Content Type

This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Joe Coughlin


LAWRENCE (JOE) COUGHLIN (singer, composer) was born on August 23, 1954 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He began playing drums in grade school, switching to vocals in high school when his rock band, Whiteheet, landed a record deal in 1977. He started singing jazz with the Alex Zonjic Quartet in the late ‘70’s, and as a finalist in the 1979 du Maurier Search for Stars competition, came to the attention of Aquitaine Records’ Eleanor Sniderman, who produced and released his debut recording (arranged by Rick Wilkins and featuring musicians Ed Bickert, Don Thompson, Terry Clarke, Bernie Senensky, and Marty Morrell).

Coughlin made his first live appearance at the then-leading Toronto jazz club, Lytes at the Royal York Hotel in May of 1981, with Ed Bickert, Phil Nimmons, pianist Carol Britto, bassist Bill Britto, and drummer Don Vickery. The stellar concert was recorded by the CBC for later broadcast. He released his Second Debut album in 1983, once again backed by some of the country’s finest jazz players: Mark Eisenman, Kirk MacDonald, Ed Bickert, Howard Gaul, and Marty Melanson.

He worked with the great Woody Herman Band at the 1981 March of Dimes 30th Anniversary Gala, and opened for Dizzy Gillespie at Leah Posluns Theatre in Toronto in 1983.

Joe Coughlin relocated to British Columbia in 1995, and continues to write, record, and perform from his base there. His 2009 critically acclaimed release “Lowdown West Broadway” was recorded live at Vancouver’s famed Cellar Jazz Club.

1991 – Winner of the ACTRA Into the Mainstream Award for television hosting
1996 – Winner of the British Columbia Paraplegic Association’s Award of Distinction in Media
2000 – Winner of a Jazz Report Award as :Male Vocalist of the Year”
2008 – Named National Jazz Awards’ ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’
2009 – Winner of National Jazz Awards Male Vocalist of the Year


is leader of