On November 8, the Artistic Resource Team (ART) held a Jazz Night Coffee House. ART is a residence-based club that encourages artistic initiatives among students living in housing on campus. The event welcomed many student staff and first-year students where they were able to show off their artistic talents. There were twenty acts that performed, which included singing, spoken word poetry, and instrumental music.
Many of the performers chose to sing. The night opened with Home Notes, the residence choir, singing their rendition of Leonard Cohen’s, Hallelujah, which was a great way to start the show. Students seemed to enjoy covering Adele songs—Dhanya Ashley covered All I Ask of You and Manda Craig and Juliette Melchor, who are residence staff, covered When We Were Young. Adele is a difficult singer to cover as she has such a unique voice, but these performers did an excellent job and really made the songs their own.
There were also some great group numbers and duets. One of the most enjoyable performances was Abe Ryker, John Mark Da Re, Emily Muller, and Cole Chalupka rapping “My Shot” from the hit musical Hamilton. Part of what made their performance so fun was the use of the official Hamilton instrumentals, orchestrated by Alex Lacamoire, which were released back in June 2017. The audience really enjoyed this number and didn’t hesitate to sing along with the backing vocals and harmonies. It wasn’t surprising that one of the duets was Shallow from the recent remake of A Star is Born—with Natalie Sancewicz on the piano and Tym Kardach on the guitar, their voices and the instruments worked really well together. Gregory Chung, Marcus Bissoon, and Swathi Govindarajan gave two memorable performances of You and Me by Lifehouse and Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, which was enjoyable because the songs are familiar.
Many singers also brought their guitars up with them, which made the songs seem more personal and allowed performers to put their own twist on the song. Ben Chanowk Jamir played the guitar while singing an original song, which stood out and was impressive.
Of course, there were other acts aside from singing. Darren Clift played a beautiful and delicate fingerpicking song on his acoustic guitar and earned a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. Tooni Temowo played a beautiful rendition of Christina Perri’s hit song Thousand Years on the piano. Towards the end of the evening, Michael Kuding played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, Mozart’s second last concerto, on his clarinet along with a piano backing track. It was obvious how much Michael loved this piece and how well he knew the music, which made it special to watch.
The ART created a warm, welcoming space for these performers to come and share their artistic talents with their friends and community. From this event it was clear that there is no lack of artistic talent at UTM. Whether music and art are just casual hobbies or something they’ve been doing seriously for a long time, each of the performers shined and it was wonderful to see them do something they love.