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Canadian Heritage

Carol Britto


CAROL BRITTO (pianist) was born in Cleveland, OH, in 1935. Playing piano in school as a child led to a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Music.  From there she began to make a name for herself in New York and in Toronto, where she studied with the incomparable Oscar Peterson. Her forceful energetic technique was often compared to his. With her Trio she was the long-time favorite at the Lyte's jazz room in Toronto's Royal York Hotel. She was organist for the Toronto Blue Jays. She played at colleges and jazz festivals throughout North America. She was chosen to be an exclusive Baldwin Piano artist.

Carol was known, both as a solo artist and as leader of her Carol Britto Trio, but was perhaps best known as an accompanist par excellence. During her career she accompanied most of the legendary names in jazz, including Chet Baker, Benny Carter, Helen Humes, Joe Williams, Major Holley, Zoot Sims, Phoebe Snow, Joe Venuti, Doc Cheatham, Marvin Stamm, Roy Eldridge, Flip Phillips, Bobby Rosengarden, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Gary Mazzaroppi, Milt Jackson, Lance Hayward, Tootsie Bean, and Michael Moore. She played with Percy Faith and his Orchestra. She toured with the Tommy Dorsey Band.

Carol spent 20 years in Toronto before relocating to New York. In New York Carol played all the major clubs - Knickerbocker, Fortune Garden Pavilion, Village Corner, Birdland, Café Gianluca, J's, Zinno, Carnegie Tavern, Hanratty's, the Rainbow Room.

Outside of music Carol had many interests. She was a gourmet chef who loved cooking for friends. She was an avid reader. She was expert at working crossword puzzles. But it was to her music that she gave her heart and soul.