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Canadian Heritage

Richard Whiteman


RICHARD WHITEMAN (pianist) was born November 26, 1960 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The versatile player began his musical studies taking classical piano lessons as a child, culminating his formal musical education with a B.A. in Music from the University of Toronto, and participation in a jazz Summer Workshop led by Dave Holland at The Banff Centre. Fluent in styles ranging from the stride masters of the twenties, through Bud Powell and Bill Evans, to modern giants like Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock, he became captivated by jazz as a teenager, influenced by radio, television, and recordings borrowed from Toronto's public libraries.

Known as an extremely versatile player, Whiteman has performed professionally for more than two decades touring throughout North America, Brazil, and Egypt, appearing at major Toronto jazz venues and festivals, as a member of The Canada Pops Orchestra, in big bands including the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, in new music concerts with Hemispheres Music Projects, classical crossover group The Galaxy Trio, musical theatre (Forever Plaid), and at countless engagements with Canada’s finest jazz musicians, including Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, Marcus Belgrave, Pat LaBarbera, Ken Peplowski, Nick Brignola, Ed Bickert, and Jane Bunnett.

In addition to leading his own group, Whiteman is a member of the Al Henderson Quintet, and is much in demand as a focal accompanist for singers including John Alcorn, Jackie Richardson, Dee Daniels, Bonnie Brett and Heather Bambrick. He has released five CDs as a leader, receiving rave reviews from as far away as Japan, where his "Grooveyard" disc was rated one of the Top 500 Jazz Piano Trio records of all time.

Richard Whiteman is also a respected music educator, teaching jazz piano and leading ensembles at both Humber College and York University in Toronto.