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Canadian Heritage

Andrew Downing


ANDREW DOWNING (double bass-player, composer, bandleader, teacher) is a Toronto-based musician who is recognized for his unique and inventive take on jazz and improvised music enhanced through collaboration and performance with a varied array of musicians in many genres, including songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps, improviser Ab Baars, roots group Zubot and Dawson, trumpeter Dave Douglas, slide guitarist David Tronzo, classical cabaret singer Patricia O’Callaghan, and clarinetist Francois Houle.

Downing has played, toured, and recorded with a lengthy list of notables musicians, including Ed Bickert, Don Byron, Jim Hall, Jerry Granelli, Bob Moses, Kelly Joe Phelps, Ingrid Jensen, David Tronzo, Eugene Chadbourne, and Bruce Cockburn. He currently works frequently in Toronto with Kevin Turcotte, David Braid, Phil Dwyer, Marilyn Lerner, Lina Allemano, David Occhipinti, and Bodie West.

He leads three projects of his own: The Great Uncles of the Revolution, Juno Award-winning quartet featuring trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, violinist Jesse Zubot, and Weissenborn player Steve Dawson; the Melodeon. chamber quintet; and a duo with slide guitarist David Tronzo.

He is a prolific composer, who, in addition to writing for his own ensembles, has written tunes for Runcible Spoon, the Urban Arts Brass Ensemble, and The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. He was also the recipient of two Ontario Arts Council grants to write music for Melodeon as well as a work based on the life of wrestler Andre the Giant.

He teaches privately in Toronto, and has been a guest teacher at the University of Toronto, Humber College, the Creative Music Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Banff Centre.