Search for "Jazz"

Displaying 1-9 of 9 results
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Hugh Fraser

Hugh Alexander Fraser, pianist, trombonist, composer, teacher (born 26 October 1958 in Victoria, BC; died 17 June 2020). Two-time Juno Award-winner Hugh Fraser enjoyed great success with his 13-piece big band Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI, or “Veggie”) and with the Hugh Fraser Quintet. He composed over 200 jazz works, including many commissions, and taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the University of Victoria. He set up the diploma jazz program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 2001. Jazz Report named Fraser Canadian trombonist of the year in 1996 and 1998.

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Norm Amadio

Albert Norman Benedict Amadio, pianist (born 14 April 1928 in Timmins, ON; died 22 January 2020). Norm Amadio was a prominent figure in Toronto’s jazz scene for more than 60 years. Journalist Peter Goddard called him “unquestionably the finest accompanist in Canadian jazz history.” He was also a member of many studio orchestras and a music director for the CBC for many years. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Toronto Musicians’ Association in 2016.

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Denny Christianson

Dennis Richard Christianson, trumpeter, flugelhornist, arranger, composer, bandleader, educator (born 12 September 1942 in Rockford, Illinois; died 10 February 2021). Denny Christianson was an important figure in the big band scene in Quebec. He formed the Denny Christianson Big Band in Montreal in 1981. It appeared annually at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and played internationally. Christianson also played and wrote for studio orchestras; recorded with such artists as Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder; and taught at the University of Montreal, Concordia University, and McGill University. From 2001 until 2018, he was director of music studies at Toronto’s Humber College, where he developed one of the best jazz programs in the country.

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Reg Schwager

Reginald Cornelis Egbert Schwager, CM, jazz guitarist, composer (born 7 May 1962 in Leiden, Netherlands). Reg Schwager is one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz guitarists. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has played with such notable musicians as Peter Appleyard, Diana Krall, Mel Tormé, Chet Baker, Rob McConnell and Oliver Jones. Schwager was named Guitarist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards four years in a row (2005–08) and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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Ed Bickert

Edward Isaac Bickert, CM, jazz guitarist (born 29 November 1932 in Hochfeld, MB; died 28 February 2019 in Toronto, ON). Ed Bickert was Canada’s best-known jazz guitarist. He developed a unique, understated style of considerable harmonic sophistication. Rooted in bebop, his intuitive, pianistic approach was characterized by lyrical and rhythmic ease, a deceptively complex simplicity and a generally muted tone. He is noted for his work with Ron Collier, Rob McConnell, Don Thompson and Moe Koffman. Bickert achieved international prominence through his work in the mid-1970s with American saxophonist Paul Desmond. A Member of the Order of Canada, Bickert won a Juno Award and multiple National Jazz Awards. He also played on dozens of Juno- and Grammy-nominated and award-winning recordings.

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Salome Bey

Salome Bey, singer, actress, songwriter (born 10 October 1933 in Newark, New Jersey; died 8 August 2020 in Toronto, ON). Salome Bey was an award-winning jazz, blues and R&B singer. Known as “Canada’s First Lady of the Blues,” wrote and starred in Indigo, a Dora Award-winning history of the blues, and was part of the all-star lineup of Canadian singers who produced the charity single “Tears Are not Enough.” Bey received a Toronto Arts Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for lifetime achievement from the Black Theatre Workshop of Montreal. She was made an honorary member of the Order of Canada in 2005 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2021.

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Alain Simard

Alain Simard, OC, COQ impresario, talent manager, producer, businessman (born 19 January 1950 in Montreal, QC). Alain Simard has been a leading figure in Quebec’s entertainment sector since the early 1970s. He is responsible for the conception and founding of some of Canada’s biggest annual festivals, including the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and the FrancoFolies de Montréal, one of the largest French-language music festivals in the world. Simard is also chairman of the board of Équipe Spectra, which manages and operates festivals and performance venues, mounts stage productions, runs a record label and manages artists. In 2003, Simard was named the most influential person in the cultural world by the Montreal newspaper La Presse. He is a Chevalier of France’s Arts et des Lettres, of the Ordre de la Pléiade, and of the Ordre national du Québec; as well as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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Oliver Jones

Oliver Theophilus Jones, OC, CQ, pianist, organist, composer, arranger (born 11 September 1934 in Montreal, QC). A musical prodigy, Oliver Jones is one of the best-known and most talented Canadian jazz pianists of all time. He studied piano in his youth with Daisy Peterson Sweeney, sister of Oscar Peterson, and spent much of his career working in pop and variety settings. Jones drew critical notice for his technical dexterity and rollicking swing, often eliciting comparisons to Peterson. He received Félix Awards in 1989, 1994, 2007 and 2008, and Juno Awards in 1986 and 2009. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.

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Oscar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, CC, CQ, OOnt, jazz pianist, composer, educator (born 15 August 1925 in Montreal, QC; died 23 December 2007 in Mississauga, ON). Oscar Peterson is one of Canada’s most honoured musicians. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. He was renowned for his remarkable speed and dexterity, meticulous and ornate technique and dazzling, swinging style. He earned the nicknames “the brown bomber of boogie-woogie” and “master of swing.” A prolific recording artist, he typically released several albums a year from the 1950s until his death. He also appeared on more than 200 albums by other artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, who called him “the man with four hands.” His sensitivity in these supporting roles, as well as his acclaimed compositions such as Canadiana Suite and “Hymn to Freedom,” was overshadowed by his stunning virtuosity as a soloist. Also a noted jazz educator and advocate for racial equality, Peterson won a Juno Award and eight Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement. The first recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the International Jazz Hall of Fame. He was also made an Officer and then Companion of the Order of Canada, and an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters in France, among many other honours.