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    Meet the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band 16/17

    Avery Raquel: Vocalist

    Having acted in various film, television, radio and animation projects as well as having performed in a number of professional stage musicals across Canada, vocalist Avery Raquel’s biggest passion is singing. Performing since the age of 4, this grade ten-student has garnered many awards with her captivating jazz performances.  Avery has had the pleasure of sharing the stage, recording with or learning from some of today’s top jazz artists like; Matt Dusk, June Garber, Adrean Farrugia, Joel Haynes, Sophia Perlman, Lou Pomanti, and many more.  Avery has performed with other Jazz bands in the past, and as a solo artist in many jazz festivals across Ontario. She has sung at venues such as The Jazz Bistro, Lula Lounge, Hugh’s Room, Koerner Hall, and even at the famous Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. Avery released her debut jazz album in 2016 and is working hard on her next album project, writing original songs and working with award-winning producer Greg Kavanagh.  She intends to further her education in music at the university level. Avery looks forward to performing once again as a member of the Youth Big Band.

    Nick Forget: Trombonist

    Nick Forget is a trombonist and a music major in the tenth grade at Etobicoke School of the Arts. This is his sixth year playing trombone and second year in the Youth Big Band. Nick has previously played with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra and the Hannaford Youth Band and is presently in three different school ensembles. In order to pursue jazz, Nick has decided to focus on the Youth Big Band this year. He has had the opportunity to study with Cathy Stone, Terry Promane, David Archer, Charles and Lucian Gray. His current teacher is Matt Jefferson, the bass trombonist in the Maniacal 4 trombone quartet. This year, Nick is looking forward to continuing to play music with people who are as passionate as he is and who inspire him to do his best. He also looks forward to playing for more guest clinicians and receiving their input and advice. He enjoys listening to live performances and going to concerts. Nick has recently seen the Heavyweights Brass Band and the U of T Jazz Band. He would like to thank Jules Estrin and JAZZ.FM91 for this great opportunity and hopes to return in both grade 11 and 12.

    Felix Fox-Pappas: Pianist

    Pianist Felix Fox-Pappas is in his second year with the Youth Big Band. He has been playing the piano since the age of seven. During that time he has studied classical piano with Susan Kollhepp, as well as jazz with Alan Zemitas and Brian Rudolf. Felix has also had the pleasure of studying with Lorne Lofsky and Kirk MacDonald at the Humber Community music program. This year he is looking forward to playing alongside all the amazing musicians in the Youth Big Band. In order to improve Felix plans to work on making sure everything he plays contributes to the music as a whole. Some of his inspirations include Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Barron and Phineas Newborn Jr. When he is not playing music Felix enjoys listening to music as well as spending time with his friends. In the future he would like to study music at the university level.

    Sam Boughn: Trombonist

    Trombonist Sam Boughn is in Grade 12 and this is his third year in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. His teachers are Garry Martin and Cathy Stone, and he also performs with Dr. Death, 48th Highlanders of Canada Military Band, and No Clue. His favourite artists include JJ Johnson and Operation Ivy.

    When not playing music, Sam likes to listen to music and do homework. His favourite food is stew.

    Leo Silva: Trumpeter

    Trumpeter Leo Silva was born in Graciosa, Açores. He started studying at five years of age at the AMIG Academy of Music and later joined the local community band, Sociedade, Filarmónica, União, Praiense. He was fortunate to partake in various competitions where he performed solo and obtained several awards, across the island of Açores.

    In 2011, Leo arrived in Canada and joined a local Toronto band (Banda Lira Nossa Senhora De Fátima) for a few months and then joined the ABC Music Academy.

    Since 2012, Leo has been  playing with Banda Do Sagrado Coraçāo De Jesus. The ensemble’s conductor, Miguel Domingos, awarded Leo a scholarship to study at  the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he was taught by Stanley Rosenzweig.

    Leo’s biggest musical inspiration is Arturo Sandoval, because of his ability to play with an amazing open sound throughout the range of the instrument. His plans after high school include working towards an application to Humber College and becoming a professional musician.

    Daniel Barta: Saxophonist

    Alto saxophonist Daniel Barta is in Grade 12 at Etobicoke School of the Arts and this is his first year in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. Daniel has been studying alto saxophone for eight years with Jeff King and he has been studying classical and jazz piano with Matt Newton. Daniel also participates in the Humber Community Music Program where he has been able to study with Jane Fair, Lorne Lofsky , Kirk MacDonald and  Kenji Omae.  Daniel is looking forward to playing at Jazz festivals this year while he works on improving his performance skills.  His inspirations are:  Seamus Blake, Chris Potter, Cannonball Adderley and Steve Coleman. 

    When not playing or listening to music Daniel enjoys skiing, windsurfing and gardening.  He hopes to study music at the post-secondary level next year.

    Aiden Sheedy: Trombonist

    Bass trombonist Aidan Sheedy is in grade 11. This is his first year in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. Currently attending Earl Haig secondary school, he is also the first baritone in the Hannaford Youth Program. Aidan has been playing euphonium since grade 6, and started playing bass trombone in grade 9. He is currently studying with Rob Miller, who is the principal euphonium of the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Aidan is looking forward to playing with the talented musicians of the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band and developing as a jazz musician. He also enjoys reading, playing hockey, playing video games and composing and arranging music. Aidan is interested in pursuing a career in either music or the sciences.

    Marton Pandy: Trumpeter

    Trumpeter Marton Pandy is a grade ten student in his second year with the Youth Big Band. He’s been playing the trumpet for four years and has taken private lessons with Norman Engel. Marton plays in the Earl Haig Wind Ensemble as well as plays trumpet and drums in a church band. He looks forward to having fun with the Youth Big Band and would like to learn how to be a better musician from his fellow band members, as well as improve his improvisational skills. His musical inspiration is Miles Davis because he loves his creativity. Marton is an elite long distance runner who excels at track, cross country and road races. He loves playing all sports and enjoys spending time with his three sisters, one of which is his twin. Marton’s dream is to participate in the Olympics and to maintain his passion for music.

    David Cheon: Guitarist

    Guitarist David Cheon is in grade 11 and this is his first year as a guitarist in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. David is currently studying with Lorne Lofsky at the Humber Community Music School with Kirk MacDonald and Kenji Omae, under the direction of Cathy Mitro. He has performed live with Kirk MacDonald, Alex Dean, Pat LaBarbara, and Will Kennedy. He studies Indian Classical Music on the Sitar with his guru, Chris Hale. He is also a guitarist in The Big Band Theory, the premiere big band of the KW region. David also produces and arranges recordings of his friends and his own projects. He has a sincere reverence for and draws influence from guitarists such as: Lorne Lofsky, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Emily Remler, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny and David Occhipinti. His favourite composers are Hermeto Pascoal, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jerry Bergonzi, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Arnold Schoenberg, Fred Hersch, Nancy Walker and Maurice Ravel. David’s goal musically this year is to learn how to sight read faster while being in multiple big band and combo situations. His long term goal is to develop his own personal playing style, drawing influences from jazz and rock music. He hopes to go to the Humber College Music Program for post-secondary education and eventually hopes to be a versatile session musician.

    Garrett Hildebrandt: Saxophonist

    Tenor saxophonist Garrett Hildebrandt is currently in grade 11 at Dr.Frank J Hayden secondary school in Burlington, Ontario. For the past three years, he has been a member of the Burlington Teen Tour Band, and in this past year, he was a member of the Hamilton Rising All Stars.

    Garrett was introduced to jazz by Francis Smith with whom he has studied for the past three years. Since then, Garrett says he is “hooked” on the music. This year, he is looking forward to performing with all the passionate musicians in the Youth Big Band at all sorts of venues. Some of his biggest musical influences include Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Joshua Redman and Bob Reynolds.

    Right now, he is working on his time and feel in many styles and also working on listening to the musicians around him in the Youth Big Band to bring as much as he can to the ensemble. In the future, he plans to balance his music with his academics to keep his post-secondary options open.

    Lucas Udvarnoky: Trumpeter

    Lucas Udvarnoky is a trumpet player in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band.

    He is 17, in grade 12 at The Etobicoke School of the Arts. It is his first year in the band. He has been playing music since he was eight-years-old, starting out with the guitar.

    In grade six, he was given the trumpet at school and quickly fell in love. His favourite musicians are Kenny Wheeler, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis. He is currently studying privately with Michael Nease, at the Humber community program, and Scott Harrison, at Etobicoke School of the Arts. He looks forward to playing with such a great group of peers and meeting more young musicians. 

    Gabriella Ellingham:Saxophonist

    Gabriella Ellingham is in grade ten at Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School (W-O) in Baden, Ontario. She plays Baritone Sax in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band, but also plays alto, tenor soprano sax, flute, and clarinet.  She began studying flute in Grade 6 with Robin Habermehl, and has continued working with him, adding other instruments to her repertoire.  She has also had the good fortune of having excellent school music/band teachers who contribute to her love of playing music (Janet Sunga , Mark Domm and Josh Cowan).  She plays Bari Sax in the Waterloo Regional Police Jazz Band and Royal City Big Band.  She also plays or has played in the New Hamburg Concert Band, the Ayr-Paris Band, various school stage bands, and is learning bagpipes in the Pipes and Drums group at W-O.   Gabriella is thrilled to be able to be a part of the JAZZ.FM91 group this year, looking forward to improving her improvisation skills, as well as having the opportunity of playing with other kids that love to play music.  When not playing music, Gabriella loves to read, ride her horse Kleo, volunteer at the local library, and watch Netflix. Her goal is to be a Veterinarian or work in the area of Actuarial Science. Her favourite artists/ groups include Glenn Miller, Basie Big Band, K-W Big Band Theory, Big Phat Band and Stevie Wonder.   

