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Canadian Heritage

Jimmy Amaro


JIMMY AMARO Jr. (bassist) was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He studied under Gurney Titmarsh (symphony and studio player) and Ray Brown. During his career, he was bandleader at the Orchard Park Hotel, and played in various other hotel bands around Toronto, as well as several after-hours clubs including the House of Hambourg, the First Floor Club, George's Spaghetti House, George’s Bourbon Street, with Carmen McRrae at the Colonial Tavern, and at The Town Tavern with drummer Ed Thigpen.

Amaro has played with such entertainment icons as Zoot Sims, Buddy DeFranco, Vic Damone, Leslie Uggams, Petula Clarke, The Fifth Dimension, Shirley MacLaine, Mel Tormè, Henry Mancini, and Liza Minnelli. Outside the jazz arena, Amaro performed as principal bassist for the original Canada Pops Orchestra, was principal bass player for the Oakville Symphony for six years, and principal bassist for Orchestra Toronto and the Counterpoint Orchestra.

He worked extensively in television and radio for more than 30 years playing on soundtracks, jingles, and shows including Nightcap with the Guido Basso Orchestra on the CBC network, Elwood Glover’s Luncheon Date, The Tommy Hunter Show, Stay Tuned, and This is The Law for which he was both Music Director and bandleader.

As a recording artist, Jimmy Amaro recorded Blues Duet with (violinist) Steven Staryk and Histoire du Soldat (Stravinsky) on Paul Hoffert’s 1977 album Concerto For Contemporary Violin for Marquis Records, recorded with the Glen Miller Band when Buddy DeFranco was Music Director, and can be heard on a jazz album featuring his brother (saxophonist) Eugene Amaro.

Jimmy Amaro played in the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre with the Eugene Amaro Quartet on February 26, 1979, and again with the Steve Lederer Quintet on January 26, 1981.