Hugh Fraser (musician)

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Hugh Alexander Fraser (26 October 1958 – 17 June 2020) was a Canadian jazz musician known for his work as a pianist, trombonist and composer.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Fraser studied with Dave Robbins in Vancouver, Slide Hampton in New York, and Kenny Wheeler in London. After attending the Banff Centre as a student he began teaching there in 1986 and was appointed head of the jazz program in 1991. Fraser held teaching appointments in jazz education at the Royal Academy of Music, the University of Ulster, University of Victoria, and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

In 2017, Fraser was diagnosed with cancer, but continued to perform. He died on 17 June 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia at the age of 62.[2]


Early in his career, Fraser formed the Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI), a big band that went on to win the open class at the Canadian Stage Band Festival in 1981. The Hugh Fraser Quintet, a hard-bop band which drew members from VEJI, toured widely and appeared frequently at Canadian and International jazz festivals. Fraser performed with Jaki Byard, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Eckstine, and many other well known jazz musicians.



Solo/The Hugh Fraser Quintet

  • Looking Up (1987)
  • Pas de Problemes (1988)
  • The Sensorium Suite (1992)
  • Trinity (1992)
  • Sensorium Two (1993)
  • Red and Blue (1995)
  • In the Meantime (1997)
  • Back to Back (1998)
  • Stardust Suite (2000)
  • A Night in Vancouver (2004)
  • Hugh Fraser's Bonehenge (2005)
  • Concerto (2012)


  • VEJI (1980)
  • Classic VEJI (1986)
  • VEJI Now! (1990)
  • V (1999)
  • Big Works (2002)


Fraser composed over 200 jazz works. Over 100 of his compositions have been recorded.


  1. ^ King, B. N. (2008). Fraser, Hugh. Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Historica Foundation of Canada.
  2. ^ "Jazz musician Hugh Fraser has died". CBC Music. Canada. 2020-06-17. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  3. ^ a b "Winners + Nominees".

External links[edit]