Humber College’s Community Music School has long fostered a joy of music making while helping budding musicians develop the skills and discipline required for long-term success. For instance, six times over the past 12 years, School alumni have been among the winners of the prestigious DownBeat Student Music Awards. Drummer Petros Anagnostakos – a past member of the National Youth Jazz Combo -- is a 2017 winner in the Jazz Instrumental Soloist - Performing Arts High School category. He joins the ranks of previous School recipients Michael Ruby, Zach Stuckey, Ewen Farncombe, and three-time winner Carter Brodkorb.
“Petros is the real deal – exceptional talent, a strong work ethic and a deep understanding of the traditions,” says Community Music School director Catherine Mitro. “He's someone the music scene will be hearing more about in the very near future!”
Modest about his achievement, the young drummer is quick to share credit with his teachers, mentors, and friends. “Winning this award reminds me of how lucky I am to have had such amazing guidance from some of the greatest musicians in Canada through MusicFest Canada and the Humber College Summer Jazz Workshop, where the recordings submitted to DownBeat took place,” says Anagnostakos, reflecting on his win. “Without these connections in the Toronto music scene, this award wouldn't have been achievable.”
DownBeat is one of North America’s oldest and most respected jazz and blues publications. For the last 40 years, it has been home to the Student Music Awards, which honour annually the best student performers and composers in the world. Students recordings are adjudicated blindly on their musicianship, creativity, technique, sound quality, and more, with the results published in the June issue of DownBeat.