“Shari’s training as an actor imbues her music with an emotional edge that takes us places we have never been with these songs. Quarter to Nine is an experience as much as a concert.”

— Barbara Milne, The Pearl Company, Hamilton

Quarter To Nine - Jazz

Quarter to Nine is a musical act with Shari Vandermolen on vocals.  We are a duo, a trio and a 5-piece band bringing in guest artists from the area to compliment our sound depending on the occasion and venue.  Our name comes from the song "About a Quarter to Nine" from the musical 42nd Street

 Incorporating the sweet soft jazz feel of days gone by, or the burlesque feel of risqué blues, Quarter To Nine can be the perfect compliment to your special occasion. 

Influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Etta James, Billie Holiday and "big-band sound" bringing you Jazz Standards, risqué blues and torch songs peppered with just the right amount of showtunes for good measure.

Meet the band...


Shari Vandermolen (Artistic Director)  - Vocalist

Shari Vandermolen is the founder and driving force behind Quarter To Nine. Fans of musical theatre have been treated to her unique vocal stylings in numerous productions over the past number of years in and around the Greater Hamilton Area.  
She has also given of her time and talent to a number of community projects and fundraisers including DISCOVERING ELVIS at Theatre Aquarius (2011), her musical tributes in St. George during Remembrance Day weekends commemorating  the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy (2009) and the Korean War (2010) and other fundraising efforts near and dear to her heart.  She debuted her 6-piece jazz ensemble Quarter To Nine in February 2012 during the show "My Funny Valentine" in the studio theatre at Theatre Aquarius.  In addition to Quarter To Nine, Shari is the primary vocalist for SwingLine - the little band with the big sound - a 10-piece little-big-band bringing you the best of swing.



Steve McRae (Musical Director) - Piano

Steve McRae has been playing piano since he was 8 years old. Growing up in the small town of Erin, Ontario, he played in musicals and ensembles while in high school. Moving to Hamilton in 2004, Steve graduated, with honours, from the Applied Music Program at Mohawk College, studying jazz piano with Adrean Farrugia. Steve successfully completed his A.R.C.T. in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, also achieving honours status, in the summer of 2005 under the instruction of Irene McLellan, F.R.C.M.T.  Steve is also an in-demand musical director, tackling productions such as "A Little Night Music", “The Lucky Stiff”, "Side Show" and "Nine" for which the music was well received.  He will be the Musical Director for Hammer Entertainment's entire 2014/2015 season. Steve has performed at various venues in southern Ontario, from hip-hop, to country, to rock and roll, and of course, jazz.  

Ray Chantler - Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Ray Chantler’s musical roots can be traced back to the Boy Scouts where at the age of 12 he began playing the one-valve bugle.  In high school he switched to trumpet and by the age of 19 was performing throughout southern Ontario as a member of the Oberkrajner Brass dance band – a gig that allowed him to put himself through university.  Today Ray plays trumpet with Sophisticated Swing, Twelve for Swing, Swingline and the Kerr Street Big Band, which he also directs.  He is a founding member of brass quintets Sterling Brass and Infinius Brass.   He also plays in theatre pit orchestras, the R&B band Tatervox and of course Quarter to Nine.

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Urmas Soomet - Bass

Urmas Soomet played guitar in rock bands during his youth in Montreal, where he also trained as a low brass player and played the tuba in concert bands.

Later on, while working in the steel industry in Hamilton, he continued playing in bands evenings and weekends and took up the bass, both electric and upright, as his musical interests grew.  In 2007, he gave up his day job in order to focus on performing in the Golden Horseshoe area and on operating Studio 13 Live Sound Recording, a state-of-the-art recording studio in Flamborough.

Urmas has performed on theatre and festival stages across Ontario, playing jazz, swing, classic rock, rhythm and blues and Dixieland music for over twenty years.

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James Gannett - Bass

A versatile and reliable bassist, James Gannett is currently working as a freelance musician and private instructor in the Hamilton area. 

Since starting to play the bass at age 13, James has performed thousands of concerts in many different genres of music, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, and celtic.  His ability to listen and react to his fellow musicians ensures that each performance is vital and unique, whether in a concert hall, or recording studio.

Having graduated from Hamilton's Mohawk College Applied Music program, James has played and studied with some of Canada's great musicians:  Guido Basso, Adrean Farrugia, Barry Elmes, Pat Collins, Dave Young, Tommy Ambrose, and Lorne Lofsky.

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Tom Wallace - Trombone

By day, Tom moonlights as an Electronics Technologist for a company that manufactures test equipment for the power industry.

Tom started playing trombone when he was 12. He was away the day the day kids got to pick the instrument they wanted to play. He wanted to play the trumpet. But there were already enough trumpet players so he had to settle for his second choice, the trombone. He has never regretted this choice.

Now, Tom is very fortunate to play for a wide variety of groups and musical genres including Big Bands, small jazz ensembles, music theatre, orchestras, opera companies, wind ensembles and the Falgarwood Brass Quintet.

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Michael Yates - Drums

Michael Yates is quickly becoming a main fixture on the Hamilton music scene. Whether he is driving a 20 piece jazz orchestra with his killer shuffle or accompanying a quiet piano trio,  versatility is truly his forte. Born and raised in Brampton Ontario Michael had the opportunity to attend Mayfield Secondary School’s Regional Arts Program where he was instructed by Daryl Eaton (lead trumpet in The Buddy Rich Big Band) and John Chalmers (Head of Ontario Vocal Jazz Festival). After Graduating Mayfield, Michael furthered his education by attending Mohawk College for jazz performance. At Mohawk Michael was instructed by some of Canada’s finest musicians such as, Ted Warren, Kevin Dempsey, Pat Collins, Dave McMurdo, Mike Malone, Don Englert, and Darcy Hepner. After earning a performance diploma from Mohawk College Michael was accepted at McMaster University on scholarship to complete his Honors Bachelor of Music. In 2011, Michael graduated from McMaster with honors and has been performing and teaching steadily ever since. Throughout Michael’s career he has had the pleasure of performing with/for: Bob Brookmeyer, Rob McConnell, Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes, The Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, The Josephine Biundo Quartet, Mercedes Ellington (daughter of Duke), The McMaster University Big Band, The Loretta Hale Big Band and many other small ensembles.