ISJAC – International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers

ISJAC, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers ( is a new organization worth checking out. Membership in the organization is free. Just go to the site and sign up!!

The Mission of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers is threefold:

  1. To unite and serve the international community of jazz arrangers and composers
  2. To advance the understanding and appreciation of jazz composition
  3. To stimulate the creation, performance, and dissemination of new works and research

I have been invited to be curator of the blog for ISJAC and would love to have you visit the site and check out what is there already. We have two posts by jazz composer and arranger, John La Barbera, and an additional post by Adam Benjamin who is a composer and is the keyboardist with the exciting band, Kneebody.

New articles are posted on the 1st day of every month and will be written by a wide variety of notable arrangers and composers. In addition, there will be additional posts going up mid month as they become available. I think you will find all these and future posts both interesting and inspiring. Occasionally there will be video posts on the blog.

Also, in another section of the site, there are video interviews with prominent composer/arrangers. One video you can view right away is composer Omar Thomas interviewing Darcy James Argue.

Lots more to come. Stay tuned and visit the site often.


Renee Rosnes at the Jazz Bistro

Tonight (June 19, 2015) Trish and I went to the Jazz Bistro in Toronto to hear the artistry of Renee Rosnes and her quartet. Renee on piano (of course), Peter Washington on bass, Steve Nelson on vibes and Lewis Nash on drums. This is a fabulous group. Total interaction, superb compositions and arrangements and an over arching sense of connection and artistic unity. Hear this group if you can at your local jazz festival or club if possible. We heard WONDERFUL music.

1975 York Mills Collegiate, North York, ON student band

Today I listened and watched with awe, to a DVD of my York Mills Collegiate Institute (1975) jazz band. I was 27 at the time. We were playing a lift I had done from Woody Herman’s “Giant Steps” album (yes it was vinyl) of Chick Corea’s “La Fiesta”. The arrangement was done by Tony Klatka, as I recall, and I thought it was so cool, I transcribed it and presented to the young guns at YMCI> They killed it. These were teenagers trying to sound like 25-30 year olds. And they did a fine, fine job. Actually a killer job. Piccolo: no problem. Soprano saxophone: no problem: key of E (and A) concert: no problem. Up tempo 3, no problem. They played the drawers off this thing. Names I remember: Gary Boigon (tenor sax and soloist), Doug Buchanan (fender rhodes), Harry Blount (piccolo and baritone saxophone), Cathy Erwin (flugelhorn and trumpet), Janice (Jan) Dique (trumpet), Tom Cross (alto saxophone) John Johnson (alto saxophone and soprano solo), Steve Dick (drums), Marilyn Zeldin (trumpet). And then my memory fails. It was 40 years ago. In the event that anyone reads this blog and can add names, please drop me a line at


Thanks to Sheila Anderson-Massé, I can add a few more names to those listed above:

trumpets: Richard Haberman, Joe Lin
trombones: Fred Lehner, Bill Meeker, Colleen Sheppard,Bryan Sher, Steve Vogler (did we have 5 trombones? Is one of these a tuba player or French horn?)
guitar: Ken Bassman
bass: Richard Stark


Winner of the 2015 Muriel Sherrin Award presented by the Toronto Arts Foundation

Today, May 28, 2015,  I was named the recipient of the 2015 Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music by the Toronto Arts Foundation. I am excited to receive this honour, particularly because I had zero expectations of winning the award. Thanks to all those who have called or sent messages of congratulations! For more information on the event please visit

Toronto Arts Foundation, a charitable organization, provides the opportunity for individuals, private and public foundations, corporations and government agencies to invest in and strengthen the arts in Toronto. They invite you to join in strengthening the City of Toronto through investment in the arts, enhancing and enlivening our city and enriching the lives of those within it.

Photo below was taken by Denise Grant.

TAF logoPaul-Read-photo-by-Denise-Grant

Mayor’s Arts Lunch this coming Thursday.

As one of the finalists, I had my name posted on a page today:

Honored to be considered!!

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