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Canadian Heritage

Michael Stuart


MICHAEL STUART (tenor and soprano saxophones) was born December 2, 1948 in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, West Indies. After graduating from high school there, he attended the Jamaica School of Music for two years studying saxophone, music theory, and flute. Moving to Toronto, Canada in 1969, he enrolled at the Brodie School of Music where he studied Classical Saxophone, also studying privately with jazz saxophonist Alvin Pall. In the ‘80s, Stuart studied piano briefly with Frank Falco, and in the early ‘90s, studied eighteenth century counterpoint with Nick Deutsch in the early ‘90’s. In the Spring of 2004 he attended a Michael Brecker clinic held at Humber College, a personal “clinic” that ended up lasting three days. In the fall of 2004, he began studies on the drums with Jim Blackley.

Stuart has played, toured and/or recorded with some of the finest musicians in the world including Jimmy McGriff, Jay McShann, Sadik Hakim, Junior Mance, Kenny Garrett, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler, Pepper Adams, Sam Rivers, Clark Terry, and Elvin Jones, as well as Canadian names Russ Little (who is Stuart’s brother), Keith Blackley, Sonny Greenwich, Hagood Hardy, Ted Moses, Rick Tait, and Doug Riley.

In 1977 and 1978 Stuart toured and recorded with the great Elvin Jones as a member of The Jazz Machine, playing in Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, the United States, Austria, Italy and The Netherlands. In 1991, he toured the Soviet Union as a featured member of The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra. A jazz special for television recorded in Budapest, Hungary followed in 1992, and a tour of Germany in 1993.

In 1994, he went to New York City to join the Franklin Kiermyer Quartet, touring North America and recording with that group throughout 1995, and playing at famous U.S. clubs including The Knitting Factory, Yoshi’s, and The Jazz Bakery. He continued to record and work with the Kiermyer group until 1999. In the Summer of 2006, he returned to Boston to record with Jerry Bergonzi and Bruce Gertz .

While remaining a vibrant playing force on the Canadian jazz scene, Michael Stuart is also an educator, having been a music teacher for the past decade, even while continuing to pursue his own musical studies.


1979 – Nominated for a JUNO Award as ‘Best Jazz Album of the Year’ for Michael Stuart’s self-produced recording entitled Determination

2002 - Awarded a Canada Council Grant to study with Jerry Bergonzi