The Cocktail Shakers can provide the perfect ambience for your cocktail party, wedding or corporate event. Marcel, Paul and Susan have worked as professional musicians throughout Canada and internationally for over twenty years, and their combined musical experience encompasses jazz and blues, pop, bossa nova and much more. So whether you prefer sipping on a martini while listening to the gentle rhythms of the Girl from Impanema or swinging along to Fly me to the Moon with a Manhattan, The Cocktail Shakers can provide the atmosphere!
MARCEL AUCOIN has been working in Toronto as a composer, arranger, pianist and educator since 1998. During this time he has held regular gigs at the Cameron House, Gate 403, The Trane Studio and The Rex Hotel. He has also been a featured performer in the Distillery, Barrie, Toronto Downtown Jazz and 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival. Marcel has completed six CDs as a sideman, and from 2004 to 2005 he organized his own monthly music series entitled STRANGE FOLK which featured improvised music, singer-songwriters, dance and short plays.
In 2005 he stepped out of his role as a sideman to release his first CD as a leader: WEIRD COCKTAIL, a quirky mix of funk, jazz and classically inspired original pieces. Carl Wilson of the Globe and Mail described it as ".... a corkscrewed concoction that goes down easy, combining a searcher's sensibility with influences from the exotica end of the jazz spectrum… Au Coin has one ear cocked to the experimental aspects of his genre while making the music accessible to anybody marinated in late-20th-century pop culture..." In that same year Marcel also served as composer, arranger, and performer for the East Hill Productions’ film Rise up, which was the only Canadian film to be featured in the prestigious AFI film festival in Los Angeles.
Marcel continues to perform throughout Toronto, and is currently working on a solo album of his original vocal compositions that will be released in 2010.
SUSAN MURUMETS’ musical training began at the Royal Conservatory of music where she studied voice and piano. She continued her education at the University of Guelph where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in performance. During this time she wrote, performed and recorded with a series of established jazz/pop/rock musicians in the Guelph area.
After leaving university, Susan sang with the popular Toronto band The Pursuit of Happiness, which toured throughout North America and Australia and played alongside international superstars Sinead O’Connor, Todd Rundgren, The Tragically Hip, Concrete Blonde and many others. Following The Pursuit of Happiness, Susan moved to L.A. and learned about the business side of music while working for the jazz/blues label Spindletop Records. Her next move was to beautiful British Columbia where she performed for two seasons at the world famous Mike Wiegele Heli-ski Resort with old time honky-tonk piano player Bernie Garrison.
In 1996, Susan returned to Toronto and started teaching piano and voice out of her Riverdale studio in addition to pursuing a degree in psychotherapy and eventually opening up her own private practice. Around this time she also began working with jazz pianist Marcel Aucoin. After ten years of collaborating and performing their partnership is still going strong with The Cocktail Shakers.
PAUL DONAT completed a Diploma in Jazz Studies on guitar in 1982 and then traveled and performed in Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, Mexico, Guatemala, Denmark and Brazil with Danish composer Maria Petersen. Their eight year association culminated in a weekly gig in a popular Rio de Janeiro nightclub that would last for two and a half years. While immersed in Brazilian music and culture, Paul developed a passion for Bossa Nova, Samba and Brazilian Popular Music, and dedicated himself to learning these styles on guitar and composing.
Paul returned to Canada in 1992 to study acoustic bass with former Oliver Jones alumnus Skip Beckwith while completing his Bachelor of Arts in Music. Paul and Skip later formed the group "jazznsamba" with vocalist Claire Shaw. The group toured Canada twice, produced two CDs and appeared briefly in the Castlerock major motion picture "Dolores Claiborne". Another personal highlight for Paul was a gig in 1997 with comedian Steve Allen (host of the original Tonight Show) and pianist Paul Smith (who played with Ella Fitzgerald for many years).
Upon receiving a professional development grant in 1999, Paul came to Toronto to study with bassist Steve Wallace and has been actively involved in the music scene, playing electric and acoustic basses. He currently free-lances as a bassist and teaches guitar and bass privately in Toronto and Orangeville.