Phil Nimmons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Phil Nimmons
Birth namePhilip Rista Nimmons
Born (1923-06-03) June 3, 1923 (age 98)
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
GenresJazz, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, educator
Years active1948–present

Phillip Rista Nimmons, OC OOnt (born June 3, 1923) is a Canadian jazz clarinetist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Nimmons is known for playing in a "Free Jazz" and mainstream styles. As well as playing jazz, Nimmons also played other genres, notably classical music.[1] Nimmons has composed over 400 pieces of music in various genres, and for various instrumentations including film scores, music for radio and television, chamber music, music for large ensembles, concert band and symphony orchestras.[1] Nimmons studied clarinet at the Juilliard School and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.[2]


Nimmons was born in Kamloops, British Columbia.[3] He joined the University of Toronto in 1973.[3] In 1953 Nimmons formed the ensemble "Nimmons 'N' Nine" [2] which, later, he led during his weekly radio show on CBC radio.[1] this ensemble grew to 16 musicians in 1965 and was active intil 1980.[2]

As an educator, Nimmons has made substantial contributions to the study of Jazz music. In 1960, Along with Oscar Peterson Nimmons founded the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto. Nimmons was involved int the development of the jazz performance program at the University of Toronto.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

Nimmons received the first Juno Award given in the Juno Awards jazz category, for his album Atlantic Suite.[3] His composition "The Torch" was commissioned for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.[3] It was performed at the Olympics by a big band led by Rob McConnell.[3]

In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[5] He is also a recipient of the Order of Ontario. In 2001 Nimmons was a recipient of the Jazz Education Hall of Fame which honors "individuals whose musical contributions and dedication to jazz education over the past 25 years have created new directions and curricular innovations for jazz education worldwide".[4] 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.[5]

On November 21, 2005, Nimmons was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by SOCAN at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[6]


  • 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)
  • Jazz Canadiana : all star jazz in concert (CBC, 1973)
  • The Atlantic Suite (Sackville, 1975)
  • The dance never ends (REACO, 1997)
  • The Canadian scene via Phil Nimmons Group (New York, Verve, 1999)
  • Sands of Time (Sackville, 2000)
  • Vintage Nimmons 'n' Nine CBC Air Checks '59-'64' (Sackville, 2003)
  • Nimmons 'n nitecap (Vancouver, Capilano College, 2005)
  • Nimmons 'n' Nine -- now (MCCO records, 2008)
  • Beginnings (Nimmons 'n' Music, 2009)
  • Friendly encounter (Marquis, 2009)
  • Canadian Composer Portrait: Phil Nimmons (CMC, 2009)


  1. ^ a b c Read, Paul. "An Interview with Phil Nimmons". Canadian Winds : The Journal of the Canadian Band Association. 5 (2): 71–74.
  2. ^ a b c "Philip Rista Nimmons | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Cross, Dan. "Phil Nimmons". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Manhattan, Kan (January 2001). "IAJE News: Jazz Education Hall of Fame". Jazz Educators Journal. 33 (4): A25.
  5. ^ a b "Phil Nimmons biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 5, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]