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Canadian Heritage

Kevin Turcotte


KEVIN MICHAEL TURCOTTE (trumpeter, flugelhornist) was born on January 22, 1964 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but raised in Sudbury, Ontario. He is recognized as one of Canada's major trumpet talents with an impressive list of recording and touring credentials. The more than 175 CD's he has played on range in style from folk legend Bruce Cockburn to opera star Measha Bruegergossman to Jazz great Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass to the unique and chamber music-like Quinsin Nachoff. Kevin's touring has taken him to places like the former Soviet Union with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Chile with the Dave Young Quartet, Mexico with vocalist Elizabeth Sheppard, Brazil with the David Braid Sextet and Italy with the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra featuring clarinetist Don Byron.

He has garnered at least 20 Juno nominations bringing home the coveted prize 5 times. He is an integral part of Juno-nominated recordings by the pianoless quartet Time Warp, modern banjoist Jayme Stone, Andrew Downing’s Great Uncles of the Revolution (who also won the Grand Prix du Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival), the Barry Elmes Quintet featuring Ed Bickert, Rich Brown’s original and funky Abeng, Barry Romberg’s Random Access, the Sicilian Jazz Project and Shine On-The Universe of John Lennon. As a busy sideman, Kevin has traveled across this vast country dozens of times with many of these bands and others to play the Canadian Jazz festival circuit with occasional forays into the U.S. and Europe. He has been a featured soloist in pops concerts with symphony orchestras throughout Ontario. He has performed arrangements of Miles Davis' music with the Intrada Brass Band as well as the Miles Davis part for a live version of the Miles Ahead album with the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. In addition to that Kevin has enjoyed some pretty unique performances over the years including playing the music of South Indian mridangam master Trichy Sankaran and Dutch composer Martin Altena while a member of the Hemispheres New Music Ensemble. Also in 2004 he and drummer Jean Martin created and improvised a 60 minute set of duo music for their own episode of the TVO film series "Duos:The Jazz Sessions" which was documented live by filmmaker Daniel K. Berman at the Du Maurier Theatre Centre in Toronto.

Kevin has many ongoing and strong musical relationships with musicians like MIke Murley, William Carn, Kirk Macdonald, Dave Young and Michael Occhipinti but he has also had the honour and privilege of playing in bands led by Canadian icons Claude Ranger, Phil Nimmons, Pat Labarbera, Doug Riley and Don Thompson. He has played with a variety of American artists such as Brian Blade, Sam Rivers, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, Tito Puente, Warren Vache and Carla Bley.  In 2007, at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Kevin participated in an international Chet Baker tribute concert with 10 former Baker sidemen including players like Herb Geller, Hal Galper and Curtis Fuller. As it turned out, 10 years later, he was asked to play the trumpet parts on the soundtrack for a feature film about the life of Chet Baker. “Born to be Blue”, starring American actor Ethan Hawke as Chet, was released in 2016 to rave reviews.  It comes as no surprise that Kevin has been recognized multiple times by Jazz Report Magazine and the National Jazz Awards as Jazz Trumpeter of the Year for his many accomplishments.

Kevin studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts Summer Jazz Workshop when Dave Holland was director, spent a year at Humber College working with Ron Collier and Paul Read and later received a music education degree from the University of Toronto. He joined the faculty of the new U of T jazz program upon graduating in the early 1990’s. He also teaches every summer during the jazz week of the Interprovincial Music Camp. Kevin is presently the Jazz Brass Instructor at York University in Toronto.