Warren Chiasson

Warren Chiasson. Vibraphonist, percussionist, pianist, composer, b Cheticamp, Cape Breton, NS, 17 Apr 1934. Raised in Sydney, NS, he studied at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and at the Maritime Conservatory of Music in Halifax.

Chiasson, Warren

Warren Chiasson. Vibraphonist, percussionist, pianist, composer, b Cheticamp, Cape Breton, NS, 17 Apr 1934. Raised in Sydney, NS, he studied at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and at the Maritime Conservatory of Music in Halifax. He was a member 1954-9 of the Royal Canadian Artillery bands in Halifax (trombonist in the military band, violinist in the string orchestra, pianist and guitarist in the dance band), and played also 1957-9 in CBC Halifax orchestras. Chiasson toured 1959-61 in the USA and Canada as vibraphonist in the pianist George Shearing's group; he would return to the group on occasion 1972-4.

In 1962 he settled in New York, where he studied with the pianist Lennie Tristano and the composer George Russell. Besides leading his own groups from the vibraphone in various New York jazz clubs and, beginning in 1976, on tour in the USA, he has worked with the jazzmen Chet Baker, Tal Farlow, and others. He has also played percussion in Broadway pit orchestras (eg, for Hair). In 1988 Chiasson and others spearheaded a successful court appeal (Chiasson voice. N.Y.C. Dept. of Consumer Affairs) against New York City's 'Cabaret Law,' which restricted the type and number of musicians employed in small clubs and restaurants.

Chiasson, who employs an energetic, four-mallet style at the vibraphone, has appeared intermittently in Canada - eg, in Halifax as artist-in-residence 1977-8 at St Mary's University, as a regular 1978-9 on CBC TV's 'Denny's Sho' and as a leader on occasion during the 1980s at the jazz club Pepe's. In 1985 he performed with the US guitarist Chuck Wayne at the Stage Door Café in Toronto. His recorded compositions includes Bossa Nova Scotia, A Shanty for Peggy (inspired by Peggy's Cove), Bedouin, and Festival.. He is a member of ASCAP.


Further Reading

  • Miller, Mark. 'Vibes player toot his own horn,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 22 Nov 1985