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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

John Nugent


JOHN NUGENT (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophonist) was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1982 with a diploma in Jazz Studies. He attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in 1983, before studying for a further four years at University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

As a member of the One O’Clock Jazz Band, he recorded five albums and toured Australia, Europe and the United States, before becoming a member of the famous Woody Herman Orchestra and touring internationally with them for two years.

In 1990, Nugent soared to the attention of the Canadian jazz scene with the independent release of his debut recording Did I Tell You?, which resulted in critics comparing his playing to that of tenor giant Sonny Rollins. Nugent was recognized for his ability to move easily from mainstream jazz work as showcased on the Did I Tell You album, to the contemporary R&B sounds of his Jazz Inspiration release which features the track "Penny For My Thoughts," which was one of the biggest Canadian instrumental radio adds in 1993.

Now living in New Jersey, John Nugent has performed with a lengthy list of stellar musicians and entertainers including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Mel Lewis, Jim Hall, Bob Hope, The Temptations, and The Four Tops.

John is currently Producer / Artistic Director for the renowned Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Stockholm Jazz Festival.