Napanee’s Hannah Barstow to perform at PEC Jazz Festival

Jazz pianist Hannah Barstow will perform with a big band as part of the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival next month. Submitted photo.

Sarah Williams
Beaver Staff

As part of the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival, Napanee’s Hannah Barstow and the Commodores Orchestra will be playing at the Wellington United Church on Aug. 15.

Barstow took a few moments to speak with the Napanee Beaver in anticipation of this concert.

“I have been performing for most of my life, as I started playing at a young age, so performing is a large part of who I am and something I always do,” said Barstow.

Explaining that because performing has been a large part of her life since a young age, she sees it more as part of the practice of everyday life. But, she adds, “one of the things I like most about performing is the joy I feel when I sing, and the sense of possibility I feel at the piano.”

“It’s not very often that you get to see a big band perform, let alone with a vocalist, and it’s not very often that I get to perform with a big band, so I’m excited,” exclaimed Barstow.

For the show, Barstow will be playing some piano and doing a lot of singing. The band, the Commodores, is comprised of local musicians.

“This festival is as good (or better) than any jazz festival in Canada,” stated Barstow.

“The main stage shows are always a hit, but my favourite part is the smaller shows, such as the ones at wineries, churches and late night jams. You get to see incredibly high quality musicians perform in beautiful Prince Edward County. I love being a part of that,” she added.

Barstow is described as a pianist, vocalist and composer who is a regular in the Toronto Music Scene. According to her bio,  she has an ARCT in piano performance (Royal Conservatory of Music) and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance on piano from the University of Toronto (U of T). She has received a number of awards through U of T, including the Albert and Wilhelmine Francis Renewable Scholarship in Music (2012-2016), the U of T Jazz Arranging Prize (2015), and the Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance as part of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant program (2015).

For anyone wishing to attend Hannah Barstow and the Commodores’ the tickets are $25 and available through The Regent Theatre, Picton. The show begins at 4 p.m.

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