Eastman School of Music performers again provided music for New York State’s “I Love NY” tourism push, this time during an event in Toronto on Tuesday, June 10.
A jazz trio composed of drummer Kevin McDonald, bassist Geoffrey Saunders, and pianist Jeff McLeod played for members of the Canadian travel industry and media. The ensemble performed original music, jazz standards, and works by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and others during the event at the Toronto Hilton.
Last month, two ensembles from the Eastman School of Music performed at a national media event in New York City launching a new revitalized “I Love NY” campaign, and event arrangers again approached Eastman for students to play at the Canadian gala. The Toronto event included a presentation by representatives of the Empire State Development Corp. Representatives from VisitRochester and other Rochester cultural and business organizations also attended.
McDonald is a rising junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies. He has performed with the University of North Carolina Greensboro All-State Honors High School Jazz Ensemble, the Greensboro Big Band, the Kings of Swing, and the Piedmont Youth Jazz Orchestra. In 2009, he will attend Le Conservatoire de Paris.
An active professional musician in Canada, McLeod is a master’s degree jazz piano student at Eastman. He performs as a member of one of Saskatchewan’s top rock/pop groups, Jason Plumb and the Willing, and has appeared at the Grey Cup festivities in Toronto, Junofest, the Western Canadian Music Awards, and the news show Canada AM.
Saunders has been playing bass for five years and is a rising senior at the Eastman School of Music. He performs in the Rochester area, playing different styles of music including jazz with such Rochester musicians as Dave Rivello and rock as a member of the band Walri, as well as country and bluegrass.
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