Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Allen, Gordon (Micheal)

Allen, Gordon (Micheal), trumpet player, composer, improviser, organizer; b. Toronto, 9 March 1976. His father is Bruce Allen, b. January 19 1950, Toronto (played trumpet). His mother is Allison Mitchell, b. November 10 1951, Toronto. His brother is Brian Allen, b. April 10 1979, Mississauga (near Toronto). His grandfather Claude Allen was also a trumpet player, b. 19? Toronto

Gordon began trumpet at age eleven. During high school, played in concert bands, jazz big bands, self-lead jazz combos, a brass quintet, and two youth orchestras, one as principal trumpet and featured soloist. Also studied trumpet at the Royal Conservatory and piano with a private teacher.

Attended Jazz Performance Programs at both University of Toronto and York University, as well as at the Naropa Institute in Colorado. Private study in Toronto with David Mott and Jim Lewis, in Colorado with Art Lande, and most recently Bill Dixon in Vermont.

Currently active with Gordon Allen's Free Work Band (featuring Sundar Viswanathan, Michael Morse, and Jaime Carrasco), Duo with Jaime Carrasco, The Woodchoppers Association (Toronto's largest interdisciplinary improvising orchestra), Powerbuch (a collective improvising quartet made up of drummer Dave Clark, saxophonist Glen Hall, pianist John Farah), the David Mott quintet (with Jesse Stewart, Peter Lutek, Rob Clutton), Michael Morse's Dignity of Labour Ensemble. Also several solo trumpet performances and numerous ad-hoc groups.

Performances with above and Eugene Chadbourne, Jean Derome, Joanne Hetu, Michael Snow, Paul Dutton, John Oswald, Gordon Downie, Nilan Perera, Nick Didkovsky, Jerusalem-based Stephen Horenstein, and most of the major improvising musicians in Toronto.

 Innumerable performances in Toronto's clubs as well as in the following festivals: Do What? (Toronto) 2000, 2001, Guelph Jazz Festival 1999, 2000, 2002, Victo-TO Festival 1999, 2000, Downtown Jazz (Toronto) 2000, 2002, 416-2001 (Toronto) and 416-2002, Fringe Jazz Festival 2002, CIA Festival (Toronto) 2003. November 2002 tour of Western Canada with Ken Aldcroft Trio + One. Performances booked for summer 2003 include Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal, and London (Ontario).

Composer of over 40 works for jazz ensembles, solo trumpet, solo piano, and chamber ensembles.

Host of CIUT (University of Toronto Radio)'s Full Circle, an improvised jazz program featuring innovative live-to-air performances, interviews with international artists, and recordings: spring 2000 to end of 2002. Curator of AS IS, a weekly live improvised music series in Toronto: August 2002 to January 2003, featuring local players and touring artists from Japan, Montreal, Australia, and New York City.

Free Work Band (2000)
Unissued recordings:
200+ hours of live perfromances (mostly in Toronto)

Contact information:


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