Jazz at Midday Presents JUNO-Winning Musician Ernesto Cervini

Courtesy of York University

Today, jazz drummer and JUNO-winning musician, Ernesto Cervini, will perform at the Martin Family Lounge in the Accolade East building on campus from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm. He will be playing with his quartet Tetrahedron, which includes improvisers Luiz Denis on alto saxophone and Rich Brown on electric bass. 

For the past ten years, Cervini has been on the frontier of Canadian modern jazz, performing in a variety of bands, including the Ernesto Cervini Quartet, the sestet Turboprop, and several trios. 

“I try to always let the music lead my drumming. The music of Tetrahedron is much more funky and backbeat-based music, so my drumming in Tetrahedron ends up being much more aggressive and funky as well. Plus, with fewer musicians onstage, the more adventurous I can be, and the stronger and more confident the time feel is of the other musicians, the more adventurous we can all be. In this band, we all get pretty adventurous,” says Cervini.

Cervini also released an album called Joy earlier this month, adding that, “my artistic influences run the gamut. I listen to lots of modern jazz, but I also really enjoy listening to rock and pop music. The music on Joy was inspired by a detective series by Canadian author Louise Penny. I fell in love with those books and was inspired to write a whole series of music based on the characters and themes of the books.” 

Although the pandemic shut down live performances, Cervini is optimistic about the future of live music in the city. “In Toronto, there seem to be even more performance opportunities than there were before the pandemic, and people seem to be coming out to see music more often, and showing more appreciation for it,” they add. 

Fourth-year professional writing major, Brandon Ying, agrees shares Cervini’s sentiments, stating, “there are two things people say they missed during the pandemic — family and concerts. I was lucky enough not to be away from my family, but I sure as heck missed a good live musician or band.”

“Clubs and classrooms can sometimes be difficult places to fraternise with other members of a vast student body, but spaces like those found in a live performance setting provide a great substitute,” adds Ying.

Alumna Olivia Quenneville, a professional writing major with a minor in music, adds that, “nothing can replicate the experience of a live performance. It is instant feedback. We want to know that people enjoyed what we performed and we want to share what we’ve created.” 

Dr. Karen Burke, chair of the department of music, agrees, adding that, “music is the soul of our community — we couldn’t have survived the pandemic without it! The only thing better than music performances are live music performances and we are very fortunate to, once again, experience the sights and sounds of live music making in the beautiful facilities at York University!”

Cervini mirrors Dr. Burke’s enthusiasm, saying that “any chance I have to make music with these exceptional musicians, I want to take advantage of that opportunity. Plus, it’s always a treat to perform at York University for the students and staff and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Click here to learn more about this free event or follow the department of music on Instagram to hear more about upcoming music events.

About the Author

By Anjalee Nadarajan


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