“While his writing may be uniquely his own, the sound of his 20 piece band is unmistakably Toronto.”
The life and career of John MacLeod is intricately bound to the history of jazz and big band music in Toronto. A native of this city, he took a very early interest in jazz and by the time he began studying the trumpet at age 12 was already an aficionado of New Orleans, Chicago and swing styles of the music. His earliest local hero was trumpeter “Trump” Davidson and by his early teens he was attending TV recording sessions where he would be amazed by studio greats such as Guido Basso, Moe Koffman and Teddy Roderman. A decade later, John would be playing with many of these early heros. In fact he would have professional involvement with every name listed in this release from Benny Louis to Ron Collier to Guido Basso. He even took his boyhood hero “Trump” Davidson’s place in Trump’s band. Few other musicians of his generation can claim as much direct connection to the entire history of jazz and the Juno Award for big band music in Toronto. His long association with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass would also have a profound effect on his approach to arranging and composing. In 2009 John was the winner of the National Jazz Awards “Arranger of the Year”.
John MacLeod’s credentials as a trumpeter, composer and arranger have been firmly established, with a distinguished career spanning almost thirty years on the Canadian music scene. He has worked with Toronto’s most elite musicians and musical organizations in both the jazz and commercial music fields. In 2003, John formed his own large jazz ensemble, the 20-piece Rex Hotel Orchestra (named after the club where it performs the last Monday of each month). In 2011, the John MacLeod Rex Hotel Orchestra won the Juno award for Traditional Jazz Album proving that it is one of Canada’s finest Big Band Jazz Orchestras
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