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Ian McDougall: Biography

Ian McDougall
1938 -
Region: British Columbia

Ian McDougall

Trombonist and composer Ian McDougall was born in Calgary, Canada, and grew up in Victoria, leaving there in 1960 to tour in Great Britain with the John Dankworth Band. He returned to Canada in 1962 and began a lengthy career as a freelance player, composer and arranger in Vancouver, the U.S. as lead trombone with Woody Herman’s band, and in Toronto where, until 1991, he was also the lead and solo trombonist with Rob McConnell's Grammy and JUNO award winning group, “The Boss Brass”.

Two suites composed by Ian have been recorded by that group – “The Pellet Suite” and the “Blue Serge Suit(e)”. Ian was also lead trombone and a frequent composer/arranger for the Brass Connection, which won the JUNO award for best jazz album in 1982.

Since the early 1980’s McDougall has become even more involved in composition, and his works have been performed by the CBC Vancouver Orchestra the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Lafayette String Quartet, the Phoenix Choir, The 13 Strings, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

Important compositions include Concerti for Bass Trombone, for Clarinet, and for Saxophone, the 3 Canadian Folk Songs for choir and string orchestra, the “Brass Trio”, and “Bells” for Brass Choir.

Ian now resides in Victoria, where he works both in his private studio and also at the University of Victoria, from which he retired in 2003 as Professor Emeritus. In 2004 Ian received the “Distinguished Alumni” award from UVic. The past decade has included tours as a soloist and with his groups, to many countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and throughout the United States and Canada. In the past decade Ian has been the leader on seven CDs. His double CD entitled “In a Sentimental Mood”, which features the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington with Ian joined by a quartet, was nominated for both a JUNO Award and a Western Canadian Music award in 2006.

Ian released a Big Band CD in August of 2007, “No Passport Required”. It is made up entirely of Ian’s compositions, and is performed by a sensational band of Canadian west coast musicians. In 2007 Ian was the first recipient of the Phil Nimmons SOCAN/IAJE established composer award and was commissioned to compose “Chaos at the Border” which was performed in New York, Jan/07. Ian also performed and wrote for the CBC CD project entitled “LIVE! Jazz Legends”, which was nominated for a JUNO award in 2008. Ian is proud and honoured to have been appointed to the Order of Canada in July of 2008.

In the Fall of 2008, Ian took his sextet to Europe. The sextet will spent 2 intensive weeks performing and giving workshops in Denmark and Sweden. Ian continues to work as a performer, composer/arranger, and as a teacher. He plans to have his Trombone/Brass Method book in publication in early 2009. He has recently been awarded the Order of Canada.

Feb. 2009


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