Jean Toussaint

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Jean Toussaint
Jean Toussaint 1.jpg
Toussaint in a 2007 performance.
Background information
Born (1960-07-27) 27 July 1960 (age 56)
Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Saxophonist
Instruments Tenor saxophone, Soprano saxophone
Years active 1982 - present
Labels LYTE Records (present), BMG, World Circuit
Associated acts Art Blakey, Terence Blanchard, Mulgrew Miller, Jason Rebello, Kirk Lightsey, Jeff Tain Watts

Jean Toussaint (born July 27, 1960) is an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist.

Life and career[edit]

Toussaint was born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and was raised in Saint Thomas and New York City. He learned to play calypso as a child and attended Berklee College of Music in the late 1970s, studying under saxophonist Billy Pierce. In 1979 he formed a group with Wallace Roney and from 1982 to 1986 was a member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers alongside Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Mulgrew Miller and Lonnie Plaxico.[1] With Blakey he recorded three studio albums, including New York Scene, which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.[2]

Toussaint moved to London in 1987, when was he invited to be artist-in-residence at the Guildhall School of Music by Lionel Grigson, at the time the school's professor of Jazz.[3] In the late 1980s Toussaint had a regular slot at the fabled Dingwalls club in Camden Town on Sunday afternoons.[4] Since then, Toussaint has maintained a profile as a band leader in the UK and Europe, playing with British musicians including, among others, Steve Williamson, Courtney Pine, Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello, Cleveland Watkiss.[3] He has also performed in groups led by McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans, Kirk Lightsey, Cedar Walton, Max Roach, Horace Silver and Jeff Tain Watts. In addition he has collaborated with Lionel Loueke.

Toussaint has released ten albums as a leader, his most recent entitled Tate Song in February 2014 with LYTE Records.[5]


As Leader

  • Impressions of Coltrane (Fever Music, 1987)
  • What Goes Around, (World Circuit, 1991)
  • Life I Want (New Note, 1996)
  • Nazaire Who's Blues (Jazz House, 1996)
  • Back To Back (Jazz Focus, 1998)
  • Street Above The Underground (BMG, 2000)
  • Blue Black (Blue Geodesics, 2002)
  • Continuum Act One (Space Time, 2004)
  • Live in Paris and London (Space Time, 2010)
  • Tate Song (Lyte Records, 2014)

With Art Blakey


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2012). "Jean Toussaint Biography". AllMusic review. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2012). "New York Scene". AllMusic review. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Jazz Conversations with Craig Milverton and Special Guest Jean Toussaint", recorded at the Blue Vanguard Jazz Club Exeter, August 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Robbie France biography
  5. ^ "Jean Toussaint Saxophone Legend Jean Toussaint To Release His Tenth Album With LYTE Records". Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

External links[edit]