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Canadian Heritage

Frank Wright


FRANK WRIGHT (vibraphonist, marimba-player) was born May 5, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been an important part of the Toronto jazz scene since the 1950s when he was a regular performer on the 'after hours' club circuit. During its existence, he appeared frequently at Toronto's Bourbon Street with clarinetist Henry Cuesta, and toured with him to California jazz festivals in Palm Springs, San Diego, and Sacramento.

He was a frequent performer with The Garden Avenue Seven in Florida and on tour in Portland, Oregon. In the mid 1980s he formed a quartet with well-known drummer Archie Alleyne and together, they appeared numerous times at the famous 'George's Spaghetti House'. More recently, he established his own trio and quartet who perform regularly at jazz clubs and in festivals throughout Ontario.

He has worked with well-known names including Joe Williams, Norman Amadio, Jim Galloway, Rob McConnell, Peter Appleyard, and Trini Lopez, and even played for HRH Prince Phillip in a private performance during a Toronto visit. In recent years, The Frank Wright Quartet has appeared frequently in the international Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival.

He is co-leader of The Canadian Jazz Quartet, who released the CD “Just Friends” in April 2009 and a featured soloist in the Bob DeAngelis Champagne Symphony in their Benny Goodman Tribute concerts, the most recent of which took place at Carnegie Hall in January of 2008. His unique style is described by recording producer John Norris in these words: "Frank Wright's polish and drive evoke recollections of his principle influences, Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson, but his touch is his own".

2006 - National Jazz Awards Nominee as 'Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year'