People aspire to be master of many skills and Al Muirhead is one who has accomplished this dream and has no plans of slowing down. Whether it is playing a sweet and melodic trumpet solo, composing and arranging for a big band, small ensemble or orchestra, performing one take sessions on recordings or mentoring young musicians, Al is an inspiration in the Canadian music scene and is known as the “Elder statesman of Jazz Trumpet in Alberta”.
Al has recorded as a sideman on 26 albums and is currently in the process of recording his first solo album featuring himself and Tommy Banks. Al and Tommy began their friendship when they were 15 and have remained friends and colleagues to this day. As a special guest, Al will be featuring 2 time Juno winner and Order of Canada recipient Guido Basso, also a good friend, and fellow flugelhorn player.
The lists of musicians with whom Al has performed with speak highly of his skill. Dizzy Gillespie, Guido Basso, Tommy Banks, Diana Krall, Paul Anka, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Mills & P.J. Perry top the lists. In 2008 Al had the honor of recording “All the Stars aren’t in the Sky” with the all-star ensemble; Ted Godwin, Tommy Banks, Ryga Campbell, George Koller and Blaine Wikjord. This limited release is just a sign of things to come for Al.
Throughout the span of Al’s career he has had many milestones and accomplishments that have helped form him to be the musician he is today. Al was a trumpet player in the Regina Symphony, Assistant Conductor with the Regina Police Boy’s Band and opened Arcade Music in Calgary in 1966, which is now known as St. John’s Music. In the 70’s Al was the Music Director for the CBC television show “On Stage” and he toured Japan with the Frank Mills Orchestra. He performed in the 1988 Olympics under Tommy Banks and toured Hungary, Germany and Switzerland with the “New Orleans Connection” Dixieland Band. In the 90’s Al had already been the music director for the Calgary Stampede Youth Talent Show for a decade and continues to hold this position today. He mentored many young musicians, one being Johnny Summers who now leads the Calgary Jazz Orchestra that Al performs in and writes arrangements for. Today Al remains active in the music scene as a performer, clinician, adjudicator, arranger and studio recording artist.
Al has lived through many decades of the music scene and has stories you could listen to for hours. You can listen through his words or the supreme level of musicianship that comes through his trumpet playing. Al is a delight, a rare gem and has a story to be heard.