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Trumpet virtuoso JOHN MacLEOD’s impeccable credentials in nearly every aspect of the music industry have been firmly established in a distinguished career spanning more than three decades on the Canadian music scene as a player (trumpet, flugelhorn), composer, arranger, and conductor.

A native of Toronto, he took an early interest in jazz and by the time he began studying the trumpet at the age of 12, he was already an aficionado on 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 awed by studio greats including Guido Basso, Moe Koffman, and Teddy Roderman.  A decade later, John would be playing with many of those early heroes from Benny Louis to Ron Collier and Guido Basso.  He even took his boyhood hero “Trump” Davidson’s place in Trump’s band.  His 15-year association as a featured soloist with one of the world’s most renowned big bands, Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, would also have a profound effect on his approach to arranging and composing.

In 2003, MacLeod formed his own large jazz ensemble, the 20-piece John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra, a collection of the top jazz and studio musicians in Canada performing music written specifically for them by the leader or other members of the band.  The band has been nominated twice for Juno Awards, and their debut CD ‘Our First Set’ won the Juno for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year in 2011.  Their most recent recording, “The Toronto Sound’ (2017) is a celebration of Toronto’s big band legacy.

Tonight’s performance of JOHN MacLEOD and FRIENDS features ROB PILTCH (guitar), RON JOHNSTON (bass), and TED WARREN(drums), entertaining in the up-close-and-personal ambience of the Home Smith Bar.