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Youth Summit Winners - Ottawa Jazz Festival

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Author: Sydney / Date: Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:35 / Tags: Ottawa Jazz Festival
Youth Summit Winners - Ottawa Jazz Festival
http://ottawajazzfestival.com/stingray-rising-stars-awarded-td-ottawa-jazz-festival/

The TD Jazz Youth Summit at Ottawa Jazz Festival is one of Stingray's favourite Rising Star programs. The summit allows young jazz musicians from across Canada to learn from and perform with amazing established talent at a real festival. To learn more about the program head to the festival's website.

We wanted to give our readers some insight into the Stingray Rising Star Award winners this year so we did a Q&A with each of them. We want to wish a huge congratulations to all the winners and urge you to check out their answers below!

1st place - Kaelin Murphy

Kaelin Murphy

What is your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memory would be the first time I knew I wanted to start taking music lessons. I was about 7 or 8 years old, and my family was having a jam in my basement over the Christmas holidays. Most of us weren’t really that good, but we were having a lot of fun making rhythmic noises on guitars and drums and whistles etc. Then, my dad brought out an old clarinet that he had bought at a garage sale decades ago and never really got used. I didn’t wait for him to play it first, I wanted to get my hands on it. The first time I blew a note on the clarinet, I sounded terrible, but I knew I wanted to get into music. A couple weeks later, as a Christmas present, my parents told me I would be getting private clarinet lessons from a local teacher.

Where/When did you start playing professionally?

I started playing “professionally”(I guess meaning I was getting gigs) when I was about 11 or 12. The first gig I can really remember was in a local Owen Sound funk band called The Downright, and they were putting together a 70's funk tribute, playing the music of Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Parliament, Stevie Wonder, and more. My brother and my dad were both also on that show that we played. I played trumpet, my brother played trombone, and my dad played baritone sax. I also had regular gigs with my family Dixieland band playing trumpet and sax, as well as some jazz combo gigs here and there in trumpet and sax. If you consider playing professionally to be making a living playing music, then that started for me when I was 16, the summer before I started university. I was busking with my dad and brother full time and playing shows and events with that band.

Who are your main influences?

My main influences in the past have been musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sun Ra, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Kenny Wheeler, Michael Brecker, and John Coltrane. I have also gone through phases of only listening to Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. However, right now my biggest influences are Vijay Iyer, Darcy James Argue, Marquis Hill, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Lehman, Peter Evans, and most of all, Ambrose Akinmusire. If you ask me what I’ve been checking out, chances are I’ll respond with “just Ambrose”!

How did you come to play at this event?

Like everybody else in the TD Ottawa Youth Jazz Summit, I auditioned to be a part of this ensemble. Working with Jim Lewis and everybody else in the ensemble was a great experience, and I’m glad that we could put together so much awesome music to be performed at the end of the week!

What do you plan to do with the prize money?

Later this summer, I am actually attending another workshop in New York, called the School of Improvisational Music summer intensive run by Ralph Alessi. Admittedly, I was unsure how I would be able to finance living in New York for 2 weeks, as well as pay for travel and the tuition of the workshop. Thanks to the Stingray Rising Star award, I’m no longer worried about those costs, and I will also be able to use some of the money to take additional lessons and see some awesome musicians perform in New York. In addition to that, I hope to buy a new case for my trumpet, as I have had my current case for probably 6 or 7 years, and it’s really falling apart… Anything to keep my trumpet safe!

 

2nd place - Ardeshir Pourkeramati 

Ardeshir Pourkeramati

What is your earliest musical memory?

Dancing to the music played by a keyboard player in kindergarden.

Where/When did you start playing professionally?

During my time studying jazz at Capilano University in Vancouver, BC.

Who are your main influences?

John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and many more.

How did you come to play at this event?

I auditioned for the Ottawa Youth Summit to meet musicians across the nation and to perform in Ottawa. My goal was to gain more knowledge about what musicians from other parts of the country are interested in, and to learn to play their style of music.

What do you plan to do with the prize money?

I plan to use the prize money for the remainder of the tuition for my undergraduate degree at Capilano University.

 

3rd place - Daniel Pitt

Daniel Pitt

What is your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memory was sitting at home while my Dad listened to records on the stereo. There was some music I really enjoyed and others not so much but it was then I think I started to get an ear for music and gain an interest in certain genres.

Where/When did you start playing professionally?

I started playing in a rock/metal band in high school. We would play originals and covers at the local clubs in Hamilton. When I went to Mohawk College, I started playing more high-end gigs in the style of jazz while occasionally playing other styles.

Who are your main influences?

I am influenced by a variety of artists from all different genres. Some modern musicians I can think of are the following:  Sam Amidon, Bill Frisell, Chris Thile, Jakob Bro, Tony Malaby, Andrew Downing, Herbie Hancock, Miles Okazaki and Ben Monder to name a few. Other influences include: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Bach, Ed Bickert, Protest the Hero, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.

How did you come to play at this event?

I applied to the TD Jazz Youth Summit this year and was accepted to be a part of this year’s festival. All nine of us can from across Canada to write and play for the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

What do you plan to do with the prize money?

I plan to use this money to help fund my trip to New York in the following month. I have been accepted back to SIM (The School for Improvisational Music) to study with world class musicians and learn more about composing and improvising. This money will help me experience everything musical in New York and allow me to build connections with both the SIM faculty and the participants attending from all over the world.