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Following the jazz beat to New York City

Text that reads: "I just thought: 'I have to go see this.'"

Even on vacation, Warren Schlote thinks like a journalist. So when the University of Guelph-Humber took Schlote and some of his peers in the Media Studies program to New York to accept an award at Columbia University’s collegiate awards competition, he couldn’t resist pursuing a story on the side relating to his passion: jazz music.

Schlote has played piano since he was young and came to appreciate jazz as he got older. As soon as he knew he was going to New York, he started looking into jazz clubs or shows that might be happening around the city. Then he discovered that while the award ceremony was going on, Marjorie Eliot was inviting the public into her Washington Heights apartment for an intimate live jazz performance.

With permission from his instructor, Schlote brought his own camera along with a lens and audio recorder from the Media Cage and lined up outside Eliot’s Manhattan apartment.

“The more I started reading, I just thought: ‘I have to go see this,’” he recalled. “I was the second one there. One by one, the elevator kept coming and soon the hallway was full of people. There were people standing, people in the kitchen, probably 30-40 people in this small apartment, and I was right up in the front in a reserved seat.”

Eliot had written Schlote’s name on what was one of the best seats in the house in “beautiful handwriting.” In the apartment, a small group of musicians played trumpet, clarinet, sax and flute while Eliot played piano.

Schlote, who’s going into fourth year in the University of Guelph-Humber’s journalism stream, interviewed musicians and guests, recorded some background sound and edited together a report. He recorded his voiceovers in UofGH’s multi-platform production facility once he was back and leaned on what he learned in Heather Goode’s radio class as he assembled his work.

Ultimately, Schlote’s report was broadcast and published in full by Jazz.FM91, where Schlote has been volunteering helping out with programming and their music library.

His career goal long-term is to do long-form journalism, whether that means writing features or creating radio or film documentaries. This summer, he’s interning at CBC’s “The National” for six weeks. He’s also still working at Jazz.FM91, where he said his first report from New York was quite well-received.

“They were really receptive to it,” he said. “After they finished listening to it they said, ‘Hey, when’s the next one coming?’ So I have to find my next idea.”