Born in Toronto, Canada on June 4, 1971, Grant Stewart was exposed to the music of Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray and Coleman Hawkins by his father, a high-school English teacher and semiprofessional guitarist. Father and son often played together for hours on end. It was through these early experiences and his father's encouragement that Stewart first developed a strong ear for melody, style, and improvisation. He began with the alto saxophone at age 10, and when he was 14 his first teacher, noted Toronto bandleader Pete Schofield, invited him to play professionally in Schofield's Big Band. At 17 he switched to the tenor saxophone and was soon playing with such master saxophonists as Pat Labarbara and Bob Mover. Stewart considers Mover to be one of his greatest teachers and among his strongest influences along with Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Don Byas, and Lester Young.
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