Humber music celebrates 50 years with Anniversary Spring Showcase

Apr 3, 2023 | Headlines

Humber’s Bachelor of music program celebrated its 50th Anniversary Spring Showcase with feature performances from Humber alumni artists, and from the Carandang Pincente Jazz Orchestra and Humber’s 50th Anniversary band.

Current Humber students Dain Carandang and Angela Pincente kicked off last Friday night’s Jazz Orchestra with three songs composed by American Jazz trumpeter Thad Jones, Iowa trombone player Curt Berg, and American composer Frederick Loewe.

Dain Carandang told Humber News that the Carandang Pincente Jazz Orchestra was created in the summer of 2022. However, he confirmed the process was difficult at times to put together a bigger band due to COVID-19.

“I played the winter performance week and then this our second show today where were opening for Lila and the other bands,” said trombone player Angela Pincente.

The multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist Laila Biali, was then featured with Canadian drummer Larnell Lewis and Canadian bassist George Koller playing nine songs composed by Biali, in a trio performance.

Pincente told Humber News that she knew of Biali before being added to the anniversary event because but had never personally worked with her before.

Before each song performance, Biali shared the stories behind her inspired songs while living in New York and Canada.

“It really was a combination of travel and connection with people, they’re still the things for me that are such driving forces,” Biali said in a phone interview leading up to the concert.

Biali said had the pleasure to represent Humber and Canada in 2001 at the International Association for Jazz education in a group called “Sisters in Jazz,” which was held in New York.

The following summer Biali performed in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Centre and toured Europe’s major jazz festivals.

“That really whet my appetite for life in music, life on the road, sharing music in different cultures and countries and I just thought it was amazing – the universal language of music felt like it was my ticket!” she said.

At Friday’s event which was held in the main performing space, Biali’s trio was then followed by the Humber 50th Anniversary band performing a total of five songs, one of the songs called “Stockholm Sweetnin’” was composed by legendary musicians Quincy Jones and Jon Henricks.

The anniversary band ensemble included previous Humber professor and saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, Canadian trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, and Canadian pianist Thomas Francis.

Andrew Scott, the Bachelor of Music program coordinator, was the host of the evening and announced the Denny Christianson Memorial Scholarship for artistic excellence. Denny Christianson was a beloved Canadian jazz educator, trumpeter, and bandleader.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student enrolled in the Bachelor of music program who is current in their third or fourth year.

Christianson, who was a celebrated jazz educator at Humber College for over 16 years and who died in 2021, was remembered by staff, students, and family for his contagious passion for music and for dedicating his life to the next generation of jazz musicians at Humber college.

Carandang told Humber News on Friday he had the pleasure of having the Carandang Pincente Jazz Orchestra in the Humber studio to record a tune for a project. He also confirmed the upcoming plans for the Carandang Pincente Jazz Orchestra.

“Right now, we’re in the middle of planning a show with Dennis Kwok, he’s the bass player today and he’s got his own big band as well so we’re hoping to be a double,” said Carandang.

Kwok plays the Baritone Saxophone and is a current jazz student in the Bachelor of Music program at Humber college.

“Humber did a beautiful job of representing various stages like the alumna, faculty, and existing student body and really wanting to give the audience and all those involved the true scope as much as we can in a limited period of time,” said Biali.