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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Ralph Bowen


RALPH BOWEN (saxophonist) was born on December 24, 1961 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He studied privately with saxophone genius Pat LaBarbera in the late ‘70s and early 1980s before returning to formal studies at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Rutgers University in New Jersey, graduating from there with a Music Degree in 1989.

With a style compared to that of Coltrane, he was a sought-after sideman by Toronto leaders throughout the first half of the ‘80s, working with luminaries including Ron Collier, Keith Blackley, Manteca, Rick Tait, Ted Moses, Reg Schwager, and Renee Rosnes. In the latter half of that decade, he toured extensively as part of the Blue Note sextet, Out of the Blue, and late in the ‘80s also began a long international touring career with the great pianist Horace Silver.

He was leader of his own group, The Ralph Bowen Quartet, when they performed in the ‘Sound of Toronto Jazz Concert’ Series on January 6, 1986.