More than 20 years on the Canadian music scene have firmly established
John MacLeod as a respected and sought-after arranger/composer/trumpeter.
John has scored music for ensembles ranging from string quartet to full
symphony orchestra. He wrote the arrangements for the acclaimed symphonic
tribute to Louis Armstrong – featuring renowned American trumpeter Marcus Belgrave – which
has been performed by the Windsor, Detroit and Kingston Symphonies.
John is the principal composer/arranger for the Toronto-based big band Freeflight
which was recently voted “Big Band Of The Year” by Jazz Report Magazine
and has released two CD’s on Sony Records, one of which was nominatedfor a Juno Award.
In 1999, John was commissioned to write several big band arrangements
for an Oscar Peterson tour. Grants for composition from the Toronto Arts
Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts,
have enabled him to complete numerous original compositions for large jazz
ensembles, as well as a string quartet. Professional, community, and student
groups across Canada, the U.S. and Europe are performing his big band charts.
Widely known for his talents as a jazz trumpet/flugelhorn soloist, John
was a featured soloist with the world-renowned Rob McConnell & the
Boss Brass for over 15 years. Two of the recordings on which he played
with the Boss Brass went on to win Grammy awards. He also has two Juno
awards to his credit, for "Two Sides" with Mike Murley and "In
Transition" with Brian Dickinson which John both produced and played
A frequent guest performer at jazz festivals across Canada, John is currently
a member of the David Braid Sextet, the Duncan Hopkins Quintet, and the Mike
Murley Quintet with whom he has recorded and toured extensively since the late
80's. He is also bandleader of the new Rex Hotel Orchestra which features many
of Canada’s top jazz musicians.
As a freelance jazz artist, John has worked with international names
such as Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Gerry Bergonzi, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombe,
Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and Clark Terry.
He has also had an active career as a backup musician, playing for dozens of
international artists including Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Aretha
Franklin and Linda Ronstadt and in theatrical orchestra pits (Les Misérables
John has taught at York University, the University of Toronto and Humber College
and has performed, coached and conducted with numerous groups in Denmark. He
is a graduate of Humber College where he received the Moe Koffman/ Al Michalek
Scholarship Award in 1975 for outstanding jazz improvisation.