Rob McConnell's new and exciting group is The Rob McConnell Tentet, which happens to feature a number of the charter members of the famed Boss Brass, such as Guido Basso, P.J. Perry, Steve Wallace and Terry Clarke. The Boss Brass is Rob's thrilling and dynamic Big Band that has been his main vehicle of jazz expression for the past thirty years. The group has toured Canada and The United States, and has appeared at numerous festivals, clubs and concert halls. The Boss Brass has also recorded and shared the stage with an amazing round up of guest artists, including Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, The Hi-Lo's and Oscar Peterson.
Robert Gordon Murray McConnell was born in London, Ontario in 1935, and has forged a professional career that has insured his place as one of Canada's finest and most highly regarded musical artists. He has recently been honored with The Order of Canada, which is a reflection of his profound impact on the international music scene. While primarily residing in Toronto for the bulk of his career (with the exception of brief stints in both New York and Los Angeles) he has worked extensively as a valve trombonist, composer and arranger lending his skill to numerous CBC recordings and television shows, jingles and films.
As a leader, his many groups have come in various sizes and shapes-big bands, sextets and quartets, down to his duets and trios with Ed Bickert, Neil Swainson and Don Thompson. Some of the other artists with whom Rob has appeared as a trombonist include Bill Holman, Dave Frishberg, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Jimmy Rowles. As a jazz educator, Rob has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.
The National Association of Jazz Educators has voted him Best Arranger, and the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles (where Rob taught in 1998 & 1999) has established a scholarship in his name. Rob has made numerous appearances as a clinician and soloist at major international educational institutions, such as The University of Miami, West George State University and McGill University. He has appeared as a guest artist with The Danish Radio Orchestra, The Fredensborg and Kluvers Big Bands of Denmark, The WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne and the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra.
In 1992, Rob toured Europe as a member of Gerry Mulligan's Tentet, and garnered rave reviews. Rob McConnell is a multiple Juno nominee and winner, and in 1997 he was inducted into the Juno Jazz Hall of Fame. Rob has been nominated for a Grammy fifteen times, and has won three Grammy awards. Rob has also received awards from Socan and The Jazz Report.