Saxophone and flute virtuoso COLLEEN ALLEN is one of Canada’s most in-demand musicians for live concerts and recording sessions. Based in Toronto,the acclaimed and versatile multi-instrumentalist has performed all over Canada, the U.S., and Europe with world-class jazz and pop artists including Molly Johnson, David Clayton-Thomas, Holly Cole, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rik Emmett, Marc Jordan, Andrew Craig, Jackie Richardson, and many others. Known for her warm, authentic tone and soulful style of soloing, she works frequently with Brian Barlow’s Big Band, Cirque du Soleil, is a resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, and a member of Manteca, Canada’s premier fusion jazz big band. She has been in the house band of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue since its inception in 1986.
Colleen’s own recordings as a leader draw from her seasoned experience as a musician performing in a variety of genres and situations. Her first CD “Colleen Allen” displays her talents as instrumentalist, arranger, bandleader and producer. Her sophomore release “Flashlight” features bassist George Koller, guitarist Rob Piltch and Snarky Puppy drummer Larnell Lewis.
As she notes, “I heard an interview recently with Wayne Shorter, where he described the past as a flashlight to the future. I loved the image of the past shedding light, informing the steps we take into the future. Each of the songs on this recording represents some past light that has guided me on my path.” She is a beloved mentor and teacher of music for 15 years now at Humber College and a regular adjudicator/clinician for Musicfest, and the TD Jazz Education Festival in Picton.
Tonight’s performance by the all-star COLLEEN ALLEN QUARTET also features jazz masters ROB PILTCH (guitar), GEORGE KOLLER (bass), and ETHAN ARDELLI (drums), entertaining in the up-close-and-personal intimacy of the Home Smith Bar.