A lot of things can be learned from the collaboration of Joshua Castillo and Marie-France Lantin, two Vanier students forming a jazz band. For one thing, when students from wildly different disciplines get together, amazing things can happen. Perhaps more importantly, fitting music into a non-musical career path is both incredibly challenging and very much worthwhile.
Joshua, a jazz guitar student in the Music program, and Marie-France, a lifelong singer currently studying Science, first met through a mutual friend, and it was a shared love of music that quickly brought them together.
“I was organizing another fundraiser, and it happened that my friend knew this singer who sang jazz,” explains Joshua.
It would prove to be a very rewarding relationship for Marie-France, who had finally found a way into the Montreal music scene. “I’m in science, and so I don’t really have a lot of music connections, and so I think Joshua was my only connection for that.”
Stylistically, the duo prefers to stick to tried-and-true jazz standards, with nothing but Marie-France’s voice and Joshua’s guitar for accompaniment. According to Joshua, “The thing we were really going for was […] like a coffee house ambience, so it’s more of an acoustic setting.”
“My Mom really liked Jazz, and so it was just natural for me,” says Marie-France.
Balancing a busy school schedule and a love of music and performing might seem like a recipe for stress, but according to her, the two actually go hand in hand.
“I think, as I mentioned earlier, being a science student, music is like an escape route. It helps you to, maybe, let go a bit of all those crazy intense sciences, math and theories.”
“It enables you to just decompress, to not think about math all the time, and just do something you like that is freeing.”
This relationship culminated in a performance at this past Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser, an annual event in support of Montreal’s poor and homeless. As for their plans for the future, the collaboration is still modest, and so there are no big plans on the horizon yet. The two said that they hope to continue playing together in the future. As for where this friendship will take them, the possibilities seem endless.
Written By: Ian Down
Photo By: Peter Xhuang
Originally Published: March 2016