From dorm room to set

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, three friends sat nervously in a cramped room at Pitman Hall Residence at Toronto Metropolitan University, ready to pack up their lives and move back home. Dreams of making it big in the production world were quickly crushed by the looming threat of the global pandemic.

Keeping the beat working

Nuñez Ramos and his bandmates are among about 100 students who, as part of their education, get the opportunity to showcase their talent at 5:30 p.m. on the stage at The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar each Monday evening.

Here, University of Toronto (UoT) jazz studies students can hone their craft in a way many students do not. They take their first step into the spotlight, catching, through the dim bar lights and murmuring voices, what may be ahead of them.