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Canadian Heritage

Don Breithaupt


DON BREITHAUPT (pianist, composer) Toronto-born Breithaupt received his musical education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and his literary education at Queen's University in Kingston.

He works as a keyboard player, composer, and bandleader. His work in film and television has brought him a Daytime Emmy Award, and SOCAN Awards for Domestic Animated Television Series music and International Television Series music. As a songwriter, his work covered by artists including Alfie Zappacosta, Marc Jordan, Dione Taylor, Sarah Slean, Denzal Sinclaire, Patricia O'Callaghan, Wendy Lands, and Chris Smith.

He has performed with Kim Mitchell Band, Rik Emmett, and Sass Jordan and he leads his own group, Monkey House, which have released three albums.

Working with his lyricist brother Jeff, the two sought to create contemporary American Songbook-style repertoire; songs with great melodies, lyrics, and harmonies that echo the classic songs of the 20th Century. Using the term ‘neo-standards’ to describe their songs, the Breithaupt Brothers Songbook revue has appeared in Toronto and New York on numerous occasions.
Their first album Breithaupt Brothers Songbook was recorded at live at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in 2009 and featured a number of vocalists including John Alcorn, Brent Carver, Wendy Lands, Patricia O’Callaghan, and Dione Taylor.

The Breithaupt Brothers Songbook Volume 2, Just Passing Though, was released in the fall of 2014. The vocalists who took part include Sarah Slean, Ron Sexsmith, Marc Jordan, Paul Shaffer, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Ian Thomas, Denzal Sinclaire, Sophie Milman, Tyley Ross, Kellylee Evans, Laila Biali, Heather Bambrick, Patricia O'Callaghan, and Jackie Richardson.

Breithaupt has written extensively on music and film, including numerous articles for the National Post. His books include Precious and Few: Pop Music in the Early '70s, Night Moves: Pop Music in the Late '70s, and Steely Dan’s Aja, Vol. 46 of Continuum Publishing’s 33-1/3 series of books about albums.