Jena Lampman

This week we feature Jena Lampman a singer in a local Hamilton-based band, Soul Finger (previously Bump City), a 70’s Motown soul band specializing in the music of Tower of Power. Her future plans are to attend teachers college in Hamilton and become an elementary music school teacher.

We caught up with her to see what she’s been up to!

1) When did you participate in the Jazzology program?

I participated in the Jazzology program in 2012.

2) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was your favourite aspect?

I had a blast with my Jazzology interview. To be honest, my favourite aspect by far was Brad Barker joking around with me during the interview. I have a sailor’s mouth and I was kidding with him about wondering if I’d be able to get through an hour without swearing. He let me know that it’d be all right, they could probably remove it in post. I wasn’t as worried as I was about it and one just came out like word vomit. The technician said that it was so fluid in my sentence that they couldn’t remove it and stitch the words together, they had to bleep it out. My father was delighted with the news and it made a lot of people laugh. This was by far my favourite part of the interview.

3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians? Why?

I would absolutely recommend the Jazzology program to music students. It’s a great opportunity that not a lot of instrumentalists will be able to obtain. In this industry, it’s a lot to do about who you know and the connections that you have. If you don’t have those, it makes it immensely hard to break through the waves. A lot of my musical comrades struggle with this fact, even though they may be far more superior at their craft than I am. With this program, it doesn’t matter who you know or what connections you may or may not have. The instructors recognize which students have been putting forward the best effort and have the best sound appropriate for the program.

4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?

The Jazzology program has been an excellent help in my academic and employment pursuit. It’s something that stands out on the musical resume for a lot of people. It had a part in obtaining my first job as a music instructor in Oakville. Strangers have told me that they’ve heard the interview and enjoyed it. It’s a powerful thing.

5) This program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

What I would say is thank you so much for the opportunity that I would never have been able to obtain on my own. It is through your efforts that a singer from Port Colborne, Ontario could move to the city, bust her butt in school, and get an hour to tell her story on the radio waves.

6) Why is music education important?

I believe that music education is one of the most important classes that students can have. Music is a language that everyone can speak. I don’t think that I’ve found a person on this planet so far that doesn’t listen, disseminate, or enjoy music on some level, regardless of genre or preference. This is a subject that everyone can learn and share with one another. To me though, it’s about reaching out to the kids through music. Integrating youth culture into music theory classes. Using Top 40’s songs as a part of a chord progression lesson. Connecting with my students and positively effecting their lives is what I live for. Everyone can remember their favourite teacher from elementary or high school. If I can be that teacher for at least one student, it’s worth it.

7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing? (education, scholarships, graduation, studying abroad, awards, grants, recordings, tours, employment, collaborations, etc.)

Since participating in the program, I’ve been studying at McMaster University and will be graduating their Honours Music program with a Bachelors’ in June. I was able to study under the likes of Robert Fekete and Rachel Rensink-Hoff during my time there. I’ve been working at Addison Music as a vocals and piano instructor for the last two years in Oakville. I’ve been playing with Soul Finger (previously Bump City), a Hamilton soul group for the last three years. Soul Finger actually just played the Canadian Music Festival in Toronto which I had a lot of fun

8) What are your plans for the future? (Any short term events or long term plans?)

My next step is to attend Teachers College and continue chasing my dream to become an elementary music teacher. I was one of the lucky ones that found out exactly what I need to do on this planet when I was in high school and have not waivered on that belief for over ten years. I also plan on continuing my private teaching career and volunteering.

9) How can people learn more about you and your activities? (Website, Twitter handle, etc.)

I’m not the greatest on social media, but I do have a Facebook page titled ‘Jena Lampman Music’ where I post what I’m up to in the music scene. There’s also a Bandcamp link on that page where you can listen to some of my music. You can find Soul Finger, my Motown soul band, on Facebook as well. I encourage any lovers of 70’s music to join us at our next show! I’d love to see you out!