John Scofield, Grammy-winning jazz musician, new Humber Artist in Residence

Published On March 10, 2016 | By HN Staff | Arts, Life
Grammy winner John Scofield performing. (Photo: Facebook - John Scofield)

Grammy winner John Scofield performing. (FACEBOOK-John Scofield)

Krysten McCumber

John Scofield will be joined by jazz musicians at Humber College on Friday night when he makes his debut performance Friday as the school’s Artist in Residence.

Performing with both the large 21-piece jazz band, as well as the Advanced Jazz Workshop, the 2016 Grammy winner is excited about the talent he’s witnessing at Humber.

Scofield, who lives in New York, won in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album. His visit to the college this week will wrap up on the weekend.

“I go to a bunch of these schools and have done these kind of workshops and the level is really high with the kids that I’ve met at Humber,” Scofield told Humber News.

“Of course they’re all cool, wonderful kids, but some of these guys can really play so that’s exciting,” said Scofield who’s been teaching Humber College’s jazz program this past week.

For Kirk MacDonald, who leads the Advanced Jazz Workshop, the performance is a chance for his students’ ensemble to work on great music and learn more about performing before graduation.

“Our job is to really learn the music and then, you know, accommodate what happens in the gig as it happens,” MacDonald told Humber News.

“It’s a great opportunity for them. I mean, the whole Artist in Residence thing is so great.”

The show will include a collection of Scofield’s songs arranged for the large and small ensembles. All of those involved the performance have been rehearsing since January, and since Scofield arrived he has been sharing his experiences.

“I just tell people my experiences and they can learn from that because they want to be professional jazz musicians, and I’ve been working over the last 40 years doing that,” he said.

Denny Christianson, leader of the Humber Student Jazz Ensemble, said in a Humber news release that this opportunity is a great chance for all of their students.

“Our students get to see, and perform with, one of the all-time great jazz guitarists,” said Christianson. “It’s an amazing opportunity.”

MacDonald is also looking forward to the performance, getting to see Scofield perform and for his students to have the chance to perform with a well-known musician.

“I think [Scofield’s] going to like what he hears as well because the group is sounding very strong. They’ve worked very hard,” MacDonald said. “They learned the music and they know it as if it’s their own. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

As for Scofield, this performance is a fun chance to continue working with artists, something he loves about his career and hopes to continue doing it for as long as possible.

“I just keep doing what I’m doing. I really enjoy playing with good musicians, young and old,” Scofield said.

Artists in Residence with Scofield will start at 8 p.m. at Humber’s Lakeshore campus auditorium on Friday. Tickets are available at the door for $25 for general public and $15 for seniors, Humber students and faculty.

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