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Alex Pangman, Drew Jurecka, and Nathan Hiltz with (special guests) Their Better Halves (Tom Parker, Rebekah Wolkstein, Melissa Lauren)
June 19, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
The trio of vocalist Alex Pangman, violinist Drew Jurecka, and guitarist Nathan Hiltz held down a nearly two year residency at the historic (Top Of The) Senator Restaurant in Toronto ON, until the pandemic. In that time, they capitalized on playing live and growing their rapport with one another. Primarily playing acoustic hot jazz form the 1930s, each of them had known and worked & recorded together on other projects, yet never had they played such intimate shows that relied so heavily and the trio relationship. What results is a highly musical, thoughtful, witty, and masterful group.
This trio’s appearance at syncspace.live will be extra special as each of their very talented musical spouses (Tom Parker, Rebekah Wolkstein, and Melissa Lauren) will be making a guest appearance at some point during the show.
Alex Pangman, vocals
Although JUNO nominee Alex Pangman grew up a couple of generations late to have sung with Benny Goodman, the vibrant young vocalist is proud to be known as Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing. With pipes aplenty, Pangman possesses the requisite taste, talent, and the historical knowledge of an avid record collector to breathe new life into the music of the classic jazz era. A superb song stylist with growing compositional chops, Pangman has built a loyal fanbase amongst jazz listeners and dancers through her critically acclaimed work with her stacked Alleycats, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jeff Healey, and now with the Pangman Jurecka Hiltz Trio.
Alex’s life-long obsession with jazz began in her teens when she discovered Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden and The Boswell Sisters. She has recorded with legendary Bucky Pizzarelli, and opened the Toronto Jazz festival for Willie Nelson at Massey Hall. With Drew Jurecka and Nathan Hiltz, Alex enjoyed two #1 iTunes singles, the first of those a previously unheard, and recently unearthed Connie Boswell song, given to Pangman by the late singer’s estate. (Boswell is considered the grandmother of jazz singing having greatly influenced a young Ella Fitzgerald.) Pangman’s other recent albums were recorded in New Orleans for Justin Time Records & she has played all the major jazz festivals in Canada, including several appearances on main stages at the Montreal Jazz Festival, as well as playing in the USA, England, Denmark, and Edinburgh. She is host to Swing Set, a weekly swing era show on JAZZCAST.CA
Drew Jurecka, violin
Drew Jurecka is an accomplished jazz and session violinist but also as an arranger, producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Trained classically, he studied with Lorand Fenyves and has a degree from the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music. Drew has spent the last twelve years playing jazz, pop, rock and other contemporary styles in Toronto. Though violin is his primary instrument, he also works frequently as a performer and recording sideman on viola, saxophone, clarinet, and mandolin. For five years, Drew played with Jeff Healey as part of his Jazz Wizards band, which toured extensively across Canada. Drew can be heard on three of Jeff Healey’s CDs, including the Juno Nominated “Last Call”. Drew has also toured nationally and internationally with The Polyjesters, Jesse Cook, Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe, Alex Pangman, the Bebop Cowboys and Jill Barber.
Drew’s arrangements have been used on countless records for artists across Canada, the United States and Europe. Drew has written original scores for eight stage plays, including seven for Vancouver- based ‘Monster Theatre’ and one for Tracey Erin Smith’s play “the Burning Bush”, which has been performed extensively in Toronto and New York City. He has also written and produced music for film, including the award-winning documentary “Cuba Libre” and the recent shorts “An Insignificant Man” and “Sidestep Goosestep.”
Drew currently teaches violin at Humber College, where he has helped to create the only specialized jazz strings post-secondary program in Canada. In seven years, the program has quadrupled in size and now includes ensembles, technique, and master classes in addition to private lessons. His students have gone on to win international jazz awards and to perform and record in Canada, the US and France. From 2002 – 2011, Drew was the director of the Jazz series at the Northern Lights Music Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico. During that time, he sold out nearly every show, performing with renowned Canadian artists such as Richard Underhill, Daniel Barnes, Terra Hazelton, Sophia Perlman, and Jill Barber. He is also a member of the Payadora Ensemble and Venuti String Quartet with violinist Rebekah Wolkstein.
Nathan Hiltz, guitar
Nathan Hiltz is a jazz guitarist based in Toronto, Canada. He was born in Nova Scotia then moved to Toronto in 1999. Since then he has recorded with such artists as Bernie Senensky, Jill Barber, Alex Pangman, Del Dako, Brand Disterheft, and Ori Dagan to name a few and even one tune with jazz icon Sheila Jordan!
Nathan performs over 200 gigs a year in Toronto and has toured extensively across Canada with Johnny Griffith, Terra Hazelton, and Melissa Lauren. He attended Humber College (B.Mus) and later the University of Toronto (M.Mus) and has studied privately with Jim Hall, Reg Schwager, Adam Rodgers and many others. Nathan currently teaches at The Humber College of Creative and Performing Arts.