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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

Bob McLaren


BOB McLAREN (drummer, percussionist) was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. As a youngster, he played guitar, but began developing his distinctive jazz drumming style early on, ultimately becoming an important influence on the Canadian music scene. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from McMaster University, and as a teacher, he has conducted and clinics and workshops at colleges and universities all over Canada. He has taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and is currently on the faculties of the Jazz Studies programs at both the University of Toronto and Humber College.

McLaren’s musical career has included countless live and recorded engagements, comprising major TV shows, more than 2000 jingles for broadcast; themes and soundtracks for film, radio, and television; record releases; and concert tours. He has played in most of the major Canadian jazz clubs and festivals as well as several outside of his home country including Norway, Cuba, and Bermuda. He has played with many of Canadian jazz greats including Lennie Breau, Moe Koffman, Ed Bickert, Peter Appleyard, Rick Wilkins, and was a member of Doug Riley’s Doctor Music for many years. He has worked and recorded with Sam Noto, Kirk MacDonald, Harold Maybern, Charles MacPherson, Clifford Jordan, Pat LaBarbera, Mulgrew Miller, Lorne Lofsky, and played with international jazz stars including Eddie Daniels, Zoot Sims, George Coleman, Tom Harrell, and Randy Brecker.

Bob McLaren was the featured drummer in a total of 19 separate “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concerts between 1979 and the year 2000. including one presentation as leader of his own Bob McLaren Quintet on January 15, 1996.