Leah Cogan, voice

Peter Woods, saxophones

James McGowan, piano and backup vocals

JP Lapensee, bass

Jamie Holmes, drums


Evensong Ensemble was formed in 2016 as a quartet and then as a quintet to bridge the gap between the spontaneous and uplifting power found in the contemporary concert experience with jazz-pop-gospel styles and the progressive theology in the congregations of United Church of Canada.  Its first program "Open Heart, Open Mind" places the emphasis on the power of music, love, and community to empower us to overcome our challenges.  Designed to be engaging, inclusive, and spiritually focused, the program consists of a mix of popular music styles, secular and sacred, as well as more recently composed music, all with a jazz spirit and spontaneity. The music is interspersed by short, inclusive and progressive reflections that engage with an audience wherever we are on our spiritual journeys.


Leah Cogan is a singer and actor on both film and stage, graduate of Brown University and the Sheridan College Music Theatre program. She was the winner of the 2009 CBC Triple Sensation competition.


Peter Woods is a saxophonist with recording credits with Brian Browne and others in jazz, blues, and rock'n'roll. He has spent years bridging the gap between concert halls, pubs, and churches. He is also the minister at MacKay United Church in Ottawa.


Dr. James McGowan is an award-winning faculty member at Carleton University, and director of music at Trinity United Church (Ottawa). An active pianist of jazz, fusion, classical, and improvised musics, he holds degrees in composition, music theory and performance.


JP Lapensee is an active bass player and bass teacher in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. He performs with The Chocolate Hot Pockets, Modasaurus, the HML Trio, which performs a weekly jazz jam session every Thursday at Brookstreet Hotel, and several other ensembles.


Jamie Holmes is an active drummer who performs with The Chocolate Hot Pockets, Thrust, Beats and Keys, Modasaurus, the HML Trio, and other groups.  Since completing his undergrad with a Bachelors in Performance from Carleton University, Jamie has become a JUNO nominated drummer, has toured and performed all over North America as well Europe and Australia.