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Where Are They Now?

Our educational programs provide learning opportunities that contribute to the growth and development of emerging artists in our community. With the success of these programs over a number of years, we are fortunate to have a large group of alumni who have gone on to successful careers in music and beyond.

To celebrate these participants, our weekly “Where Are They Now?” segment allows us to follow-up with alumni, see how they are doing, and assess how the program has contributed to their success.

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Ben Hognestad

This week’s featured artist is pianist Ben Hognestad, who participated in our Jazzology program in 2013.

Born in Saskatchewan, Ben came to Toronto in 2009 to pursue a degree in jazz studies at the University of Toronto, where he studied with Phil Nimmons, Chase Sanborn, Gary Williamson, and Dave Young. He also had the opportunity to participate in an ensemble led by faculty member Andrew Downing, which has since developed into the working ensemble Canvas. The group is soon to release its first recording. Ben also recorded the album Reflections with the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra, featuring compositions and solos by saxophonist Mike Murley.

Robert Chapman

This week we feature Toronto-based guitarist Robert Chapman, who participated in Jazzology in 2011.

Starting with piano lessons at an early age, he picked up the guitar in his early teens and developed an interest in jazz while teaching at a local music studio in Stoney Creek. He became a member of the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, which provided him with the opportunity to play with some of Hamilton's finest high school and post-secondary musicians at various venues including the Brantford Jazz Festival and Hamilton Place.

Michael Brooker

This week’s featured artist is trombonist Michael Brooker, who participated in our Youth Big Band program in 2008-9.

While completing a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto, Michael worked with a variety of artists including Allen Vizzutti, Alastair Kay, Gordon Wolfe, Chase Sanborn, Terry Promane, Mike Murley, David Liebman, Jim Lewis, Donny McCaslin, and Kirk MacDonald. During this period, he also recorded with two ensembles that released albums in 2013: Reflections features saxophonist Mike Murley with the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra; Rebirth features the University of Toronto 12tet led by Terry Promane, and includes one of Brooker’s compositions.

Patrick Boyle

This week’s featured artist is trumpeter Patrick Boyle, who participated in Jazzology in 2009.

Born in Newfoundland, Patrick Boyle earned a Bachelor of Music from Memorial University in 2000 and a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology from York University in 2002. He also holds a D.M.A. in Performance from the University of Toronto.

Jake Koffman

This week’s featured artist is saxophonist Jake Koffman, who participated in our Jazzology program in 2009.

Born in Toronto to a music family, Jake began playing woodwinds at the age of thirteen including alto saxophone, flute, and clarinet. After starting to play gigs in his teens, he enrolled in the Humber College jazz program. While studying there, he had the opportunity to perform with Randy Brecker, Mike Stern and Chris Potter as well as the Studio Jazz Ensemble. Koffman also expanded his instrumental palette to include baritone saxophone and bass clarinet.

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