Photo credit: Marie Byers

Paul Read

PAUL READ (musician) lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a composer and arranger, a pianist, and educator. His instruments: piano, saxophones, flute and clarinet.

Currently he curates a blog for the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC). He also continues his work as a freelance arranger and composer. He recently created multiple arrangements of Oscar Peterson’s iconic composition, “Hymn to Freedom” for The Coalition – The Voice of Music Education for Canada.

He was a member of the Humber College Music Faculty in Toronto from 1979 to 1991, where he taught and served as Program Coordinator (1982-1987), and Director of Music (1987 to 1991). In 1991, he founded degree programs in jazz studies at the University of Toronto (Mus. Bac., M. Mus. and DMA) where he was Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and following that, Director of Graduate Jazz Studies. He was Canada’s Representative on the Board of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) from 2002-2008, and was the founding Director of the National Music Camp (NMC) Jazz Program (1987 to 2006). He has also taught at jazz camps such as the Ken Kistner Jazz Camp (Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan) and the Prairielands Jazz Camp (Regina, Saskatchewan).

Recordings include:
  • The Dance Never Ends  – with Trish Colter (1998)
  • At Long Last Love  – Trish Colter (2002)
  • Think Nice Thoughts (1999) – University of Toronto 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra
  • Off the Cuff (2001) – University of Toronto 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra
  • Rivers (2004) – University of Toronto 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra
  • Awakening (2006) – University of Toronto 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra
  • The Heart of Summer (2004) – Paul Read Quartet featuring Scott Robinson
  • Arc-en-ciel (2013) This Addo Records release features his 18 piece jazz orchestra, PRO (Paul Read Orchestra)
  • 2022 International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) Distinguished Service Award
  • 2018 Ken Page Memorial Trust Lifetime Achievement Award (with co-recipient Trish Colter) Ken Page Memorial Trust
    2017 Inducted into the MusicFest Canada Hall of Fame
  • 2015 Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music (Toronto Arts Foundation) and
  • 2008 Paul Read Orchestra (PRO) nominated for a National Jazz Award
  • 2007-2008 Awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Recording Grant
  • 1998 Winner of the Jazz Report Award for ‘Post-Secondary School Jazz Program of the Year’ (on behalf of the University of Toronto where Paul Read was responsible for developing the University’s Jazz Performance Degree Program)
  • 1993 Awarded the University of Toronto Senior Alumni Award for Innovation in Teaching
  • 1972 Winner of the Rob McConnell/Gordon Delamont Arranging & Composition Award


Though mostly retired, I continue to compose, arrange, orchestrate music and try to apply and learn new skills every day. This new iteration of my site was beautifully designed by Lucie Frigault and this time I’ve decided to take a kind of autobiographical approach and share past and current musical explorations, as well as some amateur endeavours (painting, drawing, etc.) as well. It feels a bit risky now that I have it up and running, and I’m hoping if you’ve found your way here, you might sample some completed work, revised work, and experiments past and present.  A few of the recordings in the ‘archives’ were on reel-to-reel tapes and I hadn’t heard them in years. The site has turned out to be, I suppose, one big journal with a hint of memoir :). I hope you enjoy what is here.


August 2017.