John Grant, Sports Reporter
Humber music students showcased another dimension of rhythm and blues at the R&B showcase that filled the room with enjoyment and funk.
“It means a lot to me to work with the students and just letting them see how they can just go wild on stage and have a great time,» said Mark Kelso, a music teacher at Humber College and head of the drum department.
The night started with the band Rhythm N’ Soul, who got audiences clapping and grooving with their renditions of many songs such as “Off the Wall” by Michael Jackson, and “What Cha’ gonna do for me” by Chaka Khan. They set the tone and demonstrated the critical elements of rhythm and blues.
Singers Amelia Northey Taylor, Rebecca Fiset-Cote and Avery Raquel showcased their vocal talents while blending in their voices seamlessly with the band’s transitions.
The second performance was Soul Nation, led by Collin Barrett. They entered the stage and started their set with “Funky Good Time” by James Brown. But they later slowed down the evening with a rendition of “Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes Of Mine” by D’Angelo.
Their set was comprised of four women singers named Devine Lightbody, Katherine Caswell, Maria Aragon and Roslyn Addison-Rudat. They embodied originality with their bright coloured pants showcasing their unity and cohesiveness, just like the Power Rangers.
Aragon envisioned herself playing on this stage last year. She’s in her second year in the Humber music program and finally got the opportunity to live out this fantasy.
“I’m in my second year, so last year, I remember going to R&B Night and imagining myself on the stage. I looked up to everybody who was playing on stage,” she said,
“It’s very cool to be a part of this night this year,” Aragon said.
Lightbody said she was taken by the strength the artists received during the show.
“Everyone’s really nice. Everyone’s super supportive.Everyone was at the front of the stage dancing. It’s like a great vibe. And it’s almost like there’s no judgment or pressure,” Lightbody said.
However, the bassist of Soul Nation, Devon Goping, caught a lot of attention as he performed while running a full lap in the auditorium during their performance of “Kiss” by Prince. It gave a new meaning to the term running bass.
The closing act, The Groove Merchants, were led by Kelso. This night was symbolic because this was Kelso’s 10th anniversary playing with Groove Merchants.
Kelso has been teaching at Humber full time for 15 years. He imprinted all his students with the idea of just going out there and having fun.
“I encourage in the rehearsals,” he said. “I say you can’t be nervous. Get out there and have fun. Do your job. Do your homework work hard.
“But playing should be fun,” Kelso said.
“Work hard, work really hard,” he said. “Learn your stuff, and have a great time.”
Kelso lead by example as he later left the drums to deliver some rap vocals that left the audience in awe.