Phil Nimmons

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Phil Nimmons
Born Phillip Rista Nimmons
(1923-06-03) June 3, 1923 (age 91)
Kamloops, British Columbia
Occupation Composer, arranger, bandleader, clarinetist, educator
Awards Order of Canada
Order of Ontario
Governor General's Performing Arts Award

Phillip Rista "Phil" Nimmons, OC OOnt (born June 3, 1923) is a Canadian jazz clarinetist, composer, bandleader, and academic.

Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, the son of George Rista and Hilda Louise (McCrum), he attended Lord Byng Secondary School, graduating in 1940. He then received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1944. During his time in Vancouver, he played in the Ray Norris Quintet. From 1945 to 1947, he was a scholar at the Juilliard School of Music. From 1948 to 1950, he attended the Royal Conservatory of Music.

He joined the University of Toronto in 1973 as instructor in jazz techniques and is now Director Emeritus of Jazz Studies. Among his notable pupils are composers Jerry Toth and Rick Wilkins.

In 1976, he received the first Juno Award given in the jazz category for his album Atlantic Suite performed by his band Nimmons 'N' Nine Plus Six.

In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is also a recipient of the Order of Ontario. In 2002, Nimmons received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, for his lifetime contribution to popular music.[1]


  • The Canadian Scene Via the Phil Nimmons Group (Verve, 1956)
  • Nimmons 'n' Nine (Verve, 1963)
  • Take Ten (RCA, 1963)
  • Mary Poppins Swings (RCA, 1964)
  • Strictly Nimmons (RCA, 1965)
  • Nimmons Now (RCA, 1970)
  • The Atlantic Suite (Sackville, 1975)


  1. ^ "Phil Nimmons biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 

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