Nick Ayoub

Nick (Nicholas) Ayoub. Saxophonist, oboist, english hornist, composer, b Trois-Rivières, Que, of Lebanese parents, 7 Sep 1926, d Montreal, 2 May 1991; premier prix (CMM) 1953.

Ayoub, Nick

Nick (Nicholas) Ayoub. Saxophonist, oboist, english hornist, composer, b Trois-Rivières, Que, of Lebanese parents, 7 Sep 1926, d Montreal, 2 May 1991; premier prix (CMM) 1953. Raised in Montreal he took up in turn clarinet, tenor saxophone, oboe, english horn, and flute, and studied with Arthur Romano at the CMM. Studies in oboe followed with Harold Gomberg of the New York Philharmonic.

Ayoub began his professional career in 1943, soon playing tenor saxophone in the dance or jazz bands of Johnny Holmes, Maynard Ferguson, the saxophonist Freddie Nichols, and the trombonist Jiro 'Butch' Watanabe. Though a leading studio musician in Montreal by the early 1950s, and occasionally an oboist (and less frequently a saxophonist) with the MSO, he remained active in jazz. An Ayoub quintet performed at the 1963 Montreal Jazz Festival and other Ayoub bands (usually with trumpeter Alan Penfold and pianist Art Roberts) appeared in Montreal clubs, in concert and on various CBC radio jazz programs through the 1970s. His jazz work was more sporadic thereafter - eg, at the 1988 FIJM with Skip Bey (bass) and Nelson Symonds (guitar).

Ayoub began teaching saxophone and directing the jazz ensemble at the CMM in 1968; he also taught 1974-8 at the JMC Orford Art Centre. His pupils included Yves Charuest, Michel Ethier, Martin Fournier, Daniel Gauthier, Jean-Noël Letennier, Guy McDougall, André Pelchat, Yannick Rieu, and François Théberge. Ayoub's son Jimmy (b Montreal 18 Aug 1953) has played drums for Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, and Michel Pagliaro.


Further Reading

  • Dobbin, Len. 'The Nick Ayoub quintet,' Coda, Feb 1965

    Gilmore, John. Who's Who of Jazz in Montreal: Ragtime to 1970 (Montreal: Véhicule Press 1989)