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Canadian Heritage

David Braid


DAVID BRAID (pianist) was born on March 25, 1975 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A 1998 graduate from the University of Toronto where he was nominated for the Governor-General’s Award, Braid is regarded as one of Canada's most gifted young pianists and composers. Arguably also one of the country’s busiest jazz musicians, he is a JUNO Award winner and National Jazz Award recipient who has performed extensively across Canada, Europe, Australia, Korea, Japan, China and other parts of Asia.

Braid made a relatively late entry into music and an even later foray into jazz. After several years of dedicated study, he early on earned respect from music critics for the quality of his contributions as a composer and performer to a wide range of projects including The David Braid Sextet, Nimmons 'n' Braid, Brubeck Braid, and the Davidson/Murley/Braid Quintet (DMBQ). He is also a regular member of 12 other jazz ensembles including John MacLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra, the Mike Murley Septet, Metalwood, the William Carn Quintet, the Kelly Jefferson Quartet, the Artie Roth Quintet, the William Sperandei Ensemble, and Nehring, Koller & Braid.

He was named the 2007 National Jazz Awards’ 'SOCAN Composer of the Year.' which recognized his writing for the David Braid Sextet, the principal vehicle for Braid's compositional work since 2000. One notable work was a commission from the Global Knowledge Foundation to compose and perform a piece to honor Dr. Stephen Hawking during his visit to Toronto in 1998.

Still in his early 30s, Braid has written over 60 works and debuted his first orchestral piece with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 2005. He frequently ventures outside the jazz genre demonstrating his remarkable versatility in engagements such as several recent appearances with symphony orchestras performing George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. He is continuing to explore this blended form of jazz, symphonic composition, and improvisation through a 2008 commission to compose and record an album with the renowned classical quintet, The Canadian Brass.

He continues to pursue his interest in hybrid jazz forms through a unique 2006 collaboration with jazz cellist and composer, Matt Brubeck, and tours the country each year in duo with the great Phil Nimmons as Nimmons ‘n’ Braid, performing spontaneously structured improvisations without any initial ingoing conception of structure.

David Braid has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto since 2003.

1998 – Nominated for the Governor-General’s Award for Academic Achievement
2001 – Showcased as one of five important young composers and jazz musicians in Canada by the Canada Council for the Arts (Jazz ID Program)
2006 – Winner of a JUNO Award for ‘Traditional Jazz Album of the Year’ (VIVID: The David Braid Sextet Live)
2006 – National Jazz Awards Nominee as 'Arranger of the Year’
2007 – Winner of the Hamilton Music Award (for Brubeck/Braid Duo’s Twotet/Deuxtet)
2007 – JUNO Nominee for ‘Traditional Jazz Album of the Year’ (ZHEN: The David Braid Sextet Live. Vol. II)
2007 – JUNO Nominee for ‘Traditional Jazz Album of the Year’ (Mnemosyne's March: Murley/Braid Quartet)
2007 – National Jazz Awards recipient as a member of the ‘Acoustic Group of the Year’ (Murley/Braid Quartet)
2008 – JUNO Nominee for ‘Traditional Jazz Album of the Year’ (Brubeck/Braid Duos Twotet/Deuxtet)
2009 – National Jazz Awards Winner – Keyboardist of the Year
2013 – JUNO Award for 'Traditional Jazz Album' for "Verge" (Solo Piano)