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Canadian Heritage

Grant Stewart


GRANT STEWART (saxophonist) was born on June 4, 1971 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father, a high school English teacher and semi-professional guitarist, exposed his son at an early age to the music of jazz giants Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, and Wardell Gray, helping develop the ear for melody, style, and improvisation that would lead to Grant’s pursuit of saxophone excellence from the age of 10. When he was just 14, his first teacher, and noted Toronto bandleader Pete Schofield invited him to begin playing professionally in the Pete Schofield Big Band. When he was 17, he switched from alto to tenor saxophone and was soon playing with saxophone masters Pat LaBarbera and Bob Mover, who Stewart considers to be one of his greatest influences.

He has been living in New York City since he was 19 years old, studying with Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, and Joe Lovano. He was a member of the Al Grey Sextet, and has performed with a long list of notables including Clark Terry, Etta Jones, Bill Charlap, Curtis Fuller, John Hendricks, Brad Mehldau, Jimmy Cobb, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Roker, Dick Hyman, and Russell Malone. As well as playing frequently at all of New York’s jazz clubs, Stewart has performed all over North America, Europe, Japan, Brazil, and Taiwan. As a recording artist, Grant Stewart has eight releases with him as leader, two as co-leader with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, and many others as a sideman.

He was one of the first jazz artists to be invited to play at the historical Hermitage Museum in St. Petersberg, Russia, and was a featured artist at the Guggenheim Museum’s Jazz Series with his trio which included drum legend Jimmy Cobb. Grant Stewart was a member of the (drummer) Norman Marshall Villeneuve Sextet when they were featured during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre on October 21, 1991.