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Canadian Heritage

Al Henderson


AL HENDERSON (bassist, composer, educator) was born April 16, 1951 in Galt, Ontario, Canada. Perhaps best known as co-leader of the influential group Time Warp, as well leader of his own quintet, Al Henderson has performed as a sideman with such artists as Diana Krall, Hank Crawford, Jane Bunnett, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, Slim Gaillard, Arnett Cobb, and Jimmy Knepper, as well as many others.

His compositions comprise a large and distinctive body of work and form the bulk of the repertoire of Time Warp and his own group. He has been called "... one of the best writers of jazz music around in Canada" by Ted O'Reilly of The Jazz Scene. In 1995 he was named Jazz Report ‘Composer of the Year’ and also won the prestigious SOCAN award for Original Jazz Composition for the large work Ellingtonia. His compositions have been recorded by his own groups as well as Alex Dean, Richard Whiteman, Don Pullen & Jane Bunnett, and Shox Johnson and The Jive Bombers.

Henderson formed a quartet in 1993, featuring Alex Dean (saxes, oboe, flute and bass clarinet), Richard Whiteman (piano) and Barry Elmes (drums). Their first recording, Dinosaur Dig, was named one of the top three jazz recordings of 1995 by CBC Morningside. In 1998, with the addition of Pat LaBarbera (saxes, flute), the group became the Al Henderson Quintet.

As an educator, Al Henderson has taught primarily in the Jazz Program at York University where, since the 1980s, he has taught numerous courses in jazz performance, theory, and history, and currently directs the York Jazz Orchestra.

Together with Barry Elmes and Mike Murley, he is a founding partner in the establishment and ongoing operations of successful Canadian record label, Cornerstone.


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Al HendersonAl Henderson