Guest Artists & Hosts

Our Hosts

Ashley Bazzano & Marae Zarifa

Ashley is so excited to be a part of this event for a second time. She participated as one of the performers in last year’s Cabaret in the band Water Guns N’ Daisies along with her co-host Marae. Music has always been something that Ashley has loved, whether it is making it or simply listening to it. She got into learning instruments such as guitar, piano, and drums from a young age and loves to sing, though it wasn’t until the amazing opportunities at Grace Church that allowed her to further explore the world of music and production. She is very grateful to have been given this opportunity to be co-hosting this year’s Cabaret in hopes to help share the many amazing talents being showcased in this event! 

Marae has been a part of Grace Church Markham for over two years. She has always loved music, but it was not until she joined Grace Church that she began tapping into her innate musicality. Through her church’s support and encouragement, as well as access to the music studio at the church, her band, Water Guns ‘N Daisies, contributed a performance in last year’s Cabaret. That experience ignited her passion for music and showed her the importance of music as a form of creative expression and worship. She is grateful to be co-hosting this event so that all may have a chance to share their incredible musical gifts!

Our Artists

Valentin Bogolubov

The pianist Valentin Bogolubov was born in Latvia, where he studied piano, violin, voice and choral conducting. He was awarded First Prize at the Latvian Piano Competition and the at the Panbaltic Piano Competition. After completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory, he returned to Riga at Latvian Conservatory to teach piano.

In this time he was invited as opera conductor at Latvian States Opera Theater, where he directed several opera productions. Following this, he became assistant conductor in Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. As pianist he collaborated with the greatest Russian singers. He also played piano and conducted at the Kremlin. Returning to Latvia Valentin Bogolubov took up the duties of Artistic Director at the Riga Chamber Opera and the Riga Salon for Music and the Arts. He was the soloist with orchestras from Moscow, Latvia and Lithuania, played  piano-recitals in Russia, France, Germany, several of these performances being recorded and broadcast.

Since arriving in Canada Valentin Bogolubov has given several piano recitals in Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Monkton, New York, for CBC etc., and recorded several CD’s.  He’s teaching piano-playing, vocal art and gives master classes throughout Canada. From 2015 until now Valentin is working as  organist and choir director in Christ Church(Stouffville, Anglican).

Rachel Colman, BMus, PBac Perf

Rachel has been playing music and fostering participation in singing in Anglican congregations in Winnipeg and Toronto for more than a decade. She brings pieces of liturgy and scripture to life in meditative song. Prayer, reflection, and slowing down our souls can be difficult in anxious and fearful days, and her music is an apt response.

Church Affiliation : Grace Church, Scarborough (Grace Church Scarborough Stations of the Cross)

Nathan Hiltz Quintet

Nathan Hiltz is a jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger based in Toronto. He has toured and recorded with Melissa Lauren, Terra Hazelton, Jill Barber, Alex Pangman, Laura Hubert, Steven Taetz, Drew Jurecka, and many others. He plays traditional jazz with The Nathan Hiltz Trio and the Koffman Hiltz Quartet. He also leads experimental projects Robot Cops, the Griffith Hiltz Trio, and vocal group Samways which received a grant from the Toronto Arts Council in 2020. Nathan teaches guitar at Humber College. His piece ‘Mass for guitar and singers’ has been performed at Grace Church on The Hill, St Judes Oakville, and St Paul’s Westdale and can be streamed and downloaded for free here.

The Nathan Hiltz Quintet is made up of Tom Moffat – Trumpet; Jake Koffman – Alto Saxophone; Jacob Gorzhaltsan – Tenor Saxophone; Matt Coldwell – Bass; and Nathan Hiltz – Guitar

Church Affiliation: Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto

Jan Morgan

Raised and schooled in Georgetown, Guyana, Jan joined the Guyana police force on December 24th, 1978. He transferred to the police force military band in March of 1979 where he worked through the ranks to the level of sergeant. After resigning in November 1988, he emigrated to Canada in June of 1994, where he has been involved in recordings and performances for some international and overseas artists, namely, the late Percy Sledge, Pluto Servington, Grenadian icon King Ajamo, Anslem Douglas, Ronnie McIntosh, Calypso Rose and David Rudder from Trinidad and Tobago, South Indian film and music icon Vijay Prakash (whose song was featured in the movie, “Slum Dog Millionaire”), the late Cuba Gooding Sr. and his singing group, and the great reggae icon Luciano from Jamaica, just to name a few. Jan performed and recorded with local Canadian bands and artists like Jully Black, Neu Jenarashun (pronounced “new generation”) band, Ossie Gurley and the truth, and Kobotown. Kobotown, of which he is a member, has been nominated twice for the coveted Juno awards, and won the Juno for Best World Music Album in 2018. He is a professional trumpet and trombone player with a lot of experience in reading, writing, and arranging music.

The Redeemers

From humble beginnings—singing in the choir stalls at Church of the Redeemer in downtown Toronto—to street corners and backroom dives, the Redeemers revive the joy of doo wop close harmony singing.

From the golden days of bluesy pre-rock’n’roll R & B to present day pop and top 40, this close harmony vocal group celebrates the sounds pioneered by classic groups like the Orioles, the Drifters, and the Flamingos, honed by The Beatles and Stevie Wonder, and re-imagined by more contemporary acts like the Backstreet Boys, Gnarls Barkley and Pharrell.

The Redeemers are made up of William Reid, Tamara Mitchell, John Cowling, and Bruce Scavuzzo.

St. John the Baptist, Norway Choir

The Choir at St. John the Baptist Norway, under the direction of the Music Director, Cara Halpin, is a dynamic group of dedicated parish members, as well as a few professional singers. We participate in joyous weekly rehearsals and lead the congregation in hymns, psalms, as well as contemporary music during the offertory and communion.

St. Paul’s on the Hill Youth Band

The St. Paul’s on-the-Hill Youth Band met again for the first time since the Pandemic late last year. Since then, they have been practicing regularly to grow in their skills and learn how to lead worship better for their church. It is currently comprised of 4 young musicians in grades 10, 11, and 12: Tess Bowman, Rachel Everitt, Jamie Bowman, and Dane Sevilla. They have been mentored by St. Paul’s youth pastor Matthew Waterman, and longtime member and church musician Phil Jocz. As a farewell performance for two of our members, we are very proud to offer this performance for the Bishop’s Company Cabaret.