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Canadian Heritage

John MacLeod


JOHN NORMAN MacLEOD (trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer, arranger, bandleader) was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 17, 1955. His impeccable credentials in nearly every aspect of the music industry have been firmly established in a distinguished career spanning over three decades on the Canadian music scene as a player, composer, arranger, and conductor. As a jazz artist, he has had the opportunity to perform with many of the music's legends as well as some of the leading names in the world today. He has worked with every major figure on the Toronto scene, and was a featured soloist with one of the world's most renowned big bands, Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass for more than 15 years. In 2003, MacLeod formed his own large jazz ensemble, the 20-piece John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra, and since its inception, he has conducted the Bob DeAngelis Champagne Symphony Orchestra, most recently during their triumphant ‘Tribute to Benny Goodman’ concert at Carnegie Hall in January of this year.

A graduate of Humber College where he is now on the faculty teaching Trumpet, Ensemble Performance, and Jazz Arranging & Composition, John MacLeod has worked with Toronto's most elite musicians and musical organizations in both the jazz and commercial music fields. Although most widely known for his talents as a jazz trumpet/flugehorn soloist, he has had an equally active career in the recording studios, theatrical orchestra pits, and as a back-up musician for dozens of internationally celebrated acts and entertainers. He has performed on more than 50 albums and CD recordings including several Grammy and Juno Award winners. He has also acted as a producer/engineer on at least that many again, several of which also garnered Juno Awards and nominations.

As a composer and arranger, MacLeod has scored music for everything from string quartets to full symphony orchestra. His big band arrangements can be found in the repertoires of professional and student groups all over Canada, the U.S., and Europe. He works frequently as a guest conductor/clinician/soloist in Denmark where several groups regularly perform his big band charts. He has been the recipient of arts grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council to create new music for large jazz ensemble. He has also received numerous commissions to create arrangements for school groups and big bands. He has completed several full programs of arrangements for symphony orchestra featuring, among others, American trumpeter Marcus Belgrave for whom he has also written a full program of all Louis Armstrong material which has been performed by numerous orchestras throughout North America, including the renowned Detroit Symphony.

2005 - National Jazz Awards Nominee in 'Arranger of the Year' Category
2009 - Winner National Jazz Awards 'Arranger of the Year'
2011 - JUNO Award for 'Traditional Jazz Album' for Our First Set (John Macleod Rex Hotel Orchestra)
2014 - JUNO Nomination for 'Traditional Jazz Album' for Our Second Set (John Macleod Rex Hotel Orchestra)