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Canadian Heritage

Jerry Toth


JAROSLAV (JERRY) TOTH (saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, composer, arranger) was born on November 15, 1928 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He passed away on March 31, 1999 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was from a well-known musical family including brothers Rudy, a prominent Toronto bandleader/composer, and Tony, a saxophonist.

Celebrated as a member of Rob McConnell’s ‘The Boss Brass’ for 20 years, Jerry Toth originally studied saxophone with Frank Hiron in Toronto and clarinet with Herbert Pye in Toronto, later studying woodwinds with Dale Eisenhuth in Los Angeles. He went on to study orchestration with Phil Nimmons, and played with all of Nimmons’ bands for nearly 20 years thereafter. He was a mainstay in major dance bands as far back as 1945 working with Trump Davidson, Stan Patton, and Bobby Gimby, Trump Davidson, and co-leading a 17-piece jazz band for five years in the ‘50s.

Toth began playing with bandleader Jack Kane in CBC orchestras in the mid ‘50s, and around the same time, was chief arranger for the CBC's popular 'Parade' show. He wrote and produced jingles, produced recordings for a number of singers, composed and arranged music for the Canadian Talent Library, and also released several albums under his own name. He was noted for his orchestration of the original theme for ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ and Ontario's official theme for Canada’s centennial in 1967, 'A Place to Stand.'

Jerry Toth played with Rob McConnell and ‘The Boss Brass’ in their first “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert at The Ontario Science Centre on November 5, 1979. He later led the Jerry Toth Quartet (Lorne Lofsky on guitar, Dave Yung on bass, Jerry Fuller on drums) in the same series on November 16, 1981.


1978 - contributed music for Rich Little's Emmy Award-winning television show, ‘A Christmas Carol’