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All That Jazz


When the curtains closed at Humber College’s Lakeshore auditorium, music director Lisa Martinelli was elated.

The warmly-received performance of the Humber Mainstream Jazz Ensemble and the Humber Vocal Jazz Ensemble was one of six student showcases that are usually held during the year.

“They perform at a very high level of student performance. They are young but they sound like professionals already, that is the biggest surprise people get,” said Denny Christianson, music program head at Humber’s Lakeshore campus.

At intermission, as the audience waited for the second set of performers, one concert-goer said he lives on campus and looks forward to coming to these performances.

“I can’t even find the words to describe the music. I don’t think about it, when it’s good it’s good, it’s hard to put very good music in words,” he remarked.

Jazz lover Gary Brand says he has been attending these performances for a number of years, and he’s had the pleasure of seeing some renowned jazz artist get their start at Humber.

“I’m here a lot, overall I really enjoy it and that’s what keeps me coming back,” said Brand.

The students praised the training they are receiving at Humber and said the networking opportunities are invaluable.

“It’s good to have Larry Green from Jazz FM here to see us and hear us, this is the kind of exposure we need. It really felt great to be out there performing, we just let loose and did our thing,” said vocalist Ghisleain Aucoin.

The music program is recognized internationally for its curriculum, faculty and alumni.

“If you are serious about music and you really want to perform, this is the place to come,” said Joanna Mohammed one of the lead vocalists.

Fellow vocalist, Brodie Cuff agreed: “Humber is the best place I could be right now. It’s the best school. I’ve travelled across the country to be here, I am so happy to be here.”

Music director Martinelli has big dreams for the future of her students, “Without a doubt, I believe every single one of them in my ensemble who were on stage, you will hear their names, I can guarantee you that. They are the cream of the crop.”

As the ensemble heaped praise on Martinelli for her leadership, she was also beaming at the success of the evening.

“They did a great job. We worked really, really hard. Obviously all this music is memorized so that’s part of the challenge in all of this. They responded to all that we work on and it came off with ease and effortlessness and joy in it. As a director, it’s obviously a good feeling.”

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