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Canadian Heritage

Roy Patterson


ROY PATTERSON (guitarist) was born March 20, 1953 in South Alton, Nova Scotia, Canada. He studied at York University in Toronto and later at McGill University in Montreal. He began playing in rock bands at age 16 and continued to play in various commercial bands in Atlantic Canada until moving to Toronto in 1979. For the past 25 years, he has lived and worked in Toronto as a freelance artist in various styles of commercial music and jazz, performing with most of the established mainstream jazz artists in that city. He spent one year as a freelance artist in Montreal where performances included stints playing with McGill University faculty members.

He released five CDs between 1980-2000 with several Canadian tours in support of the recordings, including most jazz festivals and numerous live and studio sessions for CBC Radio, as well as two original soundtracks for radio drama. He was the subject of a one-hour television special for Bravo !featuring the Roy Patterson Quartet in concert and a performance for the du Maurier Concert Stage, subsequently broadcast on other TV networks.

Foreign performances include the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, Istanbul, Italy, the Canadian Embassy in Washington and performances for the Commission Project in Rochester, New York with John Faddis, Keeter Betts, Akira Tana and other U.S. artists. More recent projects include a trio performance with Don Thompson (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums) featured on CBC, national radio (Jazzbeat), Brasil 4U, and performances with Japanese jazz musiciansas part of a cultural exchange sponsored by the Japan Foundation and the Consul General of Japan.

As a music educator, Roy Patterson’s credentials are impeccable. In the ‘80’s, he served on the teaching staff of the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy and the Toronto School of Music. From 1990 to ’91, he taught adult guitar education for the North York Board of Education, and from 1991 to ’93, instructed in Jazz Improv, combo direction, and guitar at Montreal’s McGill University. From 1993 to the present, Patterson has been on the faculty of the University of Toronto’s Department of Music teaching music theory, composition, and basic arranging, as well as Ear Training and Jazz Improv. He has also been a course director at York University since 2003. He was an instructor in Humber College’s summer jazz studies program in 1997, and has undertaken substitue teaching assigninments and served as a clinician at York University, Mohawk College, St. Francis Xavier University, Acadia University, and the European Musicians’ Institute in Italy.

Articles by Roy Patterson have been published in a number of music publications. He is the founder and director of the Toronto Jazz Composers Collective (a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to foster the production and dissemination or original Canadian jazz) and served on the board of directors for Unity Records Ltd. for five years.


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Roy Patterson