AMY MCCONNELL has been performing from the age of nine months when she appeared in her first television commercial. Amy continued her childhood career as one of the principals on the TfO TV series “Téléfrançais” and also performed in various professional musical theatrical productions.
Amy went on to win a scholarship to study musical theatre performance at the American Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. Studying acting made Amy feel (and it has had this effect on countless actors before her) that what she really wanted to do was direct.
Amy returned to Toronto to study film at Ryerson Polytechnic University and has since become an award winning film and commercial director. However, Amy has never been able to resist the siren song of… song and she splits her time between her film production and music careers. “Stealing Genius” is her first album and the reception from the Canadian jazz community has been outstanding.
Despite her anglophone name, Amy comes from a francophone background, is fluently bilingual and frequently performs in French. Known for her beautiful voice, impeccable intonation and emotional approach, Amy’s style encompasses jazz, pop and musical theatre.
WILLIAM SPERANDEI (trumpeter, pianist) is a Toronto musician, composer, arranger, and bandleader. His love of the trumpet began in grade school where he studied privately with Bram Smith. He continued his education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, on a full scholarship and for two and a half years studied classical music and played in diverse ensembles including orchestra, wind ensemble, brass trio, and jazz ensemble, as well as leading his own jazz quintet.
At the recommendation of Wynton Marsalis, Sperandei left Canada to continue his studies at the University of New Orleans under the direction of Ellis Marsalis. During the time he lived in Louisiana, he played with some of the best of the best including Nicholas Payton, Marcus Roberts, Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Victor Goines, Charmaine Neville, and Harry Connick Jr. and in 1992, two years prior to his graduation from the UNO, he opened for Wynton Marsalis at the Rome Jazz Festival. It was during the same 1992 European tour Sperandei undertook a stint teaching jazz improvisation at the University of Innsbruck in Austria
Possessing wide-ranging performance skills, William Sperandei has played Polish Opera, Flamenco music, worked with Canadian soul/pop artist, Gerald Eaton (Jarvis Church), and blues legend Colin James. He is a respected sideman on the Toronto jazz circuit in live performance and in the recording studios. He performs in two classical ensembles – The Niagara Brass, led by former tutor and internationally renowned recitalist James Tinsley, and a classical ensemble headed by Charles Schlueter, principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
William has played with Wynton Marsalis, Charmaine Neville, Ned Gould, Brian Blade, Marcus Roberts, Paul Anka, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Ron Sexsmith, Lori Cullen, Robi Botos, Nicholas Payton and more. As a player, William has appeared on over 100 recordings in the classical, jazz, pop, electronic and film genres and has also arranged music for dozens of artists.
William recently performed as the trumpet of Louis Armstrong in the live film score for the biopic “Louis” written by Wynton Marsalis.