    Aakanx Panchal: Saxophonist

    Alto saxophonist Aakanx Panchal is in Grade 12 at Turner Fenton Secondary School, pursuing the IB Diploma, and this is his first year in the band. Prior to this, Aakanx has studied with David French at the Humber College Community Music School and he has also been a part of the Etobicoke Jazz Band. At school, he is part of the Senior Jazz Band. For the past 2 years, Aakanx has attended the Interprovincial Music Camp (IMC) at Camp Manitou where he enjoyed playing under the guidance of Jim Vivian, Ted Quinlan, and Terry Promane. This year in the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band, Aakanx looks forward to performing with some incredibly talented musicians. His goals are to improve his lead playing and his improvisational ability. Some of Aakanx's favourite musicians are Michael Brecker, Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon. Aakanx also enjoys swimming and has volunteered as a swimming teacher  to kids and adults at Brampton's Cassie Campbell Community Centre. Above all, Aakanx is grateful to be part of such an amazing group of musicians.

    Jackson Haynes: Drummer

    Drummer Jackson Haynes is in grade 8 at Aldershot High School, in Burlington, Ontario. This is his first year in the Youth Big Band and he looks forward to travelling and performing with his bandmates.  He has been playing drums for 10 years and studying with his father, Joel Haynes. Other jazz bands he has played with include the Halton Junior Jazz Band, and the Hamilton Junior All-Star Big Band.  Other musical interests include playing alto saxophone in his school concert band.  Jackson is also involved in extracurricular sports, including soccer, volleyball, track and field, and house league hockey. Some of his drumming inspirations are Neil Peart, Dave Grohl, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Philly Joe Jones, Mike Portnoy and Brian Blade.  His musical goals include focusing on his jazz up-tempo endurance, continuing to listen to a variety of jazz recordings, and building on his playing repertoire.  Jackson is looking forward to starting grade 9 in the fall of 2016 and is excited to see what happens next!

    Evan Garner: Trumpeter

    Trumpeter Evan Garner is in grade 12 at St. Michael’s College School, and this is his second year playing with the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band. He’s been playing trumpet for four years, but prior to that played piano for eleven years. He studies at school with Paul Pietrkiewicz, and his private teachers include Steve Evans and Brad Harrison. In the past he’s performed with the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, the Hannaford Community Band, as well as his school’s Senior Concert Band and Senior Jazz Band. Evan is looking forward to hearing the band develop and hearing his peers solo. His main goals in the coming year are to become better at improvising and develop a better range. His favourite musicians include Dizzy Gillespie and Maynard Ferguson. When he’s not playing music he likes to chop wood, and hang out with friends and play video games.

    JC Chung: Saxophonist

    Saxophonist JC Chung is in the 11th Grade at Upper Canada College and this is his first year with the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band.  Spending most of his time on the tenor saxophone, he plays in a variety of school ensembles while also participating in the Humber Community Music School, through which he has had the privilege to study privately with Brian Rudolf (for piano), Luis Deniz, and Jeff King.  So far, his biggest inspirations have been Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, and Seamus Blake, as well as his peers.  JC is currently working on developing his sound, playing insightfully within a section, and being deliberate in what he plays and where he plays it in his improvisations.  He is looking forward to playing and learning alongside such a talented peer group as the Youth Big Band this year as he works towards his goal of becoming a professional musician.

    Daniel Strickland: Trombonist

    Tenor trombonist Daniel Strickland plays tenor trombone and this is his first year in the Youth Big Band.  He is in Grade 9 at Cawthra Park Secondary School in the Music Arts program, and he plays in the Mississauga Salvation Army brass band.  Daniel studies with William Carn.  He is looking forward to making music with the very talented musicians in the Youth Big Band. He wants to expand his knowledge of music and improve his technique. Daniel would like to pursue an education in music at the university level and is enjoying working towards this goal.

    Jaden Raso: Bassist

    Bassist Jaden Raso is in grade 11 at Westmount Secondary School in Hamilton. This is his secondyear being in the band. He plays the upright bass and electric bass. This is his second year playing the upright bass, and fifth year playing the electric bass. He currently studies the upright bass with Clark Johnston. Other than this band, Jaden is also a part of his school's jazz band and classical orchestra. What he looks forward to the most about being in the YBB is having the opportunity to play with the amazing musicians in the band! In the coming year, his goal as a musician is to listen to new music as much as possible, to continue to learn new things. Jaden's biggest musical inspirations are Bill Evans Trio, Snarky Puppy, and Miles Davis. Jaden's other hobbies include producing and mixing music and playing soccer. He would like to continue to study music after high school, but doesn't know what specifically.

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