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Youth Big Band - Member Profiles

Nigel Luke - Saxophonist

Youth Big Band Questionnaire:

1) How has the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band experience been so far?

The YBB has been fantastic and even more fun than I imagined. It is a joy to play challenging but rewarding charts with like-minded young musicians.

2) What has been your favourite performance this year?

My favourite performance was our concert at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival, because not only was it a fun performance, but we got to spend the day before working with great clinicians such as Jason Louge.

3) What upcoming event(s) are you looking forward to the most and why?

I am looking forward to playing at our next concert, which is at the Richard Bradshaw theatre, as it is the last concert before the summer, when we will inevitably not have everyone at each performance after that because of people’s busy summer schedules. In the summer though, we will be performing at the Toronto Jazz festival, which is definitely something that I am looking forward too

4) The Youth Big Band program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

I would like to say thank you for enabling young musicians from across the GTA to perform and learn with such a high caliber band. Every band member's playing has improved very much since the start of the year, and it is thanks to you that this is possible.

5) How has your playing changed since you joined the Youth Big Band?

One of my biggest improvements this year has been my increased skill at general section playing. Another big improvement in my skill as a musician has been in my sight reading.

6) What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?

Currently, I'm listening to Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins and Modern-Day Blues by Dan Nimmer, because of the sense of melody and feel that the musicians have on both recordings. Their playing isn’t needlessly technical, it just sounds good.

7) Do you have any plans for the summer?

Number one, I'm looking forward to playing with the YBB and I am also going to the Youth Jazz Canada Summer Jazz Workshop.

8) Do you plan to audition for the group next year?

Yes, I do.

Lightning Round:

Favourite musical artist: Sonny Rollins, Dan Nimmer, and Alister Kay

Last live concert / show you attended: Jazz at Lincoln Centre with Wynton Marsalis live at Massey Hall

Favourite TV show or movie: Brooklyn 99 is a favourite of mine

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Probably western or central Europe.

Mattaus Gretzinger - Saxophonist

1) How has the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band experience been so far?

So far the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band has been challenging and motivating. Having so many excellent musicians in a room really makes me want to play my best!

2) What has been your favourite performance this year?

So far my favourite performance has been playing for other bands at the Golden Horseshoe music festival. Getting to play for young musicians and seeing how they are inspired in the same way that I was inspired the first time I heard this band play was really encouraging to me.

3) What upcoming event(s) are you looking forward to the most and why?

I am looking forward to playing at the Pilot the most as the intimate setting of a club has the best sound and the venue is great.

4) The Youth Big Band program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

I think that having an opportunity like this is really amazing as a high school student. I would like to to thank our generous donors, who we rely on for the continuation of this band. This band has been a huge influence on my playing and my ability to apply my practice. Thank you!

5) How has your playing changed since you joined the Youth Big Band?

The Youth Big Band has really pushed me to work on my technique, and having recently joined Sr. Enriched in the Humber Community Music Program, I feel like I have become more aware of the shapes and sounds happening around me within a piece of music.

6) What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?

Currently I have been listening to plenty of Sonny Stitt, Oscar Peterson, Seamus Blake and Joshua Redman. I’ve also been listening to some of the bands that we have been playing songs by, including the Bob Mintzer Big Band and Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass.

7) Do you have any plans for the summer?

I will be working at a camp and lifeguarding, but I also plan to spend some time practicing, while staying local so that I can be available for concerts with the multiple groups I’m involved with.

8) Do you plan to audition for the group next year?

For sure.

Lightning Round:

Favourite musical artist:

All time favourite is Joshua Redman, but I’ve really been enjoying some Sonny Stitt and John Coltrane as of late.

Last live concert / show you attended:

Tower of Power in Markham.

Favourite TV show or movie:

Lord of the Rings

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would like to travel to New York or New Orleans.

Yoshi Wall - Bassist

This week’s Member Profile features bassist Yoshi Wall. He shared some of his thoughts about the program:

Benjamin Lee


This week’s Member Profile features Trumpeter Benjamin Lee. He shared some of his thoughts about the program:

Jacob Chung

This week’s Member Profile features saxophonist Jacob Chung. He shared some of his thoughts about the program:








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