John MacLeod

John MacLeod’s credentials as a trumpeter/composer/arranger have been firmly established in a distinguished career spanning almost thirty years on the Canadian music scene. He has worked with Toronto’s most elite musicians and musical organizations in both the jazz and commercial music fields. Although most widely known for his talents as a jazz trumpet/flugelhorn soloist, he has also had an active career in the recording studios, theatrical orchestra pits and as a backup musician for dozens of internationally celebrated ‘name acts’. As a jazz artist, he has had the opportunity to perform with many of the music’s legends as well as some of the top names in the world today. He has worked with literally every major figure on the Toronto scene and was a featured soloist with one of the world’s most renowned big bands Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass for over fifteen years. He has performed on over fifty albums and C.D. recordings including Grammy and Juno award winners. He has also acted as a producer/engineer on at least that many again, several of which also garnered Juno awards and nominations.
As a composer and arranger John has scored music for everything from string quartets up to full symphonic orchestra. His big band arrangements can be found in the repertoires of professional and student groups all over Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe. He also frequently works as a guest conductor/clinician/ soloist in Denmark where several groups regularly perform his big band charts. He has been the recipient of arts grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council to create new music for large jazz ensemble. He has also received numerous commissions to create arrangements for school groups, big bands and completed several full programs of arrangements for symphony orchestra featuring among others American trumpeter Marcus Belgrave for whom he has also written a full program of all Louis Armstrong material which has been performed by numerous orchestras in the U.S.A. and Canada, including the renowned Detroit Symphony.
In 2003 John formed his own large jazz ensemble, the 20 piece group is known as John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra (named after the club where it performs the last Monday of each month). He has also completed a large project to feature clarinetist Bob Deangelis with quartet and symphony orchestra which premiered at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga January 24 and has been performed by numerous symphony orchestras since. During the 2004-5 season he appeared as a guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony performing an entire performance of his arrangements. He is currently musical director of the Art Of Jazz Orchestra which debuted in May 2006 at the Distillery Jazz festival and is leading his own group John MacLeod & the Rex Hotel Orchestra in performances on the mainstage of the Toronto Jazz Festival in June 2006. He is also writing a new program of Christmas music for symphony orchestra and small jazz group.
John has taught at Humber College in Toronto since 2003 and at the Faculty of Music since 2005.