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Youth Jazz Showcase
Each year, Toronto Downtown Jazz brings together three groups, featuring emerging jazz artists from around the country and around the world, for two days of music, mentorship and fun. Day one, hosted by Youth Jazz Canada at Humber College, includes rehearsals, jam sessions and shared musical experiences; the Youth Jazz Showcase culminates on day two with a performance by all three groups. The 2014 Youth Jazz Showcase features the National Youth Jazz Combo, the Anthony Fung Quintet (from Berklee College, Boston), the Yoshihiro Murakawa Quartet (from Sapporo, Japan) and the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Jazz Big Band. This year's Youth Jazz Showcase concert is Saturday, June 28, 11 am - 2 pm on the Toronto Star Stage at Nathan Phillips Square. Complete details available here.
The 2014 National Youth Jazz Combo
Director: Kirk MacDonald
Harrison Argatoff (Kelowna), tenor sax
Zachary Stuckey (Mississauga), guitar
Ben Heard (Ottawa), bass
Daniel Guerrette (Toronto), drums
In the great tradition of small group jazz, Youth Jazz Canada’s National Youth Jazz Combo provides 4 - 7 outstanding young jazz musicians with the opportunity to rehearse, perform and study with some of the finest professional jazz artists in Canada. This past spring over 40 talented high school musicians applied from across Canada and four outstanding players were selected to form the 2014 NYJC. Over the summer the group will rehearse and perform at a number of events including MusicFest Canada Nationals in Vancouver, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the Beaches Jazz Festival, and venues such as the Rex Hotel and Toronto’s newest jazz club, The Jazz Bistro. The NYJC will also premiere two new compositions written by Canadian composers Brian Dickinson and Geoff Young. At the end of the season, the group will record in Humber College’s state-of-the-art recording studio.
Yoshihiro Murakawa Quartet
Yoshihiro Murakawa (saxophone) was born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on May 13 1985. He grew up with parents who were both brass musicians and studied classical piano from early childhood. In his elementary, middle and high school he performed as guitarist and drummer with various rock bands, developing his musical technique and stage skills. By the time he attended Hokkaido University, he was ready to join the University jazz workshop at the same time studying in the Faculty of Engineering. He became interested in the alto sax and his musical life really took off performing in jazz cafes and special event appearances; he became proficient in various musical styles including bebop, fusion, free jazz and latin jazz and formed friendships with jazz musicians from at home and abroad.
After graduating from The Hokkaido University Institute of Technology, Yashihiro began to play on a regular basis with the latin jazz pianist Ichikawa Yoshihiro and continued to perform on a regular basis at various concerts and events and also in studio gigs for film animation and video games. He is a frequent performer at the Sapporo International Jazz Festival; in 2013 he won the Sapporo City Jazz Park live jazz contest Grand Prix with his ensemble the Yoshihiro Murakawa Quartet, out of more than 150 contestants.
Yoshihoro attempts to stretch the spectrum of saxophone performance whether playing soprano, alto, tenor or baritone saxophone. His influences include Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond, Art Pepper, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny and many others in various musical genres including Chopin, Liszt, Paquito d’Rivera, Earth Wind & Fire, The Yellow Monkey, MISIA, Masayoshi Yamazaki and more.
The Yoshihiro Murakawa Quartet also features Kimura Yu (piano), Ito Mio (bass) and Mima Daisuke (drums).
Anthony Fung Quintet
The Anthony Fung Quintet consists of five remarkably talented and accomplished musicians. Edmar Colón Gierbolini is a 21-year-old tenor saxophonist from Coamo, Puerto Rico. Mao Sone was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Pianist Kyumin Shim is from Seoul Korea. Jonny Chapman is an acoustic bassist from Ontario, Canada. The band have a CD release tour this summer in the US and Canada. The leader of the group, Anthony Fung, a drummer from Richmond Hill, Ontario is a sophomore at Berklee College of Music pursuing a dual degree in Jazz Performance and Music Production & Engineering. While still in high school, he was the selected drummer for the 2010 Berklee Five-Week Summer Jazz Workshop and the 2011 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
He currently studies at the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the tutelage of Danilo Pérez. Fung has played at numerous jazz festivals, including the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the JEN conference, and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. He has performed with Benny Green, Joshua Redman, John Patitucci, Danilo Pérez, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, Hal Crook, Darren Barrett, the Vince Mendoza Orchestra, and Terence Blanchard. He has studied with Terri Lyne Carrington, Billy Hart, Ralph Peterson, Ari Hoenig, Dennis Mackrel, and Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo.
The Anthony Fung Quintet is Mao Sone - trumpet; Edmar Colón Gierbolini – tenor saxophone; Kyumin Shim - piano; Jonny Chapman - bass; and Anthony Fung - drums.
JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band
Jules Estrin, Musical Director
The JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band is a dynamic ensemble that features outstanding middle and secondary school students performing classic and contemporary jazz at venues throughout Ontario. A free program for students from schools in the Greater Toronto Area, it provides these emerging artists with the opportunity to hone their musical skills and interact in a diverse, professional setting.