May Chook is a jazz and improvising vocalist, community musician, facilitator, and sound artist based in Toronto. Born in Malaysia, she came to Canada to study with a full scholarship and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University in 2012. At university, she studied jazz, improvisation, voice physiology, digital music and community arts. She also had a background in popular music and songwriting when she was younger. May has been singing and making music for over 10 years. She has also performed at various community events and local music venues (eg. Chalkers, Tranzac)
May’s works focus on creativity, expressions and accessibility. She currently leads creative music and vocal workshops for VIBE Arts, at her home studio, and at various locations across Toronto. She believes that everybody can sing and has a beautiful voice. Working with under-served communities, she strives to minimize barriers – especially social and financial – for everyone to learn, create, and enjoy music. She has worked with newcomers, youth, children, as well as adults who have never taken music lessons.
In 2014, May started a community event initiative named Community Creative Jam (CCJAM), to promote emerging artists and connect the public with local artists. As an active member in the community, she is on the programming committee of North York Arts and a Youth4Music ambassador.
May has been singing and writing songs since 2004. In Malaysia, May studied contemporary and pop music at several notable schools: LeeWeiSong School of Music and MK Edutainment. She has joined multiple singing-songwriting contests and performance collectives.
At York University in Canada, she studied contemporary music in various areas. Her lovely and influential teachers include: –
- Sacha Williamson (jazz voice),
- Casey Sokol (improvisation),
- Steve Koven (improvisation),
- Frank Falco (jazz vocal workshop/coaching),
- Catherine Robbin (voice physiology),
- Ed Wilson (digital music), and
- Barry Elmes (jazz composition).
Intermedia artist Marc Couroux was her significant professor opening up her creative exploration in sound art.
Have a look with her artistic philosophy and click on the tabs above to get a sense of what she is up to.