Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
A Juno-nominated, Toronto-based saxophonist, Ryan Oliver honed his craft on Canada’s west coast before moving to Amsterdam, Toronto and then New York. Since returning to Toronto, he has maintained a busy schedule as one of Canada’s most in-demand saxophonists. Oliver has toured India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada with the legendary eclectic jazz group, The Shuffle Demons. He is also a member of Juno award winning blues/rock performer Derek Miller’s group. The band has traveled throughout North America, including performances at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Aboriginal Achievement Awards (broadcast on CTV), and Toronto’s Dundas Square. Oliver is featured in the horn section on Derek Miller’s most recent recording, “Derek Miller and Double Trouble”, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughn’s heralded rhythm section Double Trouble and musical icon Willie Nelson. The recording was nominated for a Juno in 2011.
Ryan Oliver’s debut recording, Convergence, was selected by CODA Magazine as one of the top 10 Canadian jazz releases of 2007. He has received numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants for touring and recording and has performed at most of the major jazz clubs and festivals throughout Canada. Oliver’s straight-ahead, tough-toned tenor can be heard often in Toronto. He maintains a weekly Sunday night residency with Organic, a quartet that features Canadian great Bernie Senensky on the Hammond B3 organ, Nathan Hiltz on guitar and Morgan Childs on drums, and is a member of The Cookers, a hard-bop quintet, and Tonight at Noon, an octet that plays the music of Charles Mingus. Jazz education is also an important part of Oliver’s professional life. He has been a featured clinician at Malaspina College, Western University, the University of Windsor and high schools throughout New York, New Jersey, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Alongside all of his efforts as a musician and educator, Oliver is also the artistic director for the Harbord St. Jazz Festival, an annual festival that celebrates the pairing of fine dining and jazz. Ryan Oliver’s driving melodic inventiveness, charismatic sound and swinging time feel light up bandstands wherever he plays.
“Convergence shows how ready he is as both player and composer. He has a full-range horn, rich at the bottom and true at the top, acknowledging past masters like Trane and Dexter Gordon.” -Whole Note Magazine