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Canadian Heritage

Paul Grosney


PAUL GROSNEY (trumpeter, flugelhornist, bandleader) was born on February 10, 1923 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He passed away on May 17, 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

He left Winnipeg for New York when he was 19 years old, working with legendary vibraphonist Red Norvo there until enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force to serve his country in the second World War. After the war, he worked in the band of (saxophonist) Georgie Auld, toured with Buddy Rich’s big band, and was a featured player with Bert Niosi’s orchestra at the Palais Royale in Toronto, before moving back to Winnipeg in 1948. He remained there until 1959, leading bands in various clubs including the hot spot of the time, the Rancho Don Carlos, where Grosney’s band backed visiting music and movie stars including Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr., The Andrews Sisters, and Bob Hope.

Grosney rejoined the Toronto music scene in 1959, working as a sideman in numerous bands and ensembles including Trump Davison’s Orchestra, the Harvey Silver Dixieland Band, and the Canadian Tribute to Glenn Miller Band, as well as leading his own groups, most notably Paul Grosney’s Kansas City Local in jazz venues all over the city. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Grosney served as Music Director for the famed George’s Bourbon Street and Basin Street clubs in downtown Toronto.

Paul Grosney played lead trumpet with the Harvey Silver Band when they appeared in concert during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Series at the Ontario Science Centre on December 3, 1979. His own “Kansas City Express” band was featured in the same series on October 20, 1980, and the Paul Grosney Septet performed their ‘Tribute to Louis Armstrong’ on February 26, 2001.