At the vanguard of ‘The New Jazz Generation’ and freshly graduated from the University of Toronto’s prestigious jazz studies program, JENNA MARIE PINARD possesses a signature jazz and blues voice that hints at Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Aretha Franklin, but is distinctly her own. She is best known for her smooth-sounding jazz and rich R&B vocals, her wide vocal range, and passionate performances. She is quickly gaining reputation in Toronto as a uniquely warm spirit and engaging performer. Originally from Montreal, Jenna Marie now lives in Toronto and plays weekly all over the city. Jenna Marie will be releasing “Here, Now”, a duo album with Toronto guitarist and long-time collaborator Jay Yoo, in September 2019. The album consists of original music and arrangements by both Jay and Jenna. The album has been generously funded by the University of Toronto Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association. The young singer has been featured with the University of Toronto Hart House Big Band led by Ernesto Cervini, the 11 O’Clock Jazz Orchestra led by Jim Lewis featuring Tim Haggans, the Toronto Rhythm Initiative’s production of “A Jazz Night Out: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald” in Ottawa. Her compositions and arrangements have been performed multiple times by the University of Toronto Vocal Jazz Ensemble led by Christine Duncan. In March 2019, she performed at the Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill Toronto with international jazz superstars Chase Sanborn and Steve Wallace. Jenna Marie has played in respected venues all over Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa including the Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill Toronto, The Rex Hotel, The Canadian Stage, Relish Bar, the Great Hall, Tranzac Club, Lula Lounge and countless street festivals. She has also performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with the BHS Big Band, Club Soda, Metropolis, Bar St-Denis, House of Jazz Montreal and at the Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa.
Evan Gratham is bassist, arranger, composer, and bandleader on the forefront of the burgeoning scene of young Toronto jazz musicians. Identified at a very young age as talent to be reckoned with, Evan has performed and recorded with professional orchestras (both Piano and Double Bass Concerti), with jazz , rock, and pop acts, musical theater. But it is playing, writing, and arranging improvised music where most of his energies lie today. In the jazz realm Evan has won numerous awards (including the National Arts Centre Award as most outstanding high school age jazz improviser in Canada, the Jazz Educators Network Award as the top jazz musician in Canada, the Fraser McPherson Award as BC’s most promising jazz talent twice - once in high school; once in university - and been selected twice to the National Youth Jazz Combo) and performed with numerous outstanding musicians (the more well known including Kirk MacDonald, David Occhipinti, John Clayton, Peter Bernstein, Adam Nussbaum, David Gilmore, Michael Blake, George Garzone, and Steve Kaldestad). He has performed in the Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and All Canadian Jazz festivals as well as many clubs, restaurants, and concert venues in those same cities. Midway through his degree in Jazz Performance at the U of T, Evan has become a first-call bassist for many of the young Toronto area jazz musicians, and he enjoys immensely this work as a busy sideman supporting other leaders, as well as leading his own projects.
Jay Yoo is a guitarist, composer, and arranger based and active in Toronto. He started out as a blues guitarist and finished his undergraduate degree of jazz performance at the University of Toronto in 2018. Having studied with a number of renowned musicians such as David Occhipinti, Geoff Young, Mike Murley, Chase Sanborn, Terry Promane, and many more, he is an open minded and versatile musician, being involved in different genres such as funk, rock, jazz, pop, and so on. He has performed in various popular venues and events in and around Toronto, such as the Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar, Koerner Hall, Tranzac, and Beaches Jazz Festival to name a few. He is currently involved in a number of active projects including a funk band Super-Breakfast, R&B band Jenna Marie Sings RnB, and is also leading his own Jay Yoo group. With his new band, he tries to explore combining different styles of music influenced by his experience travelling various countries in South America, his time spent in Korea, along with his undergrad years in Toronto.