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Where Are They Now?

Our educational programs provide learning opportunities that contribute to the growth and development of emerging artists in our community. With the success of these programs over a number of years, we are fortunate to have a large group of alumni who have gone on to successful careers in music and beyond.

To celebrate these participants, our weekly “Where Are They Now?” segment allows us to follow-up with alumni, see how they are doing, and assess how the program has contributed to their success.

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Karen Ng

This week’s featured artist is saxophonist Karen Ng, who participated in Jazzology in 2007.

Karen studied at York University and Humber College, working privately with teachers Sundar Viswanathan, Mike Murley, Kelly Jefferson, Don Palmer, and Pat Labarbara to hone her craft. Since launching her professional career, she has toured  throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Asia with Do Make Say Think, Fresh Snow, Bry Webb, L CON, Del Bel, and Broken Social Scene. She has also appeared with Charles Spearin’s Happiness Project, toured with Feist, and appeared in Nigel Goderich’s “From the Basement” series.

Josh Smiley

This week we feature pianist Josh Smiley, who participated in Jazzology in 2013.

Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Josh completed his studies at Mohawk College, studying with Adrean Farrugia. Graduating from Mohawk with Honours, he received numerous scholarships including the Richard Newell Memorial Scholarship and the Antony Roberts Music Excellence Award. Following his move to Toronto, he began studies at the University of Toronto, where he works with David Restivo, Mike Murley, Chase Sanborn, and Gordon Foote.

John De Simini

This week’s featured artist is saxophonist John De Simini, who participated in Jazzology in 2010.

A native of Toronto, John’s initial studies on saxophone began at St. Michael’s College School with Johnny Griffith. He then completed his Jazz and Contemporary music degree at Humber College, studying with Al Kay, Pat LaBarbera, Brian O’Kane, Mark Promane, Don Thompson, and Mark Promane. Upon graduating, John received the JAZZ.FM91 Award for his outstanding academic and musical achievements at Humber.

Chris Platt

This week’s featured artist is guitarist Chris Platt, who participated in Jazzology in 2011.

Already an accomplished guitarist in his teens, Chris connected with the guitarists Eric Clapton, Jim Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose music inspired him to develop his skills, write songs, and lead a band of his own. Following high school, he attended Mohawk College and graduated with an Applied Music Diploma. It was there that he developed his passion for jazz, studying with Bob Shields and listening to musicians such as Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert, Jim Hall, and Reg Schwager. Now a student at the University of Toronto, Chris is in the process of completing his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance.

Miles Finlayson

This week’s featured artist is guitarist Miles Finlayson, who participated in Jazzology in 2011.

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