Oliver Gannon

Oliver (Plunkett) Gannon. Guitarist, composer, b Dublin 23 Mar 1943; B MUS (Berklee) 1969. His father, Joe, played jazz piano in Dublin and, after taking the family to Canada in 1957, in Winnipeg.

Gannon, Oliver

Oliver (Plunkett) Gannon. Guitarist, composer, b Dublin 23 Mar 1943; B MUS (Berklee) 1969. His father, Joe, played jazz piano in Dublin and, after taking the family to Canada in 1957, in Winnipeg. The younger Gannon began to play guitar at 20, then studied composition and arranging 1964-9 with Herb Pomeroy and William Malloff at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Settling in Vancouver on his return to Canada, Gannon was the city's first-call studio guitarist during the 1970s and has been active in jazz and lounge groups. He was a founder in 1970 and member of Pacific Salt and began working in 1975 with the tenor saxophonist Fraser MacPherson.

Gannon has been a party to many of MacPherson's accomplishments in jazz, including six albums to 1991, many CBC broadcasts, several festival, club and concert tours in Canada, and trips to the USSR in 1978, 1984, and 1986, and to Europe in 1979. The two men shared a Juno Award (best jazz album) in 1982 for their LP of duets, I Didn't Know About You (1980, Sack 4009). Although known for his orchestral style of accompaniment for MacPherson, Gannon employs a hard, linear, bop-based style on his own, showing the admitted influence of Barney Kessel and Wes Montgomery.

Gannon has led groups in local clubs, on a regular basis at the du Maurier International Jazz Festival, Vancouver, and in 1985 at Jazz City, Edmonton. He also toured the Canadian festival circuit in 1989 with the trio RIO (with the trombonist Ian McDougall and the pianist Ron Johnston). His discography includes other LPs with McDougall, RIO, Don Clark, Gary Guthman, Bob Hales, and June Katz, and an independent cassette release in 1990, Oliver Gannon and Company featuring Campbell Ryga, for his own What It Be label. Several of his jazz themes have been recorded by Pacific Salt. Gannon is married to the singer Pat Hervey.


Further Reading

  • Miller Mark. 'The musical faces of Oliver Gannon,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 14 Aug 1985

    Canadian Jazz Discography

    Boogie, Pete & The Senator