The Most Famous Canadian Jazz Musicians: Legends of the Past and Present

These people entered the history of jazz as the most legendary musicians and performers in Canada and around the world. Thanks to them, today, this direction in the country continues to boom, the audience of listeners is growing, and new talented performers enrich the list of Canada’s jazz icons.

We invite you to get acquainted with the most famous Canadian jazz musicians and vocalists – legends of the past and present.

Fred Stone

Legends of the Canadian Jazz Stage

Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Fred Stone, Ed Bickert and many others were among the first to decisively win the hearts of jazz music lovers around the world. As icons and examples to be followed, they have contributed to the development of the jazz traditions in Canada.

Other Canadians have also written their names into history, including Sonny Greenwich, Nelson Symonds, Claude Ranger, Fred Stone, Gene Derom, Barry Elms and Al Henderson. They popularized jazz in their hometowns and influenced later generations of Canadian musicians.

1. Oscar Peterson: Legendary Virtuoso Pianist

Known in every corner of the world, the virtuoso jazz pianist Oscar Peterson became a legend during his lifetime. Born in Quebec, he was a child prodigy and wrote his first composition in 1945. Peterson’s collection contains over 200 albums. He has recorded compositions with pianist Dave Brubeck, saxophonist Ben Webster, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, saxophonist Stan Getz and many other famous jazz personalities.

Peterson Oscar
Oscar Peterson
Ed Bickert Legend

2. Ed Bickert: Greatest Guitarist in Jazz History

He is one of the most dedicated members of the Toronto jazz scene. Edward Isaac Bickert entered the history of music as one of the most original and legendary guitarists in Canada and the world.

He was unique: Bickert did not like touring and almost never travelled outside his beloved city. However, hundreds of the greatest figures in the world’s jazz industry came to him thanks to his fame. To play and record a song with Ed Bickert, famous jazz musicians like Paul Desmond, Benny Carter, Milt Jackson, Buddy Tate, and many others came to Toronto. Thanks to him, Toronto was nicknamed the city of jazz guitar virtuosos.

Bickert Ed

3. Molly Johnson: Lady of Contemporary Jazz

She is called a lady of modern jazz music and Canada’s national treasure. Margaret Leslie “Molly” Johnson has received a huge number of awards and has the titles of “national treasure” and “greatest voice.”

Molly was born in an African Canadian family and has loved performing in front of an audience since childhood. In 2004, she was the first Canadian singer to take part in the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival. In 2019, Molly received an award for her jazz standards album “Lucky”. In the same year, she got the national award as the best jazz vocalist in Canada.

Johnson Molly
Molly Johnson
Diana Krall Legend

4. Diana Krall: Best Jazz Vocalist of All Time

An influential figure in the Canadian jazz industry, vocalist Diana Krall was born in a family of pianists in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Growing up in a musical environment, the girl could not do otherwise but fall in love with music. As she later said, her examples of inspiration were the jazz industry’s legends, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

The talented Diana Krall became one of the best-selling jazz vocalists of the decade. Having achieved phenomenal success, the Canadian singer continues to work in the styles she began her career – bop and swing.

Diana Krall Jazz

Canada’s Young Jazz Stars

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Canada’s contemporary jazz music has a particular appeal to true music lovers. Pleasant melodic and harmonious sounding of instruments of famous jazz performers – guitars and bass guitars, tenor and alto saxophones, trumpets and flugelhorns, together with synthesizers and modern sound processing tools – create a luxurious sound. And all this thanks to the talented jazz musicians of our time.

1. Eli Bennett: Rising Star from Canada

Today this man is one of the brightest stars of the jazz industry in Canada and the USA. He has 35 different awards and prizes in his collection. The Canadian saxophonist received his first award in 2018 for the best music soundtrack. Eli Bennett also got a medal from the government of British Columbia for his significant contribution to the cultural and jazz movement in Canada. Bennett is also a two-time winner of the National Jazz Awards.

Eli broke into the world of jazz and is remembered for his “Breakthrough” album. He was lucky to share the same stage with the greatest figures of the jazz industry, including Oscar Peterson and Hank Jones.

Eli Bennett
Rachel Terien

2. Rachel Terien: Amazing Trumpet Performance

Born in French-speaking Quebec, Canadian jazz performer Rachel Tarien has already won more than one prestigious award. Her exquisite trumpet playing and composer skills have captivated hundreds of thousands of jazz listeners around the world.

Today Rachel is a member of the female jazz band DIVA Jazz Orchestra and actively tours around the world. For a long time, the jazz vocalist from Canada lived and developed her work in Cuba. In recent times, she more often performs on the stages of Europe.

3. Michael Bublé: Canadian Pop Jazz Star

Michael Bublé is known to jazz lovers not only in Canada but also in the USA and Europe. His main direction is pop-jazz. Today he is one of the most popular artists according to the Great American Songbook. In his collection, there are already several Juno and Grammy Awards.

Prior to his stunning rise in popularity, Michael performed in local jazz bars and clubs. Having been preparing for the release of his first album for a long time, in 2003, Michael burst into the world of pop jazz with his famous album “Michael Buble,” which included covers of popular songs. Jazz fans in Canada, Great Britain and the USA loved this selection.

Michael Bublé