Canadian jazz

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Canadian jazz refers to the jazz and jazz-related music performed by jazz bands and performers in Canada. There are hundreds of local and regionally based Canadian jazz bands and performers. A smaller number of bands or performers have achieved national or international prominence, including Oscar Peterson.[1]


The first jazz concert in Canada was by the touring Creole Band, featuring cornettist Freddie Keppard at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1914.[2] Since then, given its proximity to the United States, Canada quickly became the first country beyond the USA to have its own jazz scene, with artists popping up in cities across the country, notably in Montreal, Quebec in the 1910s. By the 1950s, jazz was popular across Canada and a number of Canadian jazz artists became well known beyond their home country, most notably pianist Oscar Peterson.

Nationally or internationally prominent artists[edit]

A small number of Canadian jazz bands and artists have achieved national or international prominence by touring across Canada, the US, or Europe, and releasing recordings that have received critical or audience acclaim in Canada and abroad. These performers include Oscar Peterson, Maynard Ferguson, Oliver Jones, Lenny Breau, Moe Koffman, Guy Lombardo, Gil Evans, Rob McConnell, Kenny Wheeler, all members of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, as well as contemporary vocal artists such as Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, and Carol Welsman. Important Canadian jazz musicians also include singer Eleanor Collins, called “The Canadian First Lady of Jazz”, band leader Fraser MacPherson, renowned free jazz pianist Paul Bley, pianist Renee Rosnes, and guitar legend Ed Bickert.

Jazz festivals in Canada[edit]

Many Canadian cities host one or more jazz festivals. The Montreal International Jazz Festival, for instance, is the largest in the world.[3]


  1. ^ James Hale. "Jazz in Canada". Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  2. ^ "Such Melodious Racket". Quill and Quire. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Montreal International Jazz Festival. 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.

External links[edit]