Jason Castro: Hallelujah: Amar A Morir Premiere: The Santa Barbara Film Festival

Jason Castro’s performance of the Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival is nothing short of outstanding. In fact, it is a distinctly inspirational vocal interpretation, one that signifies that, beneath Jason’s shy demeanor,  lies a sensitive, yet sophisticated artistic soul.

Through this vocal performance, it was exciting to hear the advancement in Jason’s vocal development. His breathing skills and the roundness of his vowels have clearly improved and his nuanced approach to this song was a testament to the heightened progression of his dynamic range.

Additionally, ReReader, who is a a devoted MCL reader and contibutor, sent me a link to an article, explaining the filmakers’ reasons for choosing Jason’s performance of this song over the numerous covers by other artists.

It is a good read and precisely explains why Jason has distinguished himself as an artist. In his shy, unassuming way, he has fully managed to carve a distinct niche for himself and attract a pronounced, yet ever-evolving fanbase in the process.

Special thanks to the videographer, hmess88 for exquisitely capturing this remarkable performance by one Jason Castro. And another round of applause for ReReader and cj4jc for making me aware of this video.

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Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

16 Responses to “Jason Castro: Hallelujah: Amar A Morir Premiere: The Santa Barbara Film Festival”

  1. Thanks, Rosanne… i have listened to the SBIFF performance a number of times, now, and every time I am blown away… I cannot wait for the movie soundtrack to become available for purchase… Everything Jason does just reaffirms my faith in him and his future in music… thanks again for giving validation for what I believe to be one of the best talents to ever come out of American Idol…


  2. Thanks, MCL–for both the review and the shout-out!

    (How is your friend doing?)


  3. Thank you for reviewing that wonderful performance. I put up the wrong link in my last post. I meant to give you the video of the discussion after the movie. Instead, I gave you the same link as Becky. My favorite part was when they mentioned all these big named professionals who were belting out “Hallelujah”. And, none of them had the “subtlety, nuance or cadence that Jason Castro gives the song”. Gotta love that!


  4. Thank you MCL for another insightful review of Jason’s performance. I remember when he performed this song in last season’s American Idol finale. It left me speechless.


  5. This was simply breathtaking. Thank you so much for your wonderful review.


  6. Jason is truly coming into his own as a performer, singer and artist. Many industry people will be taking a good look at this performance and know that he is truly unique, inspirational and gifted. I can’t wait for his EP to be released so all the world can share in this remarkable talent.


  7. Wonderful review MCL for an exceptional artist. Jason Castro has an ethereal quality to his voice. This quality sings to ones souls.

    Jason has a unique talent and I am sure once his cd is out, he will become a star.


  8. Good morning all and thanks for stopping by! I was so taken by this Hallelujah performance. Jason sounds spectacular and I can only envision the best for him in the future.

    He has emerged from American Idol as a confident, charismatic performer and I cannot wait to hear his EP. You can bet that this EP will receive a Masterclass review here on MasterclassLady.Com.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments and please stop by again!


    P.S. To ReReader – my friend is doing much better, but is still in ICU. They are watching her vigilantly, but, at least, she is out of the “danger zone”. Her family members seem to be reassured that she will recuperate, but she still has a long way to go to achieve that end. What a horrible situation – life is so unpredictable, isn’t it?


  9. You have to see the new Mexican film “AMAR A MORIR” where JASON CASTRO sings HALLELUJAH in it’s soundtrack.

    This is a modern romance-drama film placed in Mexico DF and in some of great beaches in Michoacan, this production is full of beautiful landscapes and great latin actors like José María de Tavira (Mexico) and Martina García (Colombia). Check the trailer in different social nets and joy them. Check it at facebook, hi5, myspace and youtube

    Official site: http://www.amaramorir.com
    Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/amaramorir
    Facebook: http://es-la.facebook.com/pages/Amar-a-Morir/39260898976
    Hi5: http://amaramorir.hi5.com
    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amaramorir


  10. Hello there Amar A Morir:

    Thank you for stopping by and adding these important links to Amar A Morir. You can be sure that the thousands of Jason Castro fans will flock to this movie and I will be the first among them.

    All the best!


  11. Thanks for this review, MCL. I think this is Jason’s best performance of this song, and that’s saying something ’cause I loved both AI performances! But just Jason and his guitar – so emotional and haunting. It gives me chills every time I watch it.


  12. oh my gosh. That blew me away. I’m stunned.


  13. What a fantastic performance! Thank you for adding!!


  14. I just listened to the performance again–it’s amazing, once it starts, it’s impossible not to listen to the whole thing, it’s such a heart-felt, nuanced interpretation.

    And I am very glad to hear your friend is doing better…it’s such a shock when these things happen to friends and family.


  15. Thank you MCL for your wonderful review of this performance. Jason certainly knows how to weave a spell when he sings …. or should I say when he “performs” since Jason is an artist in both his mastery of the guitar and his beautiful voice!

    AMAR A MORIR – Do we know yet the extent to which the movie will be available in the United States? I live in the northeast where the Spanish speaking population is minimal, and I’m afraid I will not have the opportunity to see the movie here! Hopefully it will be released on DVD and thru the wonders of the internet available to purchase.


  16. thank you MCL for the beautiful review of Jason’s passionate performance of Hallelujah…I always look forward to your expertise.


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