As a young boy, Gordon Hyland loved cars and computers, and wanted to be an aerospace engineer when he grew up. That dream was pushed aside, however, in his mid teens as he found himself irresistibly drawn into the world of music after discovering his grandfather’s record collection - and the siren songs of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Duke Ellington, Count Basie - as well as winning an unexpected opportunity to go on a junior high band trip to Japan. Since then, with his trusty tenor saxophone in hand, Hyland pursued the music life diligently, ultimately obtaining both a Bachelors in Fine Arts and in Music (Concordia and University of Toronto), as well as a Masters in Jazz Performance (U of T) with a focus on saxophone and electronics. His education has also included an extended 10- week intensive in New York City to study privately with Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake, and Ohad Talmour, and several residencies at the renowned Banff Centre. Far from being a jazz purist, Hyland has gone out of his way to forge a unique career path for himself, developing a sound and style wholly his own from years of working with live electro-prog band Ninja Funk Orchestra, from which he gained a reputation for his innovative use of effects pedals with a tenor saxophone as well as for his multidisciplinary collaborative approach to staging the band, complete with costumes, lighting, and projections.
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3-D music at its finest, saxophone as you’ve never heard it before, fucking
electrifying jazz. Right from the opening swells of sound my synesthesia flared
uncontrollably and shit got visceral. I was underwater in navy, indigo, real deep down.
I was a spectator at a boxing match at the bottom of the ocean. I was inside Gord’s
heart watching, like in a magic mirror, images of all the people and ideas that make it
beat. - Joelle Westman, The Salty Lacuna.