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Canadian Heritage

Gord Coupland


GORDON COUPLAND (trumpeter, flugelhornist, vocalist) was born August 16, 1924 in Yorkshire, England. He started playing the trumpet with a local brass band when he was just 13 years old, and was playing with dance bands by the time he was 16. By 1946, he had played with a number of dance bands in England, leading some of them including the well-known The Modernairs Band, which placed third (from among 600 competitors).

Coupland emigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1951, soon landing spots in several different bands playing at all of the leading dance venues of the time including the Royal York and King Edward Hotels, Palais Royal, Palace Pier, and Casa Loma. He played full-time with the Benny Louis Band for 15 years, and frequently with Art Hallman’s Band. In 1980, he began spending winters in Florida where he met and played jazz with notable players including Jerry Jerome and Bob Haggert, while continuing to work with orchestras including The Tribute to Glenn Miller Band when he was back in Canada.

He led the Gord Coupland Quartet (with Ralph Fraser on piano, Rosemary Galloway on bass, and Bruce Philp on drums) when they performed as part of the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre on November 2, 1998.