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Canadian Heritage

George Koller


GEORGE KOLLER (bassist, cellist, sitar player, pianist, guitarist, sarode player, mandolin player, diruba player, vocalist) was born December 9, 1958 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has accumulated hundreds of widely diverse performing and recording credits in his expansive musical career working with The Shuffle Demons, Phil Woods, Peter Gabriel, Loreena McKennitt, Bruce Cockburn, Holly Cole, Ian Tyson, and many, many others. Recognized primarily as a bass player, George plays a variety of instruments; many featured on his award-winning solo CD, Music for Plants, Animals, and Humans. He has performance and/or producer credits on over 500 CDs.

Koller has toured for 12 years with Holly Cole. He has also toured and recorded with Sharlene Wallace, Julie Michels, Joe Sealy, Carol Welsman, Valdy, and many others. He has produced for artists including Amanda Martinez, Deanna Knight, Andree Bernard, Julie Michels, Patricia O’Callaghan and The Toronto Tabla Ensemble, while continuing to compose new music for guitar and voice.

Most recently, he has produced music for Yoga and Indian Classical music artists. His playing of Indian stringed instruments -- Sitar, Sarode, Tanpura, and the violin-like Esraj and Dilbruba -- are featured in the motion pictures Such a Long Journey and Possible Worlds, as well as on recordings by Loreena McKennitt, Jane Siberry, and Bruce Cockburn. He has toured Canada with Joe Sealy and Cindy Church in support of their release of their recording, The Nearness of You: the Songs of Hoagy Carmichael. George Koller continues to perform and produce concerts and recordings in the jazz, world and Indian Classical music styles.

Koller is producer and artistic director of the Internaional Divas project, which is a celebration of oustanding voices heard acoustically - free of microphones, video, photos, and recording. Only those that are in the hall will hear the concert. The series takes place at various venues in Toronto in the fall of 2014 with a roster of vocalists that includes Laila Biali, Eliana Cuevas, Luanda Jones, Fern Lindzon, Jackie Richardson, Lara Solnicki, and Maryem Hassan Tollar.

Winner of the HMV Fresh Blood Grand Prize for his solo CD. Music for Plants. Animals. and Humans
2007 – National Jazz Awards – Bassist of the Year
2008 – National Jazz Awards – Nominee – Bassist of the Year
2009 – National Jazz Awards – Nominee – Instrumentalist of the Year