Brian O’Kane

Brian O'Kane

Brian O’Kane is one of the most in-demand trumpet players in Toronto, performing in small jazz groups, big bands, theatre productions, orchestras, and radio and television jingles. He is also a Faculty Member at Humber College, one of Canada’s premier Jazz/Contemporary Music Schools.

Brian grew up in North Bay, Ontario and began his formal studies at Humber College, studying with Rainer Schmidt and Donald E. Johnson. He later attended McGill University in Montreal and began studying both jazz and classical trumpet (respectively) with Kevin Dean and Robert Earley, now a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. While in Montreal he joined the Big Band of Vic Vogel, the 12-piece band “Altsys”, and performed with L’Orchestre Metropolitan de Montreal and Le Philharmonie des Ventes de Quebec.

After working several years as a Musical Director for Celebrity Cruise Lines, Brian returned to Toronto and is busy free-lancing and teaching. He performs with the stellar Rob McConnell Tentet, the Bernie Senensky Quintet and Septet, John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Orchestra, the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Bruce Cassidy’s “Hotfoot” Orchestra, Hilario Duran’s Latin Jazz Big Band, which won a Juno Award in 2007, the Paul Read Orchestra (PRO) and Barry Romberg’s Random Access Large Ensemble (RALE). Brian also co-leads a jazz quintet with tenor saxophonist Alex Dean.

Brian has also performed with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, the Canada Pops Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Oshawa Symphony, the True North Brass, and the Trillium Brass Quintet. He has played in theatre productions such as The Producers, The Full Monty, The Boyfriend, Follies, West Side Story, Chicago, and has backed up numerous acts including Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Paul Anka, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Vince Mendoza, Dave Brubeck, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, and Petula Clark.

Brian has performed at Jazz Festivals worldwide, has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall (New York), the Cork Opera House (Cork, Ireland), Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), and has been Guest Artist/Clinician at many Educational Institutions across Canada. He has worked as an adjudicator for several Music Festivals including Kiwanis and MusicFest Canada. He was recently a featured soloist/clinician at the 2008 International Trumpet Guild Conference held in Banff, Alberta.

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