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Canadian Heritage

Tony Collacott


TONY COLLACOTT (pianist) was born in 1946 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was considered to be a child prodigy, who played with Sarah Vaughan at New York ’s Carnegie Hall when he was only 14. As a teenager in the earlier ‘60s, he was already enjoying a successful playing career in jazz clubs all over Toronto.

He was the front player in David Clayton-Thomas’s The Bossmen, formed by Thomas in 1966, and which would become one of the first rock bands to incorporate jazz elements. An example of that musical feel can be heard on Brainwashed, the hit single co-written by Collacott and Clayton-Thomas, about which jazz writer Mark Miller described Collacott’s solo playing as “a dark, possessed explosion”. Collacott also played with a later Toronto group, Chimo!

He performed in the "Sound of Toronto Jazz" Concert Series as leader of his own Tony Collacott Trio on January 10, 1983.


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