Phil Dwyer Biography
On Dec. 30, 2013 Phil Dwyer was appointed as a Member of the Order Of Canada. He was cited for “his contributions to jazz as a performer, composer and producer, and for increasing access to music education in his community.” In January 2015 he was recognized by the Royal Conservatory of Music as an Honorary Fellow. These distinctions come as Dwyer looks back at an illustrious thirty year career which has crossed stylistic and geographic borders and has included collaborations with a storied roster of great musical artists, including appearances on a dozen Juno Award-winning recordings.
Since his late teens Dwyer had been, to quote former Globe & Mail journalist Mark Miller “startling jazz audiences with his unprecedented command of both tenor saxophone and piano.” Phil grew up on Vancouver Island but left to seek out the action and excitement of New York City when he was just 17, moving there in fall of 1983. Over the next 18 months he opportunity to meet and ‘sit in’ with many of the true jazz legends who were still on the scene at that time and busking and playing sessions with many of the players who are the stars of today.
Phil lived in Toronto from 1988 to 2004. During that time his distinctive saxophone sound was featured on hundreds of recording sessions including Juno Award-winning albums with Hugh Fraser, Dave Young, Guido Basso, and Joe Sealy. He was a first-call sideman in concert halls and jazz clubs with artists such as Red Rodney, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, Gino Vannelli, Alain Caron, Don Thompson, Dave Young, Kenny Wheeler, Ingrid Jensen, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Boz Scaggs among others. During that time he also toured extensively in Canada and has appeared at major clubs and festivals in over 20 other countries.
Phil moved back to Vancouver Island in 2004, continuing to tour and record, appearing on Juno Award-winning releases by Don Thompson, Molly Johnson and Terry Clarke, and Diana Panton. In 2012 his orchestral jazz masterwork, Changing Seasons was the Juno Award winner for ‘best contemporary jazz recording’. From 2005-2014 he operated the Phil Dwyer Academy of Musical and Culinary Arts, combining his passions for great music and food. In the spring of 2017 Phil graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in law and is currently working as an articling student near his Vancouver Island home.
Phil has been closely involved as a partner with SeaWind Musical Instruments from the beginning of the company and takes great pride in playing SeaWind saxophones exclusively in concert, and in the studio.
Read more about Phil at www.phildwyer.com.
|Phil Dwyer||Changing Seasons||2012 Juno Winner|
|Look For The Silver Lining(with Don Thompson)||2014 Juno Nominee|
|Sax Summit (plus others)|
|Road Stories||1997 Juno Nominee|
|One Take Vol. 2 (w/ Terri Lyne Carrington)||2005 Juno Nominee|
|One Take Vol. 4 (w/ Joey Defrancesco)|
|Let Me Tell You About My Day||2005 Juno Nominee|
|Fables and Dreams (w/Dave Young)||1993 Juno Winner|
|We Three (w/ Dave Young)|
|Kelby MacNayr Quintet||The Measure Of Light|
|Ian McDougall 12tet||Live||2014 Juno Nominee|
|Terry Clarke||It’s About Time||2010 Juno Winner|
|Don Thompson||Ask Me Later||2006 Juno Winner|
|For Kenny Wheeler||2009 Juno Nominee|
|Forgotten Memories (w/ Dave Holland, and|
|Joe Sealy||Africville Suite||Juno Winner|
|Blue Jade||Juno Nominee|
|Molly Johnson||Lucky||2009 Juno Winner|
|Guido Basso||Lost In The Stars||2004 Juno Winner|
|Carol Welsman||Inclined||Juno Nominee|
|Lucky To Be Me|
|Swing Ladies Swing|
|Hugh Fraser Quintet||Looking Up||1988 Juno Winner|
|Pas de Problemes||Juno Nominee|
|Ian McDougall||No Passport Required||Juno Nominee|
|Ted Quinlan||As If||Juno Nominee|
|Sophie Milman||Sophie Milman||Juno Nominee|
|Manteca||Later Is Now||Juno Nominee|
|Roberto Occhipinti||Yemaya (w/ Dafnis Prieto)||Juno Nominee|
|Trinacria (w/ Horacio Hernandez)|
|Laila Biali||Live In Concert|
|From Sea To Sky|
|Melinda Whitaker||Lucky So And So|
|Doug Riley||Con Alma|
|Finkleman’s 45s Vol 1|
|Finkleman’s 45s Vol 2|