Cultivating Creativity: Class Act Trio – Light jazz sets the mood

Class Act Trio entertains at the 2018 Arts Recognition Awards and Mayor’s Luncheon

“I like the creativity of jazz; the melody then the improvisation, and the skill of the players”

– Stewart Hood

By Jeanette Arsenault

Jazz musician and Class Act Trio’s founder, Stewart Hood, is well-known for his artwork as well as his commitment to supporting the arts community in the Quinte area. But his love for jazz goes back as far back as he can remember. He learned to play jazz standards with the Malvern Dance Band and at East York Collegiate where their “option” class was to listen to live CBC Jazz shows like Nimmons ’N Nine or seeing Stan Kenton’s Orchestra play live. For those of you who remember the 1970s band Edward Bear (You and Me down in Mexico; Last Song), he was one of the original band members. Those were among his early rock-playing days while he continued to play in jazz combos. His three favourite “loves” were always and continue to be jazz, classical and rock. His instruments are guitar and French horn, two totally different disciplines giving new meaning to versatile musician.

Class Act Trio is a way for Hood to bring his love for great tunes and love for playing in big bands into a more intimate format. His jazz trio includes Debbie Shaw, a superb flutist, passionate musician and President of Quinte Symphony who is also the Director of the St. Joseph’s Senior Choir in Belleville. Shaw’s passion for music is highlighted by her ability to play several musical styles: from classical to Celtic and from pop to jazz standards.

Recently, well-known bassist Howard Baer joined the group to bring his unique, energetic, well-honed skills to the musical mix. After 38 years in studio recording as a composer/arranger/producer for IMAX, CBC-TV with several JUNO nominations as a keyboardist, trumpet player and conductor, he now focuses on his new love – upright bass. Together, Class Act Trio’s main focus is to create the perfect musical mood for your cocktail or dinner party, reception, gala, wedding or special event with their light jazz sounds. You may have heard them play at this year’s Quinte Arts Council Arts Recognition Awards/Mayor’s Luncheon; Quinte Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary Celebration; or, the Quinte Business Achievement Awards, to name a few. Past performances include the Trenton RiverFront Concert Series, Trenton Memorial Hospital Gala Review and Hillier Estates Winery Christmas Wassail, to name a few more.

Their repertoire includes some original Latin-feel songs penned by Hood along with standards like Autumn Leaves, Besamo Mucho, Girl from Ipanema, Moondance, A Foggy Day, Just In Time, Blue Moon, Autumn Leaves and so many more well-known, well-loved melodies. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming along.

Find them on Facebook and go out to support live music because #livemusicmatters.


For bookings, contact Stewart Hood: