre-recorded music. And, especially loved the live music concert session where instructor and 3 other musicians played various pieces to teach/show us how all the musical elements fit together.
- Received broad coverage of material noted in the outline. Was exposed to artists and music I had not heard of/listened to, before. Lectures were well presented. Audio materials were most appreciated. Adrian was very responsive to questions from participants. He has a good sense of humour and used it well in presenting information. Musicians coming in to demonstrate different styles of Jazz was a highlight of the series. Adrian’s enthusiasm has considerably increased my interest in the subject matter.
Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Adrian’s (online) Fall 2020 lecture series, “Capturing Unique Photographs”:
- Adrian was a highly enthusiastic lecturer! His lectures were very well organized and built on material from the week before. Adrian is very knowledgeable and was eager to share his knowledge and interest in nature photography with us. It also helped that he was technically very proficient. Adrian opened the door for me on taking wildlife photographs. I hope to get a decent camera soon and with the knowledge I have gained from Adrian’s lecture, pursue my interest in nature photography. Thank you, Adrian!
- I loved the series, very well done, very interesting, and great examples and tips were shared. Adrian knows his material, he is very well prepared, even his setup (camera, sound, technical equipment, background lighting) is top-notch. I highly recommend him.
- Adrian is an excellent lecturer who really knows how to teach. I appreciated his analysis of the images submitted by class participants.
- Adrian was truly dedicated to this series. Going above and beyond, sharing his knowledge with all of us regardless of skill level.
- I really liked the approach he took to this photography lecture series. It was more artistic than technical and he emphasized the importance of putting your own spin on things following a framework he provided.
- Thank you for this very worthwhile experience with Adrian!