The Mike Janzen Trio performed to a full house on Friday, October 26th at our OPENING SEASON CONCERT! The Toronoto-based group included Mike Janzen on piano and vocals, George Koller on bass and Larnell Lewis on drums. They received a standing ovation from the audience - it was a remarkable show. Multi-talented Mike Janzen is a songwriter, composer and musician, and the evening included songs like "Secret Crush," inspired by Jodi - his summer camp crush turned wife - and "If I Only Had a Brain." For part of the Wizard of Oz classic, Mike wore oven mitts. He said, "When I wouldn't practice, my piano teacher would tell me it sounded like I was playing with oven mitts on. So when I was an adult, I wondered what that would actually sound like."
Also - a big congratulations to Stan Doerksen, our Best Seats in the House winner. Stan won two tickets to the show by calling into AM 1250 the Friday morning of the show. Besides the best seats, Stan also received a signed program and event poster, and flowers. You can win Best Seats in the House by calling into AM 1250 the Friday morning before our next show!
We were pleased to have Mike Janzen host two workshops - one with the high school students at SRSS, and one at the Cultural Arts Centre. Mike lived in Steinbach for much of his childhood, and fit right in with our local music teachers and students at the 'Starting to Improvise on the Piano' workshop on October 29th. Mike shared valuable tips and techniques on composition and how to break music down into small parts and work with scales. Mike also mentored students and teachers in one-on-one sessions where he spent some time listening to them perform.
It was a great privilege to work with Mike and his bandmates. Mike is a very good-natured, easy-going and TALENTED person. Thanks for a great show! And a great workshop!
Submitted by Shannon Neufeld