Phil Dwyer

Teacher, Award Winner

1965 –

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Who is Phil Dwyer?

Phil Dwyer is a jazz saxophonist, pianist, composer, producer and teacher who, after 15 years in Toronto, now resides on Vancouver Island. Dwyer has been nominated for Juno Awards five times and won Best Mainstream Jazz Album in 1994 and Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year in 2012 for the recording Changing Seasons. Dwyer has also appeared on Juno Award winning recordings with Hugh Fraser, Guido Basso, Don Thompson, Joe Sealy, Terry Clarke, and Molly Johnson.

Dwyer’s first national press exposure came from journalist Mark Miller, who profiled Dwyer in a piece filed for the Globe and Mail in 1982 from the Canadian Stage Band Festival, held that year in Hamilton, Ontario. Dwyer performed with his high school group Triple Image and took the Gold Medal in the combo category.

Dwyer joined the American Federation of Musicians, Local 145, in 1983 at age 17 to perform with Fred Stride's West Coast Jazz Orchestra, 'subbing' for well known Vancouver saxophonist/flautist Tom Keenlyside. A recording of his first Vancouver performance as a bandleader led to his receiving a Canada Council grant in 1983 to study in New York with David Liebman, which led in turn to studies with Steve Grossman. Earlier teachers included saxophonists Steve Jones and David Branter, pianist Don Thompson, piano/theory teacher Joan Gosselin and school band director Bill Cave. His high school contemporaries included trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Pat Collins, and singer/pianist Diana Krall, for whom years later Dwyer would compose the tribute song 'Diana Piana'.

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Dec 17, 1965
Also known as
  • Philip Richard Dwyer
  • Canada
  • Banff Centre

on July 23, 2013


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