Wednesday, June 28, 2017
   
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Young musicians and Nepean All-City Jazz Band do well at 2014 Musicfest

Local young jazz musicians excelled at the 2014 national MusicFest competition in Vancouver in mid-May, according to Nepean All-City Jazz Band (NACJB) director Neil Yorke-Slader. And so did NACJB itself.

Yorke-Slader said that several student musicians were named to the festival's special ensembles, which draw from top students from across the country. Bassist Ben Heard was chosen for the National Youth Jazz Combo, which consists of only 4 to 7 students each year and is directed by Kirk MacDonald.

Many also won scholarships to post-secondary jazz music programs or summer jazz programs.

  • Ben Heard (bass): named to the National Youth Jazz Combo, awarded a scholarship to Humber College and to the Humber in the City Summer Workshop;
  • Keagan Eskritt (drums): Pearl Outstanding Canadian Drummer of the Year, named to Musicfest's Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band, awarded a scholarship to Humber College;
  • Michael Henley (trumpet): named to Musicfest's Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band, awarded a scholarship to Humber College and to the Humber in the City Summer Workshop;
  • Eric Littlewood (trumpet): named to Musicfest's Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band, awarded a scholarship to Humber College;
  • Tommy Greenwood (baritone sax): named to Musicfest's Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band;
  • Rob Wannell (guitar): awarded a scholarship to the JazzWorks jazz camp, and a scholarship to Humber College; named the Honour Award winner for the Nepean All-City Jazz Band;
  • Ben Cheng (trumpet): named to Musicfest's Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra.

All were there as members of NACJB. The NACJB also received its 27th consecutive Gold Award from the festival, a record unparalleled in Canada, Yorke-Slader said. The Gold Award signifies that "an ensemble has achieved excellence in all facets of its performance."

In the recently-announced OttawaJazzScene.ca Jazz Favourites Poll for 2013, the NACJB was chosen by jazz fans as their favourite big band, and their CD was chosen as the favourite 2013 local jazz CD.

   – Alayne McGregor

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