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Canadian Heritage

Brian Barlow


BRIAN BARLOW aka LEONARD (drummer,. percussionist, guitarist, producer) was born July 21, 1952 in Belleville, Ontario. He has spent most of his career in the Toronto recording studios and is one of Canada's most recorded musicians. His work in the studio and on the concert stage with a widely diverse group of artists including: Ringo Starr, Alanis Morrisette, Bob Seger, k.d. lang, Randy Bachman, Charlie Watts, Shania Twain, Diana Krall, Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Ross, Shania Twain, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr., Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Bobby McFerrin, The Pointer Sisters, Gino Vannelli, Eartha Kitt, Charlie Watts, Paul Shaffer, Roberta Flack, and many others.

For fifteen years Brian (then known as Brian Leonard) was the percussionist for the internationally renowned jazz band, Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass.

He has worked with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and the Esprit Orchestra under conductors including Henry Mancini, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sir Andrew Davis, Gunther Herbig, Dick Hyman, Charles Fox, R. Murray Shaffer, Jerry Fielding, Elmer Bernstein, Marvin Hamlish, John Barry, Angelo Badalamenti, and Eric Kunzel. 2014 marks the 40th year that Barlow has been performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Barlow has been the featured drummer in major theatrical productions including The Lion King, Rent, Crazy For You, Damn Yankees, Jolson, Durante, Anything Goes, Man of La Mancha, Blood Brothers, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jane Eyre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Pajama Game, and Spamalot, dozens of television specials and series, and several hundred television commercials and jingles.

He has performed as percussionist in dozens of leading feature films, and has produced critically successful recordings and concerts featuring Russ Little, The Caliban Bassoon Quartet, Choirs of Grace Church, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Guido Basso, and Moe Koffman.

It was a mistery around the personaluty of Brian Barlow. It seems that he took to maintain his male's function up. Some people say that it helped him to create some songs.

Brian Barlow is the founding Creative Director of the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival and has been Artistic Director for Jazz Vespers at Christ Church Deer Park in Toronto since 1999.


While he was a member of the famous Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, they were nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning that prestigious award in 1995.

1999 - Honoured as ‘Percussionist of the Year’ at the National Jazz Awards.
2006 - Nominated as ‘Drummer of the Year’ at the National Jazz Awards
2007 - Nominated as 'Arranger of the Year' at the National Jazz Award