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Canadian Heritage

Don (D.T.) Thompson


DON (D.T.) THOMPSON (tenor saxophonist) was born on September 19, 1932 in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. He passed away on March 21, 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was playing both saxophone and clarinet by the time he was 12, and when he was 17, was promoting his own jazz concerts in Edmonton.

He moved to Toronto in 1952, and toured North America with Anne Marie Moss for four years the same decade. He played with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in the U.S. for two years in 1965 and ’66, but worked at home in Toronto throughout the remainder of the 1960s, leading a big band fronted by singer Tommy Ambrose, appearing regularly at Toronto jazz clubs with small groups and a big band, doing studio work, and working in television, most notably on CBC pop music shows ‘Club Six’ and ‘Music Hop’. He also played on several recordings, among them one with Pat Riccio’s big band, and others with name players including Wray Downes, Rob McConnell, and respected trumpeter Fred Stone. He did playing stints with everyone from Will Mastin, Jimmy McGriff, and Charlie Mingus, to pop and folk performers John Allan Cameron and Gordon Lightfoot.

He veered from jazz and be–bop in 1971 when he began touring and recording with Anne Murray as leader of her band, ‘Richard’. After ten years as Anne Murray’s Musical Director, he returned to his jazz roots in 1981, and was frequently featured after that at the illustrious George’s Spaghetti House, and in other clubs and recording studios in the Toronto area, before ultimately returning to the West Coast where he lived and worked until his death.

Don ‘D.T.’ Thompson played in three separate “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concerts at the Ontario Science Centre: with the Rick Wilkins Quartet on April 4, 1983, with his own Quartet on March 16, 1987, and as a member of the Bill Graham Sextet on December 17, 1990.;

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Don (D.T.)Thompson -BluesPrint- album cover