Originally from Northern British Columbia, Ilsa Gurtins has a unique sound influenced by folk, jazz and pop music. She is influenced by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Gretchen Parlato, John Mayer, and Becca Stevens to name a few. Ilsa’s eclectic taste in music makes her an especially versatile and sensitive soloist and side musician.
As a voice student at Humber College, Ilsa Gurtins had the opportunity to study composition with JUNO award winner Mike Downes, songwriting with internationally acclaimed Rik Emmett, voice with renowned Canadian jazz vocalist, Shannon Gunn, and perform in Humber’s Chamber Ensemble led by internationally recognized and JUNO nominee David Occhipinti.
Ilsa graduated with honours and was recognized with an award for academic achievement. During her time at Humber, Ilsa also received the Merriam School of Music award for her accomplishments in pedagogy. Ilsa is a passionate teacher who believes in instrument awareness, vocal exploration, and compositional workshopping.
Currently, she directs her own group under her name, “Ilsa” that combines elements of jazz, pop and rock. The group recorded and released her first self-titled EP in 2015. She also performs and records contemporary music with composer-guitarist Thomas Powell, and sings rock with the Jenn Pos Band.
“Ilsa has an incredible work ethic. She is an artist to watch!”
– Lisa Martinelli, Head of Humber’s Vocal Department
“Ilsa’s greatest strength is her sincerity. From the moment she starts performing we are given her genuine honesty.”
– Rik Emmett, Humber College
“Ilsa has a voice full of many colours. It is full and rich!”
– Shannon Gunn, Humber College