A Little Bit of Journalism

by 38 Concordia graduate diploma students

The Ultimate Donation

My last assignment for my TV class. We had to do a report on the theme of death. I went up to McGill’s Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry building to talk to some students and a professor about the program of donating your body to science. What it’s all about and what it’s like being a first year medical student working on these donated bodies.

This is also posted on my blog.

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April 10, 2010 Posted by | TV | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sailing Free

Now playing: jmvdono

A radio documentary about Paula Stone and the AQVA – L’Association quebecoise de voile adaptee – recorded on location at the Point Claire Yacht Club in Montreal

November 24, 2009 Posted by | People, Radio | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jazz 101

July 9, 2009
Jazz 101, the most fun at the festival
by Johanna Donovan
The small, brightly-lit stage in the Complexe Desjardins with a large, blue, tap-dancing cat entrancing a slew of children, is quite the contrast to the sprawling General Motors Stage under an almost full moon, with light shows moving on the surrounding buildings and massive crowds swaying to the sounds of Rocksteady’s reggae vibe.
For 21 years La Petite École du Jazz has taught children the basics of jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
“No, we don’t have fun at all on stage,” joked Victor Ménard, “Le Prof,” as he handed out Jazz Diplomas to the kids who walked up to him sitting on the steps to the stage after the show.
For a whole hour, children from day camps and daycares sit on blue mats and learn how to count to jazz music, learn about different styles of jazz and have to help some of the performers — especially Jacques L’Heureux, or “Rémi” — pass their exams. The fun show has former École du Jazz graduates coming back with their families years later. “It ages me a little to admit it but it happens all the time,” said Ménard.
“This is our first year and we’re definitely coming back,” said a daycare worker holding the hands of three children all wearing bright yellow reflective vests. One little girl was excited that she had been chosen to sing into the microphone at one point in the show.
L’Heureux and Le Prof frequently go down into the audience and elicit the participation of the children as well as the adults. L’Heureux teased a father in the audience for not counting in the proper jazz way. “It’s ok, it’s not your fault, she’s the one who showed you how to do it,” he said, pointing to the man’s wife who hid behind a curtain of hair, laughing with embarrassment.
“Every five years we create a new show,” said Ménard. La Bande Magnétik is a five person a capella group, accompanied by James Gelfand on the piano and Michel Donato on the bass. The talented performers really know their music and audience. “The kids really hear the jazz and remember hearing the jazz because it’s not formal teaching,” said Ménard.
The show is full of crazy antics. Ste-Cat, the festival’s jazz cat mascot, tap dances and plays the detective. La Bande Magnétik run around the stage dressed as firemen, dance and sing beautiful harmonies. All of the performers have to pass an exam: the bass player is blindfolded; the drummer is forced to use badminton rackets for drum sticks and the piano player, lying on his back, has to play upside down.
The Little School of Jazz is an oasis in a festival where there seems to be less and less jazz. Many of the free shows during the day are rooted in jazz but the big crowd attractors, like Rocksteady and Steevie Wonder, are often of a different genre. “It’s become a popular festival rather than just a jazz festival,” said Ménard. “But jazz has influenced so much music.”
The Little School of Jazz focuses on real, old-school, basic jazz. The performers often sing different genres of music and ask their audience to yell out if it’s jazz or not. The small show is one of the gems of the festival, fun for all ages and away from large crushing crowds.
At Jazz school, it’s all about the experience and the participation said Ménard. “The kids are such a great audience,” beamed Le Prof in his blue lab coat.

July 9, 2009

Jazz 101, the most fun at the festival

by Johanna Donovan

The small, brightly-lit stage in the Complexe Desjardins with a large, blue, tap-dancing cat entrancing a slew of children, is quite the contrast to the sprawling General Motors Stage under an almost full moon, with light shows moving on the surrounding buildings and massive crowds swaying to the sounds of Rocksteady’s reggae vibe.

For 21 years La Petite École du Jazz has taught children the basics of jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

“No, we don’t have fun at all on stage,” joked Victor Ménard, “Le Prof,” as he handed out Jazz Diplomas to the kids who walked up to him sitting on the steps to the stage after the show.

For a whole hour, children from day camps and daycares sit on blue mats and learn how to count to jazz music, learn about different styles of jazz and have to help some of the performers — especially Jacques L’Heureux, or “Rémi” — pass their exams. The fun show has former École du Jazz graduates coming back with their families years later. “It ages me a little to admit it but it happens all the time,” said Ménard.

“This is our first year and we’re definitely coming back,” said a daycare worker holding the hands of three children all wearing bright yellow reflective vests. One little girl was excited that she had been chosen to sing into the microphone at one point in the show.

L’Heureux and Le Prof frequently go down into the audience and elicit the participation of the children as well as the adults. L’Heureux teased a father in the audience for not counting in the proper jazz way. “It’s ok, it’s not your fault, she’s the one who showed you how to do it,” he said, pointing to the man’s wife who hid behind a curtain of hair, laughing with embarrassment.

“Every five years we create a new show,” said Ménard. La Bande Magnétik is a five person a capella group, accompanied by James Gelfand on the piano and Michel Donato on the bass. The talented performers really know their music and audience. “The kids really hear the jazz and remember hearing the jazz because it’s not formal teaching,” said Ménard.

The show is full of crazy antics. Ste-Cat, the festival’s jazz cat mascot, tap dances and plays the detective. La Bande Magnétik run around the stage dressed as firemen, dance and sing beautiful harmonies. All of the performers have to pass an exam: the bass player is blindfolded; the drummer is forced to use badminton rackets for drum sticks and the piano player, lying on his back, has to play upside down.

The Little School of Jazz is an oasis in a festival where there seems to be less and less jazz. Many of the free shows during the day are rooted in jazz but the big crowd attractors, like Rocksteady and Steevie Wonder, are often of a different genre. “It’s become a popular festival rather than just a jazz festival,” said Ménard. “But jazz has influenced so much music.”

The Little School of Jazz focuses on real, old-school, basic jazz. The performers often sing different genres of music and ask their audience to yell out if it’s jazz or not. The small show is one of the gems of the festival, fun for all ages and away from large crushing crowds.

At Jazz school, it’s all about the experience and the participation said Ménard. “The kids are such a great audience,” beamed Le Prof in his blue lab coat.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | Print | , , , | Leave a comment