The Jonathan Michael Musical Group and Band – Toronto Markham Wedding Band

I consider myself a very humble person but I can’t help but boast about the amazing musicians that make up The Jonathan Michael Group. It was always a dream of mine to be able to sing with a live band and in 2015, that dream became a reality. I had originally joined a big band group in 2013 as a way of broadening my musical horizons. Little did I know this would be the best decision, musically, that I would ever make.T

Two years after joining the big band, one of the electric bass players (Andris Krumins) asked if I would be interested in singing at the now defunct Gate 403 with his band (The Jazz Forge) for a Valentine’s Day gig. I remember feeling excited about this opportunity as it marked the first time I had ever performed live with a small ensemble. At the same time, I was also working with another musician on a project to put together my first album, The Compilation. And just as luck would have it, we were in need of an electric bass player and a drummer for this project. Luckily Andris and Ravi (the drummer) gave a resounding yes when I asked them to lend their musical talents for this project. However, a concern was how they would feel about playing classical crossover pieces, especially as they came from a jazz background.

After our first rehearsal, and introducing them to some of the repertoire such as Per Te and Caruso, they genuinely appeared to have a liking to the songs, so much so that for our last rehearsal, Andris had invited his violinist friend, Ian Chau, to join us for a session. To me, the addition of Ian was like adding the final piece to complete a very unique puzzle. The violin gave the group that final touch of class and I was ecstatic with how we sounded collectively.

In order to help raise funds for the costs associated with producing the album, we decided to host a concert at a downtown musical instrument store called Musideum. It was a very small and intimate venue but we ended up selling out the show and received some encouraging feedback from the audience on how well the group sounded and the uniqueness of our ensemble. We were also praised on how well we included a number of genres in our musical repertoire.

With only 6 rehearsals under our belt, we booked studio time at The Meriam School of Music and in 2 – 4 hour recording sessions, were able to record 23 songs for our album. Even the studio engineer at the time, Mike Tompa, had commented on how amazed he was with our ability to record that many songs in such a short period of time. Mike went on to mix and master the album and The Compilation (which can be purchased from this website) is a recording project I am very proud to have been a part of.

Following the album, we went on to perform at different functions such as wedding receptions, baptisms and dinner parties and have even hosted different concerts at venues such as the Millennium Bandstand in Markham and at Canada Day celebrations in Oakville at Bronte Harbour.

One of our biggest accolades came this past summer as our group entered the 2017 IMEC International Music Arts Festival and competed against international musicians in the category of Best Musical Group. We came first in the category, as voted by audience members. In my opinion, this award is not only a testament to the musical abilities of the musicians that I play with but also how unique we sound collectively.

What I love about the group is our collective desire to constantly broaden our music repertoire. Further, we have the ability to provide music for galas, fundraisers, corporate and Christmas parties, wedding receptions or to be a cover band for a dinner and dance party. From Bocelli to Billy Joel, our repertoire is unlike any other band and is continually expanding.

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