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Gary Williamson

Gary Williamson

Gary Williamson (pianist) was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. His grandmother, Doss Williamson, also a pianist, began his early musical education. From the age of 4 to 16, he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto.Williamson began playing in small bands at age 12, and began playing professionally at the age of 20. At this time he began studies in harmony and arranging with Gordon Delamont in Toronto.Williamson worked in Toronto from 1964-68, performing in a wide variety of concert venues and nightclubs, including several engagements at Toronto’s famed George’s Spaghetti House.In 1968, Williamson traveled to the Far East, and performed in jazz clubs, on television and radio in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Honolulu before returning to Toronto in 1972.

Williamson has enjoyed a very successful career in Toronto, playing with many jazz greats at Toronto’s Bourbon Street, including Dexter Gordon, Nat Adderly, Junior Cook, Blue Mitchell, Thad Jones, Woody Shaw, Pepper Adams, Joe Farrell, Jack Sheldon, Ruby Braf and others. Gary has also performed with Joe Henderson, Clifford Jordan, Dave Liebman, and Bobby Hutcherson.

Williamson has performed in some iconic Canadian big bands. He was a member of Nimmons ‘n’ Nine + 6 from 1974 to 1980, doing several concert tours and making numerous recordings. He traveled with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra to the Soviet Union in 1991, just prior to the political upheaval.

Williamson has been teaching jazz since the mid 1970’s beginning at the Banff Centre, Alberta, and the University of New Brunswick. In 1990, the University of Toronto inaugurated a jazz program and Williamson was hired to teach piano and 2 other courses. His successful students include Renee Rosnes, Chris Donnelly, David Braid, and Adrean Farrugia

In the past few years Williamson has been performing and traveling with Dave Young in various groups – quartets, quintets, and octets, as well as performing with numerous other small groups and big bands.


Video Clip


Jeannette Lambert sings at The Red Guitar Jazz Club – Gary Williamson (piano), Neil Swainson (bass)
Filmed by Eddie Cabrera. From October, 2005.

1. If I Should Lose You
2. Everything Happens to Me
3. How Insensitive
4. How Long Has This Been Going On?
5. Falling in Love with Love
6. A Cottage for Sale

Steve McDade with Brian Barlow Quintet – ( Salute To Horace Silver)

Steve McDade – FlugelhornPerry White – Tenor Sax
Gary Williamson – Piano
Scott Alexander – Acoustic Bass
Brian Barlow – Drums