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Canadian Heritage

Keith Blackley


KEITH BLACKLEY (drummer) was born August 11, 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland, but spent his childhood in Montreal where his parents settled in 1952. The son of highly respected drum teacher Jim Blackley, Keith was a prominent jazz drummer on the Toronto scene throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, working with the great Sonny Greenwich, tenor saxophonists Ralph Bowen and Michael Stuart, and other names in bands he often led or co-led.

Blackley recorded his Determination album in 1979, with a quartet featuring leading jazz players Michael Stuart on tenor, pianist George McFetridge, and Steve Wallace on bass.

He performed in “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concerts with his own group, the Keith Blackley/Michael Stuart Quartet on January 9, 1978, and later with the Frank Falco Trio (December 4, 1978), the Jane Fair Quartet (March 23, 1981), the James Pett Trio on February 20, 1989, and the Steve Holt Trio on March 6, 1989.

Blackley passed away on August 15, 2008 after a short but vallient battle with a brain tumor.